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Cooperation is key

GreenPoint Ag leaders emphasize transparency and communication as farmers look forward to 2022
Story and photos by Claire Hill 12/22/2021

 

GreenPoint Ag President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Blair provided an informational update about crop input pricing, supply and demand, and the importance of cooperation in 2022 to Co-op managers Nov. 29 at Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s annual meeting in Nashville.
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Farmers should feel confident of crop input supplies for spring even as the global pandemic continues to disrupt the supply chain. 


That’s what three GreenPoint Ag experts declared throughout the GreenPoint Ag breakaway session at Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s annual meeting on Nov. 29 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. GreenPoint Ag, which is one of Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s joint venture companies, is an agricultural input supplier serving farmers and rural communities in the Southeastern United States.  


Addressing key Co-op leadership, GreenPoint Ag experts including Jeff Blair, president and chief executive officer, Mackie Sides, director of crop production products, and Chris Carter, director of crop nutrients, shared a common outlook for agronomy in 2022 —communication and cooperation are key.


“The disruption of the supply chain has affected us all, unfortunately,” said Sides. “Simple things such as not having the ink for label printing, not having access to plastic half-gallon jugs for the product, and transportation delays have impacted our business.” 


Sides also shared how the cost of shipping and port delays across the seaboards in the United States have delayed product delivery from the ports to the American farmers.  


“Manufacturing facilities in China are being closed for periods due to energy limits with the country’s Blue Skies Initiative to curb pollution leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing,” said Sides. “Some 70 to 75 percent of the active ingredients for crop protection chemicals come from China, and that will ultimately impact our farmers.”


The Blue Skies Initiative aims to reduce emissions and cut back on heavy smog in northern China, especially as the games will draw global attention to the country. The United States is an importing country with most crop input supplies coming from countries such as China and Russia, and thanks to GreenPoint Ag, Tennessee farmers are purchasing supplies at a global stage. 


As farmers plan, GreenPoint Ag experts shared the message to not cancel fertilizer orders and act like business as usual to allow every farmer the opportunity for the product as it’s important not to overstock. 


“Farmers need to over-communicate with their Co-op agronomy teams as we move forward into planning for the 2022 spring planting season,” said Blair. “Communication is key as we work to better serve you.” 


Concern for community and cooperation among cooperatives are among the seven cooperative principles that govern the local Co-ops across the state. 


“The cooperative principles are extremely important regarding the agronomy industry in 2022,” said Blair. “If you have a supply that you don’t need, it’s okay to say ‘I’ve got extra product’ in case other Co-ops or farmers could benefit from it. Also, let your local Co-op agronomy team know if you are hurting for supplies so they can assist. It’s always important for us to work together, but in this current climate, it’s even more so. We are always here for the farmers, but we all have to work together to ensure everyone is taken care of in this post-pandemic climate.”


GreenPoint Ag experts shared that last year was a good year and their team members are already lining up the March supply. 


“The production issues that we felt after Hurricane Ida are still affecting us today with the loss of urea product,” said Carter. “The energy crisis in Europe, China’s factory closures due to emissions, and logistical issues all affect the current market climate. China and Russia have even had limitations or quotas and that also drives the market up.” 


Timing is everything, and fertilizer prices are at all-time highs due to strong demand and the high cost of raw materials. 


“The rising cost of natural gas has affected pricing, as the gas is used to make a lot of the fertilizers, especially in Europe and the United Kingdom,” Carter said. “Prices for crops such as soybeans and corn are also high right now, and farmers are eager to take advantage of the prices, hence increasing demand for fertilizer to be used in 2022.” 


Blair re-emphasized the importance of local Co-op staff keeping their farmer members updated on changes in the soil nutrients market. The more information GreenPoint Ag has on the forefront, the better aligned they are to have the supply needed for the farmers. 


Contact your local Co-op for more information or to purchase crop inputs for 2022 spring planting. 


 
 
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