Author

Brian Paff

Brian is a writer who is passionate about sharing stories that tap into the human experience. He grew up in California, moved to Michigan for college and has lived in the Midwest ever since. His wife's family farms in Freeman, South Dakota, and he holds a deep appreciation for the indispensable role farmers play. Brian works alongside FBN experts to develop content geared toward supporting better ag practices and helping put Farmers First®.


15 Sept 2021

by Brian Paff

There’s a lot to keep up with when you’re farming. You’ve got to maintain records of seed varieties planted, chem purchases, field maps, pesticide and fertilizer applications, scale tickets and more.  And organizing all of this information in a way that lets you access it when needed and use it to support your operation can be a challenge, to say the least. Is it in 3-ring binders and file cabinets? Stored in spreadsheet files on USB drives? Sorted by field? By date? By operation or landowner? By year or by crop?  On top of all that, you’re already busy. Throughout the crop year, you are spending a majority of your time doing the actual fieldwork for which all of that record keeping accounts. So carving out time to analyze data and make decisions with it can be tough. Track all your on-farm activities with one easy-to-use app What you need is a simple, streamlined way to document and manage data for your operation, and that’s where the FBN® app and its built-in record keeping tools — included in your free FBN member account* — come into the picture. Start managing your farm’s record keeping in one app. Become an FBN member today Within the My Operation tab in your FBN account, you can easily log, organize and access your farm’s activities and information from the convenience of your mobile phone or desktop computer. Once you’ve entered field boundaries or uploaded precision files to your account, you can start tracking field-by-field planting information, tillage, fertilizer and chemical applications, free satellite imagery and yield data — all in one place.  You can also manually add scouting notes and document pest pressure in order to stay on top of each individual field. Plus you can grant access to other farmers on your operation to use the app to ensure everyone on your team has the insights they need to make confident, informed decisions. Furthermore, you can upload invoices for seed and crop protection products to keep track of your input expenses and manage contracts and bids, sales and more using FBN® Profit Center. Our record keeping software works with MyJohnDeere℠ and AFS Connect™ (Case New Holland Industrial) as well, allowing you to seamlessly integrate data from either platform into your FBN account. Gain insights from a network of farmers The benefits of having all of your operational data organized in one central location and right at your fingertips are obvious. But when you enter specific data into your FBN account, you’re then able to unlock corresponding insights developed from anonymized information contributed by other farmers across the network.  If you add harvest data from the most recent year, for example, you can access detailed yield data for more than 5,000 seed products in FBN® Seed Finder .  You can also then leverage network data to benchmark your farm’s performance according to various parameters you choose to better evaluate your own practices and decision-making.  Adding invoices to your account will also give you access to FBN® Price Transparency . Upload a crop protection product invoice, for example, and you can then use Price Transparency when shopping for pesticides . In the same way, contributing a seed invoice enables Price Transparency when browsing seed products in Seed Finder.  And, for U.S. farmers, uploading a seed tag unlocks seed relabeling information to help you determine if the same seed genetics are being sold under other brand names. Your data will always remain completely secure and anonymous on an individualized basis, and will never be shared with other farmers or third parties without your consent.  Create your free account to start using FBN Benchmarking Ready to get a more accurate picture of your farm’s performance? Sign up for a free member account and upload some planting/seeding and harvest data to put Benchmarking to work on your operation. * Access to My Operation record keeping tools is included with free FBN membership; fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than membership. Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. MyJohnDeere is a trademark of Deere & Company. AFS Connect™ is a trademark of CNH Industrial America LLC. Roundup PowerMAX® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology, LLC. InVigor® and LibertyLink® are registered trademarks of BASF Canada Inc. © 2015-2021 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct”, “Farmers First” and the Farmers First flag logo are registered trademarks and service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


