Meeting the “Firsts” of 2022 Head-On

Dec 26, 2022

Challenges in 2022 lead to new opportunities in 2023
Your co-op dealt with a lot of “firsts” in 2022.
Supply shortages of almost all crop protection products was a real challenge. I had never seen this type of widespread crop protection supply shortages prior to 2022. We were able to get everyone what they wanted. It may have had a different name or a different package size than what people expected, but the agronomy team was able to deliver!
The volatility of the fertilizer market (both price and supply) kept us on our toes all year, but again, the agronomy department found a way to navigate those choppy waters.
We started this year rolling out an entirely new computer system, called Merchant Ag, which added to the complexity of 2022, but in the end the new system has given us a lot more information to help run our business more efficiently.
These “firsts” highlight some of the challenges our team faced in 2022, and our ability to meet those challenges was due to an agronomy team that didn’t give up. I am truly proud of our team. We have an elite team of leaders at our locations.
Our applicators are an impressive group, too. We continue building the team of seasonal part time help. This group is essential to our success throughout the year, whether they’re driving a tender truck, helping in a warehouse, or making deliveries. The agronomy team also works closely with the energy team to share labor during the peak times. (The busy spring and summer for the agronomy team is the slower season for the propane people, and by using what Federated calls The Power of One, we have been able to share employees in times of need.)
We continue leveraging technology to help us work smarter. We’re experimenting with a vehicle tracking system that makes it possible for each agronomy location to accurately pinpoint each vehicle’s location and proximity to the plant or fields. We will continue exploring and implementing technology that helps us work smarter, not harder.
Each member of the agronomy team understands that we work for you, our growers/partners, and we strive every day to be the “best in class” supplier for your agronomy needs. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the agronomy team in 2022 … I cannot wait to do it all over again in 2023!
One last note to our patrons: Will you help us find more part-time, seasonal help? We have a great team but we need more help. If you or someone you know is interested in working at your co-op on a part-time basis, please reach out to me. Spread the word about the opportunities at Federated Co-ops!
I have enjoyed meeting many growers this year, and I look forward to meeting more of you in 2023.  On behalf of the entire agronomy team and myself, Merry Christmas and have an outstanding New Year!
Scott Nelson
Director of Agronomy
Federated Co-ops, Inc.

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