AgPriceBook

For participants in the pre-launch phase.

Note that if you do not use a smart phone or mobile device that is compatible with apps from either the Google Play (Android) store or the Apple (iPhone) store, this project will not be of interest to you. The application will be available to all farmers free of charge through these “stores.” The app will not initially be available for Windows platforms.

Click for Overview

AgPriceBook is an app that will allow farmers to post and find prices on inputs in various categories such as crop protection products and fertilizer. It will allow farmers to compare prices of these inputs both regionally and nationally.

The application has several features and we would like to have direct farmer feedback on how well these features work and particularly how easy or difficult they are to understand.

To that purpose we wish to avoid providing you details on how to use the app that would not be provided to a farmer downloading it for the first time.

Privacy

Your real name never appears in the application. Moreover, all data is anonymized to a 100 Km diameter which prevents identifying farmers who post prices by making “proximity connections.” As well the app does not identify specific retailers, ensuring that no identifying connection can be made between retailer and farmer.

Why participate?

This pre-launch phase gives you an opportunity to directly affect improvements in the app and to set the baseline of what prices will be in the database at launch.

As well, if farmers use the app in sufficient numbers, its benefit will reach beyond our individual farms. Over time a strong database will be built providing the foundation for reports that will be useful to farm organizations, researchers and policy makers. Using near-real time numbers, the data could provide the most reliable tracking of farm input prices ever available.

Click for Pre-Launch Terms

If you are willing to participate as a candidate for testing the app, we ask the following things of you:

1. Accept a non-disclosure agreement. By downloading the app prior to its public launch you are agreeing not to disclose the existence of the application, its features or purpose to anyone. You agree not to share any web links related to the app.2. You agree you will post at least four (4) prices for products that are included in the app, either price quotes you obtain or the actual purchase price of inputs you have recently purchased.3. You agree to communicate to us any difficulties you have with the app, any questions you have about how to use it, any concerns you have about posting prices, how the data will be used or any other concern, and to provide to us any recommendations you may have to improve the app or the experience of using the app. An online form will be provided for feedback purposes, but you may also use email or direct phone calls if you feel a fuller conversation is needed.

What about bundled prices?

As you well know, there are forces at work that obscure or mask input prices so that it is increasingly difficult to see real competitive pricing on a large range of farm inputs.

Some of this occurs due to marketing techniques such as bundling and tied selling, some of it is due to varying rebates, dividends and bonuses and some of it is just outright unwillingness of some to provide price information except in the course of a direct transaction.

The fact is that all of us have to account for our inputs as we manage our farms and individual fields. While the glyphosate may be “free” when purchased with the seed, we can’t successfully manage if our accounting for that field includes “zero” for the cost of the glyphosate applications. As strong managers who want to maximize our farm profitability each us is in the best position to know what the real cost of the inputs are. We pay for them, we use them and we account for them.

The AgPriceBook app can help overcome obstacles to price discovery and transparency if farmers actively participate by posting those prices, either price quotes received or real purchase price. Then we will all be able to compare specific input prices regionally and nationally.

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Funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Saskatchewan, this program is delivered by the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan