Q: Should supplier rebates play a role in making crop protection decisions?
A: The decision about which products growers choose for their farming operations is dependent on many factors. These factors should include product efficacy, rotational and environmental considerations and price.
As an agrologist, growers often ask me, “What is the best product?” My answer, quite often, has a selection of products with several scenarios. In my opinion, growers should question any recommendation that does not include options. Today’s crop protection suppliers in Western Canada have a broad array of product choices and when selected properly can aid growers in managing many situations.
The success of any farming operation lies not in producing the most bushels, but in producing the most bushels at the highest economic return. For growers to maximize this, recommendations and decisions must consider the agronomic fit of a product, product price as well as the economic impact of grower programs. Grower programs are designed to encourage product selection within the supplier’s portfolio, and when applied appropriately can offer growers savings.
Crop protection planning for next year should begin in the fall with field assessments, including changes in weed pressure or species shifts as well as exploration of any potential disease, insect or resistance issues. Applications for the following season may start in the fall, planning throughout the winter. This is a great time to explore options to address crop protection needs and the impact of potential grower rebates.
Equally important is in-season field scouting to ensure that planned product selections still fit the needs of each field.
My advice to growers is to seek out professionals who understand the value of these programs and who can help integrate them in finding the best solutions – offering the best advice as opposed to the cheapest price, as ignoring supplier programs undermines the potential for the highest economic return.
Twyla Jones, PAg, CCA, is a manager of agronomic services for Nutrien Ag Solutions in north-central Alberta.