Planting Profits: Free Online Production Planning Tool Available

Published online: Mar 01, 2018 New Products
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Just in time for final 2018 planting decisions, Planting Profits is looking for a handful of progressive, diversified growers to pilot a new online production planning tool. For the pilot, a trained consultant will work one-on-one online to help evaluate all possible combinations of crops, fields and acreage. Growers who are still working on 2018 plans, or who want to take a last look at their 2018 crop mix, may be interested in participating.

Participation is free. It requires approximately two hours and growers’ involvement will benefit the agricultural community by helping Planting Profits refine its software and service model for rollout later this year. Participants in the pilot will receive an individual introduction to a powerful new tool to add to their management toolbox. When launched, Planting Profits will be free for growers.

When it comes to planning, how do you know that you’ve covered all the bases? That all your choices have been evaluated? Right now, there is a lot of stress and anxiety given crop prices. There is uncertainty in many areas. The cost of being late is high. The cost of being wrong is real.

“Our planning tool helps growers save time in planning, make more money, and manage production and market risks,” says Gary Schneider, founder of Planting Profits. “In seconds, it finds the most profitable combination of crops, fields and acreage under consideration based on preferences, objectives and limitations. All that’s needed is some basic information like production costs, price and yield forecasts, and field information. During the pilot, we will work with participating growers over the internet to generate a 2018 production plan. The plan shows the most profitable combinations of crops/fields/acres based on the operation and management decisions. It shows how various crop mixes compare in terms of profitability, risk and asset utilization. The tool does not upend a grower’s intentions, but rather shows how potential changes at the margins in one or more factors can boost profitability 10 to 30 percent. Other insights include how to optimize working capital, labor, water, equipment, or any other critical input or constraint while maximizing income. All this [can happen] in about an hour. That’s a high ROI compared with other ag tech investments.

“Our production planning tool provides the greatest benefit where there are several crop choices and some flexibility in rotations,” Schneider continues. “Many of these growers may have more crop/field/acreage choices than they can reasonably evaluate. Consider this: A farm with six fields and two crop choices for each field, like corn-corn vs. corn-beans, has 64 crop/field combinations. Add another crop, say wheat or cotton, and a couple more fields, and you can be up to 6,000 crop/field combinations. As the number of crops or fields increase, the number of possible combinations increases geometrically. And this does not even account for diversification goals, forward sales, agronomic considerations, and a host of other factors that create further choices and considerations.”

Schneider says he often asks growers where they find time to evaluate all of this and how they keep it straight. The answers vary.

“There’s no need to punt; the stakes are too high,” he says. “Planting Profits can help. It figures out in seconds what otherwise could take hours or days to work through tinkering with a spreadsheet or other software.

“The purpose of the pilot is to work with a small group of growers at the end of the 2018 planning window, get their input, and refine our tool and service. If you’re interested in helping, please contact us as soon as possible. If you know someone who might be interested, please pass this along. The planning window closes quickly, especially in the Southern states, and we can only work with a limited number of growers [at this point].”

Later this year, growers will be able to go to the Planting Profits website and use the planning tool for free. Growers will also be able to schedule an appointment via the website and get personal assistance online. To learn more about participating in the free production planning pilot, please visit the Planting Profits website, or email