We achieved a little goal we had set for ourselves. It wasn’t anything that set the world on fire. But it was a success worth celebrating. And just like winning the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or even a Sunday afternoon game at the local baseball field — teams celebrate together and give credit where it’s due.
So we’re inviting all of you — our FBN® members — to celebrate with us because we achieved this goal with you, and because of you.
What was the little goal we achieved together? With the survey responses you provided about the crops you intended to plant (March) and then what you actually planted (June), we took that data, crunched the numbers, and published both our 2021 Planting Report and then our Acreage Report.
And those reports ended up being substantially spot on with the USDA Planting and Acreage Reports. We used USDA and Refinitiv data to put together charts from both the soybean acres planting forecast and the acreage forecasts. You can see there was almost no discernible difference between the USDA and FBN projections.
To many people, this may not seem like it’s even worth celebrating. But for us, we’re a data company, and we think it’s a big deal. And not because of the attention it can draw to FBN, but because it’s yet another way we are fulfilling the vision we wrote on the first Farmers Business Network® website back in 2013 — “helping America's farmers to make better decisions, one field at a time.” Farmers entrust their data to us, and well, as our website in 2015 stated, “Together, we are unlocking the power of agronomic data.”
As those two examples from our past illustrate, working with Farmers, working with data, and putting Farmers First® have been in our DNA since day 1. And it is that commitment that is separating FBN from the pack.
Many companies and analysts use the same public data sources to form their expectations. As a result of using the same data sources, the conclusions they reach are similar and self-reinforcing. For example, look at the chart below. Which companies do you think are making projections based on a large network of farmer members vs. publicly available data (hint… one company has a network in its name and often goes by FBN!)?
And in this case, reliable data is not available in the public sources, so many others leverage it. In ag markets, what matters greatly is what you, the Farmers, are doing. The choices and actions you make every day are the sources of truth and are central to market action. So when FBN aggregates data from our members and shares a report back to them or uses that data to make trade suggestions—that is the reliable data needed to beat the big companies and hedge funds.
When you receive a FBN email asking you to complete a planting survey, or one of the other surveys or research requests—please take a few minutes to complete it. Because this is how we and the thousands of FBN members work together as a team. And that collaboration is the key to making our network work, so we can all celebrate.
With that in mind we just want to say thank you, not only to the members who completed the planting survey, but all our members who are part of this network we’re building. This little success is ours, together. And together, we’ll achieve even greater successes in the future.