Agricultural retailers increasingly rely on science-based solutions to improve their customers’ farms. They are building valuable customer relationships and optimizing farmland returns by helping farmers test and maximize the health of their soil. While research on soil testing began in the 1800s, some farmers still consider it unnecessary. Yet, how can farmers improve their soil without reliable, real-time data on how their inputs affect soil biodiversity, health, nutrient cycling, disease risk, and more? This is where forward-thinking retailers can help.
Why Retailers Need the Latest Soil Testing Technology
CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange reports that retailers are investing in new Agricultural technologies to remain successful in today’s marketplace. With the costs of farming reaching all-time highs, retailers are looking for new methods to address customer concerns with science-backed recommendations that can drive crop productivity while optimizing inputs. And the answers may lie in advanced soil biology testing.
Having a deep understanding of the effects of inputs on soil biology and the soil microbiome enables retailers to make precise, evidence-based recommendations to farmers. From improving nutrient availability to stimulating growth to managing pests, retailers can provide farmers with a holistic look at what their soil needs through advanced soil health analysis.
Data-Driven Soil Health Technology Can Help Support Retailer Success
BeCrop® Test provides functional soil analysis and translates complex data into user-friendly reports based on the abundance of microorganisms that live in the soil and what functions they are performing. The test considers the entire system of physical, chemical, and biological components of the soil as follows:
Physical: The soil structure, which enables water and nutrient movement.
Chemical: The minerals and macro and micronutrients are required for crop health.
Biological: The microbiome, which influences and supports both the physical and chemical components of the soil.
BeCrop® Test provides intelligence on soil biodiversity and the global functions of microbial networks. Powered by the largest global database of microorganisms, the test offers a data-driven picture of soil health in any field to identify areas for improvement, provide reasons for yield changes, assess nutrient cycling, and predict disease risks. By analysing and understanding the soil’s biodiversity at the individual field or crop level, retailers can help farmers make science-backed decisions that optimize input placement and costs.
Offering Soil Testing as a Product and a Service
Upgrading to the latest soil testing technology can give retailers a competitive edge and build their brand as well-informed advisors that farmers can count on. Since BeCrop® Test is an independent and brand-agnostic provider of soil health insights, retailers can empower farmers with the knowledge to apply only the products that their soil needs.
Retailers can support their customers with BeCrop® Test in two ways:
Offer BeCrop® Testing as a Service
Retailers would collect soil samples from their customers’ fields and send them to a third-party lab for analysis. The results would then be uploaded back into the BeCrop® platform for our proprietary algorithm to determine the soil’s needs. Retailers would receive a thorough, user-friendly BeCrop® Report on soil biodiversity, nutrient cycling, health, and more, to empower their data-backed recommendations. They would also gain access to BeCrop® Portal tools, such as heatmaps, GIS map layers, and detailed microbial population tools, to conduct customized comparisons of parcels and samples across locations and time. The BeCrop® app would ensure reports and recommendations are conveniently available for retailers and customers on their mobile devices.
Sell BeCrop® Test Kits to Customers
Farmers would purchase soil testing kits, collect their own samples, and send them to a third-party lab for analysis. As mentioned above, the results would then be uploaded back into the BeCrop® platform to determine what the soil needs. Farmers would receive thorough, user-friendly BeCrop® Reports on soil biodiversity, nutrient cycling, health, and more via email or have access to reports on the BeCrop® app.
Optimizing Input Decisions
In today’s precision farming, differentiation in the marketplace for retailers will come from not only providing great products but by providing great agronomic expertise. The best retailers make data-driven recommendations that ensure healthy soil function, optimize customer input strategies, reduce input costs, and maximize farm outcomes. Leveraging state-of-the-art biological soil testing, retailers with the tools to understand and interpret soil functionality will be well-equipped to optimize their recommendations to their farmers.