New app levels the playing field when buying and selling grain

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A St Vincent area farmer has come up with a new way for producers to maximize what they can expect when they take their grain to market.

Lynn Dargis said developing the FarmBucks.com website and accompanying app was nearly two years in the making, but believes it’s a game changer in how farmers will do business in the future.

“It’s like an Expedia for grain prices.  So what I’m doing is centralizing grain bids from different companies all onto one site, sorting it according to different locations, grades, and specific crop types they want to see,” she explained.

When buying or selling their cop, farmers have to factor in things like premiums, discounts, protein content, and grade of their wheat or barley.

“It’s a one-stop shop for farmers to go and have a look and see what markets are doing, and where pricing opportunities might lie to sell their grain.”

Because prices constantly fluctuate, and can differ greatly from elevator to elevator, she said that just magnifies the need for the app, which she only developed herself because she couldn’t find a similar product already made.

She took over the family farm over a decade ago, spanning 4,400 acres, and said the convenience of having this tool in a farmer’s hands is invaluable.  Any producer, regardless of the crop, has enough on their plate day in and day out.  FarmBucks will help farmers concentrate on their primary task – farming, not surfing.

“This is just another tool to help us become more efficient and take advantage of the pricing opportunities that are out there,” she said, noting she’s often had to be doing her research on the markets while sitting at the combine, anyway.

“We’re so busy that we tend to miss out on opportunities because we don’t have the time to sit at our desks in front of a computer all day… A lot of this is about trying to make quick and easy decisions, without having to do a lot of research on the backend stuff.”

More often than not, that comes at the expense of a farmer – selling his or her grain at below market value, or buying it without properly and efficiently being able to search out the best price and place to do so.

Dargis noted that while information was already available online, most farmers only rely on one or two favourite websites, herself included, until now.

And other industries have employed the same strategy elsewhere, but the Agriculture industry, for whatever reason, has been reluctant to catch up.  “You don’t phone every hotel anymore, looking for the best deal.  There’s no reason why farmers shouldn’t have the best tools at their disposal, too.  This just levels the playing field.”

Dargis has already garnered rave reviews for FarmBucks, and was awarded the Telus Pitch – Most Promising Start-Up Award.

Nearly 400 users have signed up for the app since its launch, and is available on a year’s subscription with a 30-day trial period, and can be downloaded on Google Play or through the iPhone app store.  For more information, you can go online to www.farmbucks.com.

 

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