Team fin herbicide buys
Finding a balance between service and price Bob Zarse, Reynolds, IN A competitive price on herbicides is nice, but we don’t necessarily look for the cheapest cost per acre. Service is much more important. We do our own spraying, but we have a “don’t touch” policy on herbicides. That means we don’t do any of the mixing ourselves. It all gets premixed at the local fertilizer plant in an agitated, 1,600-gal. stainless steel tank mounted in our truck. We rely on the plant manager to make recommendations on the specific tankmix to use for each particular situation.
Though we’ve noticed some yield drag on Roundup Ready soybeans in the past, we’ll be going with 100% RR soybeans for 2001. We believe it’s worth sacrificing some yield to get the superior weed control. But none of our corn will be genetically modified because our local elevator has a “no GM corn” policy.
Steve Webb, Needham, IN Pricing is important to me and I do shop price. But it is not as important to me as performance. Believe me, there is a lot of difference in the way dealers react when you call to tell them you have an escape and in what they will do to help correct the situation.
I sometimes wonder if farmers don’t take their buying habits a little too far. I have friends who will not buy any of their chemical inputs close to home because they can get a better deal 70 or 80 miles from home. When I take a pencil to their “deal,” I see savings of less than a dollar per acre and a lot of extra work and risk. I simply don’t think it is worth it. If I’m going to be the least-cost producer on the block, I cannot afford poor weed control. My experience says that the highest-cost control is the one that works the poorest, regardless of price.
Brad McIntosh, Hannah, ND Service or low price – it’s tough to find both in one place. So I go with two different dealers depending on my needs. Sometimes I don’t need much service, like when I’m buying a herbicide I’ve used before and know what to expect. In those cases, I go to the local seed plant that also sells chemicals for a few cents over cost. But if I’m trying a new product, I definitely want service support. And I’m willing to pay a bit more to get that support.
I’ve thought about buying chemicals on the Internet, maybe one of those sites that sells excess supply at a low price out of season. But if I buy out of season, I’ll need a heated warehouse to store it. Plus, we’re not always sure what we’ll want to use several months down the road; markets, weather, lots of things can change. Who knows? A better, cheaper product might come out after I’ve stocked up. I don’t want to get stuck holding obsolete chemicals.
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