08 Sept 2021

by Brian Paff

Today’s farmers know the value satellite imagery can bring to their operation. It has the potential to serve as your scout in the sky, giving you a bird’s eye view of your crops with regular progress updates and an overview of stress spots you may not notice from the ground. With a free FBN® membership*, you can put our satellite imagery tools to work on your farms and fields at no cost to your operation. Get satellite imagery for your farm. Become an FBN ® member today How does satellite imagery work in the FBN app? Once you enter field boundaries into your FBN member account, we’ll provide you with EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) images to help you track progress throughout the growing season. EVI images assess vegetation biomass by looking at the difference in light reflected in near-infrared and visible bands, compensating for atmospheric distortions and those due to the ground cover below the canopy.  In addition, EVI has higher sensitivity to dense vegetation and can provide an indication of the stage of crop growth and health.  Our application uses three layers of imagery, each giving you a unique perspective of individual fields on your operation:  Absolute - Can show how far along a crop is in its growth, identify the variation of vegetative vigor within a field and compare a field’s vegetative growth against other fields on the operation. Relative - Amplifies the variation of the absolute layer across a green to red color scale. This layer is used to identify the variation of vegetative growth within a single field. Raw - Provides a raw image of the field on the date the image was taken. This layer can be used to identify clouds or shadows of clouds that might be showing up in the EVI layers. By using multiple layers across various stages of crop development, our satellite imagery provides you with a very high level of usable imagery for your fields.  From the convenience of your mobile phone, you can see how weather events such as wind or hail storms affected your crops, where weeds may need to be addressed and more. You can also enable push notifications within the app to alert you when meaningful changes in the imagery data occur. New images are loaded every five to seven days, and members can access images going back 12 months. Satellite imagery informs the FBN Yield Prediction tool Weighing factors such as satellite imagery data, field location, field and regional yield history, weather and other agronomic data, our FBN Yield Prediction tool delivers in-season updates ** every three days to your mobile phone or desktop application.  Access to these estimates — and receiving updated values throughout the year — can help you make all-important decisions about in-season applications as well as seed selection for the following crop year. The Yield Prediction tool currently covers corn, beans, canola and wheat.  All you have to do is add corresponding planting events to your fields in your FBN app and the tool will be able to begin generating predicted yields for each field; the more data you contribute, the more informed your estimates will be. Create your free account and start making the most of satellite imagery  Want the field scouting support satellite imagery can provide? Sign up for a free member account and enter your field boundaries to get set up with satellite imagery for your operation. * Fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than FBN membership. Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. ** Yield predictions are based on statistical and agronomic models, research and data (including historical weather and agronomic data), and information provided by other FBN members and you, to generate the estimates and other information we provide. These do not guarantee actual results. Our models, data and recommendations may change over time. Individual results may vary, as weather, agronomic conditions and farming practices differ across growers, locations and years. Consult your agronomist and other service professionals before making financial, risk management and farming decisions. © 2015-2021 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct”, “Farmers First” and the Farmers First flag logo are registered trademarks and service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


