Agriculture has always been about much more than planting a seed and hoping it grows. Growing a high-yielding, high-quality crop requires a lot of knowledge, experience, and perspective.
In today’s world, awesome innovations in agriculture can make farming more profitable and sustainable. But, gaining the knowledge and experience to understand different products, options, and innovations can be challenging. For farmers, navigating this complex world often means relying on an agronomist or retailer to provide expertise. But even for product experts, the volume of offerings available can be overwhelming.
While there are seemingly new solutions created to address agriculture’s challenges every day, the sheer number of offerings can create a problem all of its own. These solutions are only advantageous if growers, agronomists and advisors, and retailers can find the right fit for them.
In the future, farmers will rely on innovative solutions that empower them and drive the agricultural industry forward. ICL stands out as a leading pioneer in investing in digital agriculture solutions. With its extensive industry expertise, advanced fertilizer solutions, and state-of-the-art technologies, ICL is uniquely positioned to bring about transformative outcomes for the agricultural sector.
Their unwavering dedication to supporting growers, and promoting environmental sustainability creates a winning combination that sets them apart. By embracing ICL’s digital agriculture solutions, farmers can unlock new levels of productivity, efficiency, and success.
One of ICL’s standout digital agriculture solutions is GROWERS. This innovative offering has made waves in the digital agriculture space, promising transformative benefits for growers and the industry as a whole.
Addressing the challenges of the business of agriculture is what influenced Steven Valencsin, CEO and founder of GROWERS.
Valencsin is based in Durham, North Carolina, and grew up in agriculture, inspiring him to study business and agronomy. Eventually, that background inspired him to create an agrotech solution that he says is designed “to connect farmers and their trusted advisor to make it easier for them to do business together.”
What is GROWERS?
GROWERS is a digital service platform that enhances decision-making for farmers, agronomists, and industry professionals by creating adaptable and easy-to-execute data-driven recommendations. GROWERS has deep roots in the industry – since 2012, GROWERS has driven technology towards every farmer, advisor, and retailer.
GROWERS is a unique solution that provides advantages across key relationships in agriculture rather than working to disrupt them. It’s a suite of platforms for farmers, independent agronomists, and retailers to engage efficiently and effectively. These solutions are available in the U.S., but expansion plans include South America and Europe.
The platforms include a retail sales solution, an app that allows product price comparison, access to data analysts to support data-driven decision-making, and a marketing solution for retailers to stay connected to customers.
GROWERS is inspired by a view of how technology will engage and empower growers in the future.
“The role technology will play in the future – I believe is now more about offering access and connecting farmers to the things they need to be more profitable and sustainable. At GROWERS, we define that as inputs, capital, markets, and land,” said Valencsin.
Valencsin sees profitability and sustainability working hand in hand. He knows that having an economically viable business is priority number one for most family farms. GROWERS is aiming to be an answer to Valencsin’s key question: “How do we equip people to save the family farm where the environment also wins?”
How does it work?
GROWERS is supported by a network of ag retailers and cooperatives that assist farmers in their decision-making and execution. GROWERS provides value-added features for farmers, agronomists, and ag retailers alike – helping them to connect on a singular platform and work seamlessly and efficiently.
GROWERS’ digital agriculture approach addresses the needs of farmers, agronomists, retailers, and even manufacturers.
Through the free GROWERS platform, farmers see more choices through the creation of free and fair competition. The agriculture industry has seen consolidation in everything from farms to farm machinery manufacturing to input product production. This consolidation generally creates fewer options for farmers, and also less competition.
Retailers benefit from these digital agriculture solutions, too. They see more opportunities to do business with farmers, including those that they haven’t been directly engaging with before. Increased market intelligence opens doors for new businesses in input sales and agronomic services. GROWERS allows retailers to expand beyond their geographies serviced by brick-and-mortar locations with minimal capital risk involved in scaling to reach a broader market.
Manufacturers also have an opportunity to gain from the GROWERS platform. Digital solutions help manufacturers in agriculture to increase product awareness, deepen customer understanding of product value, and increase margin without spending marketing dollars on non-revenue producing tactics.
The GROWERS app enables manufacturers to interface with farmers throughout the purchase funnel, influencing their decision-making and eventually driving sales.
GROWERS’ Digital Solutions
The GROWERS platform consists of four digital agriculture solutions, each tailored to deliver unique value to a part of the agriculture supply chain.
- GROWERS Rally is a tech stack that exists to help retailers and manufacturers manage their salesforce and customer data efficiently, according to Valencsin. It provides a unified view of a customer’s whole profile and relevant data so retailers and manufacturers can anticipate customer needs, create more accurate business plans, and drive customized customer experiences.
Customer data can be managed and sorted to manage relationships and relevant follow-up. It’s also easy to share best practices and tried-and-true product recommendations with customers. Pricing can be shared with confidence using the price and product list management features.
- The GROWERS App places the input purchasing power in the hands of farmers. In one single place, farmers can manage quotes, prices, and even retailer relationships. Farmers simply request input products and services, select which networks should receive the request, and sit back while prices and recommendations roll in. Farmers can take advantage of their local retailers and the GROWERS Retail Network – a group of retailers and cooperatives that hit the GROWERS standard for service.
- GROWERS Guide helps farmers dive into data to make management decisions without doing the analysis themselves. GROWERS Guide connects farmers to precision ag data experts who can analyze, consolidate, and generate reports to support data-driven decision-making. GROWERS Guide can help farmers with everything from data management to consulting and training.
- GROWERS Connect is designed to help retailers stay engaged with their customers through text message campaigns. The platform groups customers and helps promote relevant products and discounts through messages sent straight to their phones. GROWERS Connect even offers a team of marketers to craft and execute a customized marketing strategy.
GROWERS and Digital Agriculture
GROWERS started with one idea: putting easy-to-use digital solutions in the hands of every farmer, advisor, and retailer in the agriculture industry. Built to make the lives of farmers easier in order to maintain sustainable businesses and enable decision-making with the environment in mind, GROWERS now has a suite of tools that target all stakeholders without disrupting their key relationships.
The passion and respect GROWERS was founded on have translated into GROWERS Rally, GROWERS Guide, GROWERS App, and GROWERS Connect. Each provides unique value to make doing business in agriculture easy and efficient. By providing access and options for the things farmers need to be profitable and sustainable, GROWERS helps farmers to make the data-driven decisions that drive to the bottom line. GROWERS is tightly connected with the market and the people in it – building solutions that work for the industry because farmers are deeply embedded in the development process.
In short, GROWERS understands agriculture and understands growers. GROWERS’ digital agriculture platform is making space in the industry for retailers to make a difference in the increasingly competitive marketplace and providing a unique opportunity for farmers, retailers, and manufacturers to all win.