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Wondering what everybody's thoughts are on doing business with an independent retail vs a line company? Specifically in terms of chem, seed and fert? Have seen some comments this winter regarding guys favoring independents over line companies because of the issues with basis and "fat cats getting fatter". Also. Some people say independents are more community minded and customer oriented? However, grain companies are good at tying input sales to grain deliveries....how much of a factor is that to you? Do guys prefer one over the other and if so, why? I'm curious as I see Independents doing very well and continuing to expand.
 

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Over the years I've done business with both. In my opinion, the best way to go is to go with the one that has the manager/ business as a whole, you like the most or dislike the least. Its all about personal opinion. We used to go with an independant for years. Then their granular fertilizer started getting way to powdery. So we started buying from a line company. I liked to give both some business. Then the independant got in a new manager. Right there during the first spring we were done doing business with them because he pissed me off. That's why I say go with the one you personaly like. Everyone is going to have an opinion why each one is better but you honestly have to make your own opinion and do what's best for your own farm.
 

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I can get a better price on inputs from line companies "here". Also, the local independents don't seem to offer much in the way of financing.

Local JRI where we buy our canola seed (cheapest for Liberty varieties) then also gives a premium when selling canola there. They are also best priced on fertilizer (and don't seem to get nearly as many lumps or foreign material). But, P+H or CPS is closer (depending on which field) so if I only need 1.5MT to finish a field, I'm likely to go to them.

For chem, I get 4 locals to give me a price sheet. I tell them up front that 1 dealer likely isn't going to get 100% of my chem and I won't necessarily go with the cheapest every time. After scouting, and I've made my list of what chem is needed, I phone to see who has it in stock and then will likely make my decision where to drive based on distance (urgency), price, availability, etc.

And as dfarms11 said, the relationship is important here too. We have used different retails based on manager as well. Also, there are a couple of places we still deal with, but I do 90% of my conversations with 1 guy there because the other one can be an idiot (was going to put in a different word, but the system would blank it out!) at times.

Andrew
 

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Here our independents offer better prices and more services... The coop will bring you their auger and use their truck to deliver your fert for at least 10 a tonne less than Cps or Jr I.


Blairs has real agros not summer students aground carry a wider range of products.

As far as sales being tied to inputs I don't believe that here. Had no problem shipping grain.
 

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Have seen some comments this winter regarding guys favoring independents over line companies because of the issues with basis and "fat cats getting fatter".
I would worry about your own business needs and bottom line before I started worrying about whoever you buying stuff from and if they might be making a few dollars. The minute you start thinking about "the other guy" is when you get yourself in trouble!;)
 

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I would worry about your own business needs and bottom line before I started worrying about whoever you buying stuff from and if they might be making a few dollars. The minute you start thinking about "the other guy" is when you get yourself in trouble!;)
Agreed!

That's why a couple of years ago we started getting chemical price lists from everyone. I think it was 2011? that I first did it. Taking those 2011 prices and 2010's chem bills, sticking with the "regular" dealer had cost us around $30k.

Shopping a bit is going to cost you a bit of time, but may save you a fair bit!

Andrew
 
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