01 Sept 2021

by Brian Paff

There’s a lot on your mind when you’re a farmer. From selecting the right seed and crop protection inputs to watching the weather and monitoring pest pressures, the mental load of farming can be heavy.  So when it comes time to sell your grain, you might find yourself without the time, energy or resources needed to develop and execute a strategy. That’s why FBN ® Profit Center — included with your free FBN membership* and available to use after just a few minutes of setup — is such an important tool in today’s ag economy. How can Profit Center work for your operation? Profit Center can take some of the stress out of selling your grain and put managing important aspects of your crop marketing right at your fingertips. From the convenience of your mobile phone, our tool lets you organize some of the day-to-day pieces of your crop marketing plan.  Manage crop marketing activities right from your phone. Become an FBN ® member today For one, it makes it easier for you to monitor and evaluate current bids without having to call nearby elevators and/or visit multiple websites. Our system automatically checks cash bids from more than 4,000 buyers and will show you prices within 300 miles/500 kilometers of your farm.  You can also select your preferred points of sale, and Profit Center will always keep their bids displayed in your dashboard.  Often you’ll find that one of the buyers closest to you will bring the greatest return, but that’s not always the case.  Our Net Price calculator accounts for the cost of transporting your grain (based on distance) and delivery date, bringing storage costs into the equation as well. This helps you more accurately assess current bids and factor net revenue into your marketing decisions. 4 steps to establishing a breakeven price in FBN Profit Center Profit Center also compares the Net Price to your Target price — the price you need to break even — so you can evaluate the overall impact of a sale before you execute it. You know all too well how it feels to have to keep up with the math in your head. Profit Center can automate the important numbers and keep up with them for you. It utilizes your real production cost to find the breakeven you need to target. Here’s how it works: 1. Select your crop From conventional, non-GMO and organic corn and beans to specialty crops — such as edible beans, lentils, peas, and white corn — Profit Center serves farmers in a wide variety of production systems. 2. Enter your estimated production Just multiply your total acres by your expected yield to get a rough estimate of how many bushels will be available to sell. 3. Include your committed sales Adding any contracted bushels, as well as the price at which they were sold, will allow Profit Center to calculate and update your breakeven price as you continue to market your grain. 4. Define your costs Here, you can provide your actual costs, or just use industry averages to see where you stand. As you start to sell grain, the system accounts for these sales and changes the necessary breakeven you’re looking for. The system will even show you you profit per acre, with updates every time you enter a new contract. Quick access to important marketing records And for some, the most exciting feature is that Profit Center can store all the details of your contracts and keep track of how much is left to sell, so you always know what’s left.  No hurried trips back to the office to check contracts or wondering if your signed paper contract ever made it in the mail — all the details of your grain sales are in the palm of your hand. To stay in the know, you can also enable Profit Center to send you text alerts based on your own Cash, Basis and Futures prices for specific months. And you get to choose how often you want to see these alerts, ranging from several times a day to a weekly summary. Create your free account to start using FBN Profit Center Ready to track your marketing activities and evaluate cash bids for your grain right from your mobile phone? Sign up for your free member account and enter some basic information to start using Profit Center for your operation. * Access to Profit Center is included with free FBN membership; fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than membership. Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Bunge is a trademark of Bunge Limited. POET® is a registered trademark of POET, LLC. Consolidated Grain and Barge is a trademark of CGB Enterprises, Inc. © 2015-2021 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered trademarks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. FBN Crop Marketing is offered by FBN CM LLC. Contact (605) 215-5274 for more information. We do not guarantee customers will receive specific benefits or value from participating in FBN Crop Marketing; results will vary. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.


