New Partnership Helps Farmers Make Smarter Tech, Finance Decisions

Posted by Sara Schafer on Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:45

Does it make financial sense to apply a late-season fungicide? Would adding a niche crop generate a consistent revenue stream? How can you prove your farming practices are sustainable? 

To answer these questions with confidence, farmers need to be able to analyze layers of agronomic, financial and management information—both individually and with their trusted advisers. That’s the purpose behind a new partnership between Rabo AgriFinance and Conservis

In late 2018, the two companies announced a partnership that will ultimately help farmers better use ag data to make informed business decisions. The companies will co-develop technology for U.S. crop farmers to seamlessly connect their real-time field and management data with financial results.

“With the extended period of low commodity prices, producers really need to zero in and understand their cost of production,” says Robert Lubben, head of digital, Rabo AgriFinance. “So, getting their information organized is critical, and that information is going to come from a variety of sources.”

The Conservis platform provides real-time production, planning and inventory management information across a farm operation for row and permanent crops. By partnering with Rabo AgriFinance, Conservis can deepen their financial reporting options so farmers can make faster and smarter decisions and be able to generate lender-ready, up-to-date reports, says Pat Christie, founder of Conservis.

“Lenders are always saying, ‘We need better information,’” Lubben says. “This platform gives you all that information and it makes the flow of information very simple and easy for clients, while keeping them in total control. Our clients are still empowered on how they share their data.”

Lubben says the financial reporting capabilities will save farmers time and create a more efficient decision-making process for the loan renewal process. “We've heard from clients and our own staff that these types of reports cut the time and back-and-forth questions down by half,” he adds. 

In working together, the Rabo AgriFinance and Conservis teams plan to explore industry advancements such as benchmarking, integrations with accounting software and other new services to help improve decision making and profitability.