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.