25 Aug 2021

by Brian Paff

Finding the right seed is foundational for any farming operation. You can’t change your soil type or how much rainfall you’ll get, after all, but you can choose the best seeds for your unique environmental conditions—and that has the potential to make a big impact on your bottom line.  It’s difficult to know what will work on your farm, though. You’re often left to trust one-sided trials from seed companies or yield discussions over morning coffee.  That’s why FBN Seed Finder can play such an important role in your seed selection decisions for the upcoming year.  Put FBN Seed Finder to work on your farm. Become an FBN ® member today A key decision-making tool within your free FBN member account *, Seed Finder lets farmers who upload a seed invoice and some basic information access our robust price and performance database, driven by millions of acres of farmer-contributed data for a wide range of hybrids and varieties. Get real-world insights on seed varieties With Seed Finder at your fingertips, you can browse our database to explore and analyze any number of possibilities for your farm. Want to know how that soybean variety you saw at a local field day actually performs in the real world on our members’ farms? Looking to find out which canola hybrids have delivered results under a certain set of conditions and practices? Need to see all of your seed corn options within a particular maturity range? Farm-tested answers to these questions and more are built into Seed Finder to help you plan for next season and make confident decisions about which seeds to plant.  And best of all, you can view these insights all in one place from the convenience of your mobile phone. See yield potential and seed recommendations for your specific fields FBN Yield Potential is another key component of the Seed Finder experience.  Located under the My Operation tab in your member account, this tool generates field-specific recommendations for hybrids and varieties based on available data for certain soil types, weather conditions, planting practices and other agronomic factors, such as irrigation and drainage. You can adjust filters according to your plans and practices and explore other recommended hybrids and varieties that match your budget, brand preference and more. In our hypothetical example, you can see that Channel® 210-79 is recommended—with an estimated yield potential of 230.7 bushels per acre, on average—for this particular field based on the information provided and farm-tested insights.  You can also explore estimated yield potential for other top seeds in our database under the same set of field conditions and practices as well as compare them with favorites you might have planted in the past. Shop smarter with price transparency Yield is only part of the net seed revenue equation, though. You have to find the right seed at the right price if you are going to maximize your profit potential. We’ve built price transparency into Seed Finder to help you see what others are paying for the same hybrid or variety.  After you upload a seed invoice of your own, you can leverage our database of more than 43,500 seed invoices on more than 1,400 seed varieties to gain a clearer picture of real-world seed prices. You can see the lowest, highest and average prices paid for individual seed varieties by members who contributed invoices.  With this price transparency in hand, you can either negotiate a better deal, keep shopping or look for a different seed variety altogether. Create your free account and start making the most of FBN Seed Finder Ready to take advantage of FBN Seed Finder and its many features? Sign up for a free member account and upload your first seed tag and invoice to start making more confident seed selection decisions for your operation today. Pioneer® is a registered trademark of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. Channel®, Stone™ and Dekalb® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. Beck’s™ is a trademark of Beck’s Hybrids. AcreMax®, Rev®, Nutech®, Agventure®, Hoegemeyer™ and Intrasect® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. Seed Consultants® is a registered trademark of Seed Consultants, Inc. * Fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than FBN membership. Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. ** Estimated yield reflects seed's performance in a good year, based on data contributed by member farmers and selected soil type and other agronomic factors. Past performance does not guarantee future results. © 2015-2021 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct”, “Farmers First” and the Farmers First flag logo are registered trademarks and service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


30 Oct 2020

by Brian Paff

When the Bergen family signed up for coverage through FBN ® Health last December, they discovered significant savings for their operation.  “We were able to save $1,900 a month by signing up with FBN Health,” says Kelsey Bergen, who raises two children with her husband, Mike. Their new plan now includes coverage for both dental and vision as well. “Being able to add that for a small amount feels like a home run for our family.” The economic realities of agriculture The Bergens grow irrigated corn and soybeans as well as dryland corn in Central Nebraska. Mike, a first-generation farmer, knows the economic realities farmers are facing right now all too well. “Agriculture has been tough the last couple of years,” he says. And for many family farmers, health coverage is an expense that can often cut deeply into an operation’s bottom line — even in the best of times.  But particularly against the backdrop of rising production expenses and tight commodity markets, setting aside the time to research and find affordable health coverage for your family and other members of your operation is critically important.  That’s exactly why Farmers Business Network ® launched FBN Health to provide farmers with an alternative, offering quality health plan options that are designed with farmers in mind.  Get a free quote and compare plans. Apply for coverage through FBN ® Health  “Being self-employed, health coverage is hard,” says Bergen, who estimates that their family monthly premiums had been rising $500 on average over the past couple years. “We just got to the point where we couldn’t afford it anymore.” The savings they gained have the potential to make an immediate impact. “You know, a total savings for our operation of $23,000 per year — that’s real money,” he says. “And honestly, the coverage that we’re getting through FBN Health is better than what we had.” "A total savings for our operation of $23,000 per year — that’s real money. And honestly, the coverage that we're getting through FBN Health is better than what we had. " - Mike Bergen, Nebraska Kelsey describes the increased sense of financial freedom and flexibility the savings will deliver to their operation as incredibly valuable.  “When you’re on a farm, that money’s probably going to be reinvested. But if there’s projects that we wanted to do to our house, if there’s a trip that we wanted to go on — those are things that would have had to wait before,” she says. “Now we have the option to look at those again because we’re saving a good amount of money on our healthcare costs.” The process of switching to FBN Health was relatively straightforward for the Bergens, too, which was an added bonus.  “Health coverage is a really hard thing to figure out,” says Kelsey. “The application process was really easy through FBN Health. We were able to talk to an agent and they made it easy to fill out the forms online.” Get coverage designed for farmers through FBN Health Fill out our online application to receive a free quote, compare plans and see how much you can potentially save by signing up for coverage through FBN Health. © 2015-2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered trademarks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. Testimonial is not indicative of future performance or success; savings may vary. FBN merchandise was provided in exchange for testimonials FBN Health is currently available in 29 states (AL, AR, AZ, CO, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NE, ND, NM, NV, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV) (*Note: CO groups have specific participation requirements, contact us for more information.) FBN does not offer traditional health insurance. But while we do not offer traditional health insurance, we do offer FBN Health, a level-funded group health benefit program offered by Medova Healthcare Financial Group, LLC as Lifestyle Health Plans and is available only where Medova is licensed.  You cannot obtain coverage under a Lifestyle Health Plan until you complete and submit an application for the plan and your application is accepted and approved by Medova. Eligibility and benefit exclusions and limitations apply. 


