Why Purchase Inputs Now?

Agronomy Farm Economics

Crops are in the bins. Winter is approaching. Time to sit back and relax… Nope—it’s time to start thinking ahead to your 2019 crop! Are winter annual weeds an issue that needs to be addressed before soil freezes? Any tillage operations that should be completed? What weed, insect and disease pressures did you experience this year?

Are you planning to use many of the same chemistries that performed well for you this year?

If so, you are probably not the only farmer who wants to get their hands on them.

Consider purchasing your crop protection and chemicals now.

Here are a few reasons why this is the right time to buy:

1. Availability. If certain chemistries worked for you, chances are that other farmers may have had the same success, and the demand for those products may rise. Supply can become tight for popular products, but you can purchase now to avoid this possibility. 

2. Sale Price. This time of year, many products are often on sale to clear inventory for next year’s products. If they’re the ones you plan to use next year, you could save money and reduce your cost of production by taking advantage of lower prices now.

3. Price. It’s not uncommon for the price common chemistries used in grain production to increase each year. Some have predicted that input prices could go up 3-6 percent on many crop chemical inputs. Buying now could prove to be a smart move. 

4. Security. Once you have the products in hand, you will not be panicking or searching for the products, if and when they become scarce. It is a good feeling to know the inputs you need are going to be there whenever you want to apply them.

5. Eliminate waste. Buying products that you are certain that you will use this fall or the next crop year means making a good chemical plan first. This helps you to eliminate any potential for waste, and addresses your planned chemical needs upfront.

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We sometimes hear from farmers that they don’t think it’s possible for them to make their purchases inputs now, but many of those common reasons are actually misconceptions about when, where and how they can buy chemicals affordably.

Here are a few of them: 

1. “I do not think I have the cash flow available to make a purchase now.” If you feel you have exhausted cash options, and aren’t sure about a credit option, consider explaining to your banker or lender the degree of savings that can be realized now—he or she may decided it’s a good investment and approve the request.

2. “I don’t have adequate storage facilities for more chemicals.” A little research can help you learn which chemistries require heated storage (and any other storage restrictions) and those that don’t—you can find thousands of product labels on FBN Direct, and order accordingly. Even better, you can order now and have your order delivered next spring!

3. “I’m not yet sure which chemicals I plan to use next year.” Order the products that you are certain you will use. Keeping a detailed history of your chemical plans and cropping history will help you make this selection easy. You can always make any final chem plan adjustments around specific products at a later date—just don’t save all of the details of your initial modes of action and overall chem plan until next year!

4. “I do not have time to do fall chemical applications even when they could be of benefit, so I’ll just wait until the spring and worry about it then.” If you are planning to make a fall application, there are several herbicides that can be applied now, and still allow either corn or soybeans to be planted the next crop year. In many situations, hiring out for a chemical application can still provide a good return (if you do not have the time to make the application yourself in the fall) 

Try a 70/30 split of planning and purchasing chemicals in the fall and then finalizing your chem plan and purchasing any remaining chemicals in the spring. Planning ahead and buying your ag chemicals in the fall can offer real savings now over waiting until next season.

Always do what is right for your farming operation to remain profitable. And always be sure to read and follow label use instructions.

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