More than a 6-Pack: The “Case” of Organic Transition

AGI SureTrack Team

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On Super Bowl Sunday, more than 100 million viewers watched, arguably, the biggest sports game of the year – for perspective, the U.S. population is somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 million.

With so many attentive viewers, it’s no wonder the commercials aired during the big-game are as anticipated as the competition, itself.
Companies vie for an opportunity to drop $7-10 million dollars for a 30 second spot to reach potential customers, we can expect impactful, resonating and, hopefully, memorable campaigns: enter the mustache wave…

For the second year in a row, the creative team at Anheuser-Busch shook the agriculture community with its campaign. This year, however, Michelob Ultra’s Pure Gold USDA Organic Certified beer offered a message of inclusion rather than the divisiveness and turmoil of the company’s “no high fructose corn syrup” claim (later in the year, a U.S. judge ordered a halt to the label claim) that sparked the #DumpDillyDilly rally amongst U.S. corn growers in 2019.
“America, less than one-percent of our farmland is organic,” the advertisement’s female narrator bemoaned. “And farmers who want to transition face monumental challenges.

What if we could help them, simply by having a beer?”

The advertisement for the brand’s new line of USDA organic certified beer offers consumers the opportunity to invest in the transition of conventionally farmed agricultural acres to organically farmed agricultural acres, “simply by having a beer”. For every six-pack purchased, the company will help transition 6 square feet of conventional agricultural production land to an organically certified production system, helping producers to overcome the “monumental challenges” involved in the conversion.

But what are the Challenges?

At AGI SureTrack, we are excited to see companies helping farmers to find new marketing avenues and opportunities in the wake of agriculture’s long-term economic downturn.

And we can help…

Ben Elliott, research consultant for AGI SureTrack, says that the “how-to” is the biggest challenge for farmers hoping to transition conventional acres to organically certified acreage. Knowing how to navigate the crop production cycles and certification process are at the top of the “how-to” list.

Elliott says that through the on-going research being conducted at AGI SureTrack, the company is nearing the point of a full-circle “how-to” plan to help farmers methodically transition to organic production.
“We (AGI SureTrack) are getting really close to a complete “how-to” on systems for growers,” he says. “We have systems available now, where we layout a pathway with all of the instructions and understanding for a grower, everything that a grower needs to do. That includes the (organic) certification process, the agronomy, the chemistry and recommendations on any input and how to use that product in the system.”

Elliott says that the tools SureTrack offers a grower provide an individual approach to not just a specific grower, but to a specific field.

The solution utilizes YieldFax, a software that allows a grower to select a seed based on the characteristics they wish to grow for, such as protein, starch or oil content. Into the growing season and beyond, the integrated hardware solutions: FieldDataManager and BinManager®, create growing and storing solutions for real-time, on-farm management decisions to be made.

But the “how-to” doesn’t end with harvest and storage because SureTrack understands how challenging it can be for a new organic, specialty or non-gmo grower to find and develop the market relationships necessary to establishing profitability.

Using CashBidManager, a grower can see real-time cash bids up to a 400-mile radius from their location. MarketManager offers the opportunity to view live demands from merchandisers or processors and focuses on specialty and food-grade commodities. The SureTrack solutions allow growers the opportunity to not only grow for a purpose, but to market on purpose!

“We bring forward a market-space that allows relationships to develop with CashBidManager and MarketManager, allowing growers to see what marketing opportunities are available so they can plan to grow for a purpose-driven outcome,” Elliott says. “When we say, “Grow for a Purpose”, we mean select a seed that allows you to grow for a specific goal-oriented outcome.”

With the SureTrack system, growers finally have a way to collect and interpret data, bringing answers to production practices and input questions faster than ever before. The SureTrack organic conversion program boasts a three-year transition period to organic certification.

To learn more about AGI SureTrack’s program to transition conventional acres to organic acres, contact Erin Squires at erin.squires@agisuretrack.com and look for our monthly webinar series on the first Wednesday of every month.