30 Oct 2020

by Brian Paff

When it comes time to buy inputs for the following crop year, you need to decide how you’re going to pay for your seed and crop protection products.  Do you pay for everything in cash? Finance your purchase now and pay in full after next year’s harvest? Hold off till closer to planting/seeding season hoping you’ll have more flexibility once you’ve marketed a greater share of your grain? There’s a lot that goes into the decision-making process, but developing a strategy and finding the right payment option for your farm operation can make a big difference. When does it make sense to finance your input purchases? There are very real benefits to financing your seed and crop protection input purchases, particularly in the initial weeks and months following harvest.  For one, many seed and chemical companies offer incentives for buying inputs early. So even if you don’t have the capital to pay in cash now, the total discount you can potentially get for purchasing in the fall might outweigh the interest you’ll end up paying post-harvest. Enjoy flexibility and savings potential all season long. Financing your input purchases in the fall can also free up important cash flow for other needs you might face on your operation throughout the year.  Paying in cash when you’re able feels good, no doubt about it. But having capital in hand can be vitally important if and when you need to spend money on a custom application, equipment maintenance or other in-season demands you run into for your operation. You do have to weigh the overall cost of financing your purchase, though.  Let’s say you book a $40,000 seed and chemical order on November 15 of this year and finance the purchase with a 5% interest rate. If you’re not able to pay in full until the end of the following year, you’d end up owing a little over $2,250 in interest when all is said and done. * Amount owed assuming purchase is paid in full on 12/31/21 with a 5% total interest rate. See what 0% financing on inputs can do for your farm At Farmers Business Network ® , we want to make sure you can take advantage of pre-season savings and still have that financial flexibility throughout the crop year. Our special 0% input financing offer can make a huge impact on your farm’s bottom line. Once you’ve been approved for 0% input financing, you’ll be ready to buy the inputs you need from FBN Direct ® for the upcoming season and not have to worry about payments until the end of the 2021 crop year.  "Having 0% financing is huge on my farm. Bottom line? More money in my pocket, because it seems like our margins are getting tighter year after year."* - David Z., Alberta And it gets even better: Reach our 0% Club threshold (total spend of $35,000 in the U.S., $50,000 in Canada) prior to March 31, 2021, and you’ll enjoy 0% financing on inputs through FBN Direct all season long.  That means you won’t have to pay interest on chemicals to control unforeseen weed escapes post-emergence or that last-minute fungicide purchase until after harvest. And that gives you even more flexibility to manage your operation throughout the growing season. Apply for 0% input financing through Farmers Business Network Get ready to purchase inputs for the upcoming crop year today. Apply for 0% financing with Farmers Business Network  and enjoy the flexibility and savings potential this can deliver to your operation. * Testimonial is not indicative of future performance or success; savings may vary. FBN merchandise was provided in exchange for testimonial.Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” “FBN Direct,” “Farmers First,” “F2F” and “F2F Genetics Network” are registered trademarks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states/provinces where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. For For U.S. farmers: Input financing is offered by FBN Finance, LLC, and is available only where FBN Finance, LLC, is licensed. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., and meet certain underwriting requirements. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. For Canadian farmers: Input financing is offered by Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. in connection with Farm Credit Canada (FCC). Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., and meet certain underwriting requirements. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. By applying for credit through FCC, you consent to Farmer’s Business Network Canada, Inc., providing information you provide on an application form to FCC or its designated third party service providers. Not all applicants will qualify.


