There were 1,953 agricultural cooperatives in 2016 in the USA, which is 94 less than in 2015 and even 153 less than in 2014. Mergers and acquisitions are the major drivers of the decline in the number of farmer co-ops, however, the overall gross business volume also fell 2 years in a row, from $212.1 billion in 2015 to $191.1 billion in 2016 (-9.9% volume decrease). Lower commodity and input prices primarily influenced the volume fall, as well as the net income which went down for 5.3% from $7.5 billion in 2015 to $7.1 billion in 2016.
Challenging market trends are pushing farmer co-ops to find new ways to increase profitability and grow volumes and this drives the strong growth of AgTech solutions. It is expected that agriculture will be in the midst of a digital transformation by 2025, especially for fruit and grain co-ops, as fruits and vegetables are the 3rd largest commodity area for cooperatives in terms of net sales in the USA.
Agricultural technology tries to solve key challenges that farmer cooperatives are faced with:
- Variable inputs with changeable and high prices
- Low and unsustainable yield
- Not having field-to-fork traceability
- Challenges with selling farmer’s produce with a low market price
- Doing all of the above in a decentralized way while trying to collaborate with growers
The role of Agrivi farm management software is to facilitate a seamless collaboration between growers and a farmer cooperative by combining all information in one place, providing smart insights that improve both growers’ and the co-op’s efficiency.
Some of the key values that the fruit and grain cooperations get from a farm and co-op management system are:
Simple and effective collaboration with all growers
If both the grower and the farmer cooperation use a central platform, they get to see dashboards, share information with each other, track daily activities and progress.
Two-way communication between co-op and growers
Sharing messages, documents and important information in different phases of the production is crucial for making smart planning.
Better planning of inputs and yield
Having an overview of real-time data from farmer fields impacts the business overall, especially in terms of sales the co-op needs to make on the market.
Control over the whole supply process
Providing data collected from individual farmer accounts helps co-ops to have an insight into grower’s practices, activities, quantity, and delivery.
Tracking cost of crop production and yield quality & quantity
Not having an insight into all expenses and all phases a crop production goes through can easily affect the quantity and quality of the end product and its sales.
Full traceability of all agronomy practices applied
Automated and real-time insight into how growers produce and are they compliant with the required industry standards.
Advisory based on aggregated analytics and big data
The co-op can use merged and aggregated data to analyze the overall process, strategy, but also provides personalized and specific feedback to the grower when advising him.
Sharing agronomy best practices and standards throughout the whole group of farmers
With just one mouse click the FMS provides information about which growers are the most productive ones and what are they doing differently. Sharing these practices with others improves everyone’s yield.
Overview of harvest progress
This functionality within an FMS helps support crop sales and marketing activities that a fruit or grain co-op is managing.
Book a demo with Agrivi – leading FMS for farmers and ag co-ops
Experience in working with over 40,000 growers and ag co-ops in 150 countries makes Agrivi one of the leading agtech partners in the world.
Get in touch with our sales team and arrange a FREE live demo to see how Agrivi can support your agricultural cooperative!
Image source: Accenture