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FarmLogs Shifts Focus to Marketing Tools

When FarmLogs was launched in 2011, the founders were filling a void with its agronomic data science platform. Fast forward to today, and that once-desolate field has become very crowded.

“We were innovating way beyond what anyone else was doing at the time,” says Jesse Vollmar, CEO of FarmLogs. “Now your seed dealers or agronomists can set you up on a system that is free or cheap when you buy product from them. It doesn’t make good business sense to compete with companies who are subsidizing their software platforms to enhance their product sales.”

As the Michigan start-up looks to its future, Vollmar shares the company’s plan going forward.

SF: Why shift from focusing primarily on agronomic data science and tools to marketing tools?

JV: Most farmers are good at pushing yields, but the majority struggle with not having a simple and easy way to make sure they can sell their bushels at a profit. We regularly ask our customers about the biggest challenges they face. The number one response is dealing with the markets. We believe this is a challenge that wasn’t being properly addressed and wanted to fix it for our customers.

SF: What marketing tools do you currently offer?

JV: Last year, we launched a new marketing tool that helps growers quickly and easily calculate their cost of production, track their grain sales, and monitor the value of their crop throughout the season. This year, we unveiled AutoHedge, a completely new product that does the marketing for you. This tool gives growers an incredibly simple and effective way to sell their crop without the usual stress and emotion that comes from watching prices and trying to decide when to pull the trigger. The program leverages 20 years of corn and soybean price data to automatically price an even amount of enrolled bushels on each trading day when prices are historically at their best. It eliminates the guesswork and brokerage accounts with margin calls so growers can stay focused on farming while knowing AutoHedge is making them money.

SF: How is the FarmLogs marketing tool different from other crop marketing tools?

JV: We work really hard to keep things simple. We understand that, for most growers, marketing can be daunting and isn’t all that enjoyable. Our research shows that over 80% of growers don’t have a marketing tool other than a custom spreadsheet that they put together or a simple scratch pad calculation. As such, they tend to leave a lot of money on the table. We want to make it a whole lot easier for farmers to get paid more and to better manage their marketing.The other major difference with AutoHedge is that it actually lets you do your marketing with the push of a button in the app. That just doesn’t exist anywhere else.

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