12 Oct 2020

by Brian Paff

Ever wonder how your farm measures up? It can be hard to know if you’re getting the most out of every acre just using your own records.  You might compare results on your farm to what you’ve seen before — how much nitrogen you used last year compared to this year, for example, or which hybrid worked on these acres but not those — but at the end of the day, you don’t know what you don’t know.  You need a data-driven tool to evaluate your farm’s performance What if you could see how your fields actually compare to those of other farms across your region, state/province or even the whole country? How would being able to more accurately assess this year’s practices inform your plans for next year? FBN® Benchmarking can help with that. Available when you sign up for a free FBN membership * and enter some basic operational information, FBN Benchmarking shows you how your operation compares to anonymized results from thousands of other member farmers who contribute data. Our tool helps you evaluate past performance on your farm and determine which practices and environmental factors deserve a second look, including: Seed Brand and Variety Seeding Rate GDUs Crop Rotation Tillage Practices Nitrogen Applications Soil Productivity Index Precipitation Planting/Harvest Dates Field/Enterprise Size Using this data, you can identify trends by comparing current and past performance on each field or across your entire operation. You can also analyze the relationship between different seed variety-soil type combinations and find the ones that work best for your operation. How to use FBN Benchmarking on your farm To get started with Benchmarking, add planting and harvest events for at least one year — or multiple years, if you choose — to the FBN app and let our tool organize and analyze the information for you; the more data you add, the more detailed and accurate your insights will be.  The data you enter will always remain anonymous to others across the network, both in FBN Benchmarking and other tools. Navigate to Performance under the My Operation tab in your member account to begin evaluating your farm’s production (Note: Benchmarking is not yet available in the FBN app but can be accessed via desktop or mobile phone by logging into your account at fbn.com). You can adjust the filters at the top of the page to focus on the parameters that matter most to you, measuring performance by crop against similar farms in your county, region, state or country.  Then break out field-by-field performance by selecting a field you’ve entered into your account according to a whole variety of practices and characteristics specific to that field. Our tool will also show you the number of acres and fields used to generate the average by which your farm’s performance is benchmarked so you have a clear picture of the dataset with which we’re working.  Benchmarking is only available once certain data requirements are in place in order to ensure your privacy and the privacy of other members across the network: There must be a minimum group of 1,000 acres and 100 fields — and a geographic radius of at least 50 miles/80 kilometers — in order for you to unlock these field-specific insights. Create your free account to start using FBN Benchmarking Ready to get a more accurate picture of your farm’s performance? Sign up for a free member account and upload some planting/seeding and harvest data to put Benchmarking to work on your operation. © 2015-2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct”, “Farmers First” and the Farmers First flag logo are registered trademarks and service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. * Access to Benchmarking is included with free FBN membership; fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than membership. Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.Asgrow® is a registered trademark of Bayer AG. LG® is a registered trademark of AgReliant Genetics, LLC.


Article Tools And Technology

Seed Selection Insights for Canadian Farmers

18 Sept 2020

by Brian Paff

Seed selection is a fundamental part of every growing season. After all, much of your farm’s yield potential is determined at seeding. So it makes sense that your investment in seed is one of the most important decisions you will make all season long. But how do you evaluate the many hybrids and varieties on the market today to choose seeds that have the potential to deliver the most value to your operation? FBN® Seed Finder is a game-changer for seed selection FBN Seed Finder—available to all Canadian farmers once they sign up for a free FBN membership * and upload or email a seed invoice and some basic information—can help you put together a seed lineup for the next growing season to maximize your profit potential. Want to access  FBN Seed Finder insights? Our tool provides you with insights from more than 4.7 million acres of real-world, member-contributed data covering more than 300 seed varieties used across Canada, including canola, wheat, peas, barley and other crops—all delivered conveniently to your mobile phone. By uploading or emailing a seed invoice and entering some basic information from your operation, you will unlock all of FBN Seed Finder’s insights for your farm and fields, including: Yield Potential FBN Yield Potential is built into Seed Finder, helping you evaluate different seed varieties on each field based on real-world performance data in response to soil type and various agronomic practices. For example, our analysis for our recent report, The Future of the Family Farm , showed that farmers who planted the canola hybrid recommended through Seed Finder outperformed those who planted some other seed variety by an average of 7 bushels per acre.** These insights have the potential to make a big difference for farmers across the Prairies. “Using Seed Finder, that’s a game-changer,” says Riley Emerson, a farmer from Alberta. “It’s going to make a difference for our operation when we’re looking at canola hybrids, seeing the yield across so many farms and what works in our area.”*** With Seed Finder at your fingertips, you can browse performance data in response to various factors—planting population, nitrogen, crop rotation, precipitation and planting speed—and find the best seeds for every field on your farm, accounting for your specific soil types, drainage and irrigation. Want to know more about our data-driven tools? Price Transparency Another important component of Seed Finder is FBN Price Transparency. Drawing from more than 1,000 member-provided seed invoices, the tool provides real-world price information on more than 200 commercial seed varieties. Farmers have traditionally put in a lot of legwork looking for a good price, contacting retailers and sales reps to see what they could find. Our tool is right at your fingertips, frequently uncovering the opportunity for significant savings.  “Price transparency is fantastic for farmers,” says Darren Sander, a farmer in Saskatchewan. “It gives us a level playing field when we’re buying inputs to know that we’re getting the best possible deal for our farms.”*** The tool allows you to see what prices other farmers in your region are paying for a particular hybrid or variety, helping you make more confident decisions when it comes to purchasing seed. "Price transparency gives us a level playing field when we’re buying inputs to know that we’re getting the best possible deal for our farms." - Darren Sander, Saskatchewan*** Seed price and performance insights can help you make more confident decisions when it comes to selecting seed. Get started with your free FBN membership today to put Seed Finder to work on your farm. Sign up for your free FBN member account Join a global network of farmers — 30,000 strong and growing—who are already taking advantage of the opportunity to reduce their cost of production and maximize the value of their crops. Sign up for your free membership today . * Free membership is currently available to Canadian farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Fees may apply for certain product and service offerings other than FBN membership. ** Individual results and performance may vary depending on local growing, soil and weather conditions. InVigor® and LibertyLink® are registered trademarks of BASF Canada Inc.  ***Testimonials are not indicative of future performance or success. FBN merchandise provided for testimonials. Copyright © 2014-2021 Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network", "FBN", and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. .


14 Sept 2020

by Brian Paff

As a farmer, you are a steward of the environment. Just take a look at all of the conservation practices you’ve incorporated into your operation: No-till and strip-till farming, using variable rate fertilizer applications, planting cover crops and any other number of activities that aim to care for the land you farm and other natural resources.  But while these measures have obvious benefits—from addressing production costs to supporting yield objectives to promoting the long-term sustainability of your farm—it is still surprisingly difficult for you to reap a tangible financial reward for your efforts. At the same time, consumers are increasingly interested in—and willing to pay a premium for—products that reflect a commitment to the environment.  How then can you take advantage of this growing market demand for sustainable agriculture products and receive fair compensation for regenerative agriculture practices? Introducing Gradable™  Today we launched Gradable™  to begin reimagining the grain supply chain and expanding your access to Low-Carbon Grain premiums. Our integrated platform puts new technology and services into your hands, helping facilitate the environmental scoring, sourcing and pricing of your grain.  Want to get more out of your sustainability efforts? We’re also supporting your conservation efforts by focusing on carbon abatement strategies backed by data-driven insights. Gradable pilots have achieved great success to date, demonstrating 20 percent emissions reductions against national averages.* “We’re happy to find out that the practices we’ve adopted are saving us money and making us a better return.” - Todd Hanten, South Dakota** Gradable is likewise working to align the supply chain to better connect you with consumer-packaged goods companies, animal feed providers, biofuel makers and the world’s other major grain buyers. The end result of this shared effort is to both accelerate the adoption of regenerative practices and give you the opportunity to maximize your profit potential. Find out how Gradable can work for your operation Ready to take advantage of these new benefits for regenerative practices? Learn more about Gradable  and how we can support your sustainability and profitability goals. * Results and averages calculated using Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model **Testimonial is not indicative of future performance or success. © 2015-2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. Copyright ©2020 Gradable. All rights reserved. “Gradable” and the Gradable logo are registered trademarks of Gradable.


28 Aug 2020

by Brian Paff

For most farmers, the process of buying crop protection inputs hasn’t changed in years.  You start by calling a local retailer to see if they have the inputs you want and what price they can offer you. If the price seems right, you make the purchase; if it doesn’t, you decide whether or not to go through the same process again, shopping around with other retailers until you’re satisfied. Sound familiar? At Farmers Business Network℠ , we are transforming the way farmers shop for ag chemical products . Our game-changing crop protection platform, FBN Direct℠ , lets you make purchases right from your phone. You can also see transparent pricing and comparable products with the same active ingredient, helping you identify potential savings on inputs to better support your bottom line. See how you can unlock potential savings with FBN Direct . Based on our analysis of more than 3,200 unique pricing points, we’ve offered a lower price—either for the same exact product or a generic alternative—for 89 percent of the most popular chemical products on the market in 2020. On average, the price on FBN Direct is generally 15 percent below the market average reported by member farmers. FBN Direct provides savings potential to the Bellar operation Luke Bellar grows corn, soybeans and wheat with his father, Mike, on the family farm in Southeast Kansas.  For their operation, buying chemicals through FBN Direct has delivered significant savings. “The amount of money we’ve saved is in the thousands,” Luke says. “We’re glad it’s an option for us. It’s been a heck of a cost-saver for the family operation.” The Bellars use the online tools in their FBN member account to compare prices for products they need.  They purchased roughly half of their crop protection inputs—mostly generic alternatives to more familiar products with the same active ingredients—through FBN Direct for the 2020 crop year. “It’s just really simple and easy to do,” says Mike of buying chemicals online, “and they’re delivered right to the farm. I have them on hand and don’t worry about running out.”* Are you equipped for the challenges you face? A game-changing crop protection platform is just one of many data-driven solutions we’re delivering to farmers to help them reduce the cost of production, maximize the value of their crop and make confident decisions. Download our free report, The Future of the Family Farm , to learn more about ways we’re responding to challenges in today’s ag economy to put Farmers First® . ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL USE INSTRUCTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix. This information should not be used as a replacement for consulting the applicable product label. Consult the label for the most complete and up-to-date information about any referenced product. Readers must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirement *Testimonial is not indicative of future performance or success, results will vary. FBN merchandise provided for testimonial.Roundup PowerMAX® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.© 2015-2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. Products on FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where products are registered, if applicable. Terms and conditions apply.