Economic Impact of Farm Visits for Area Chemical and Fertilizer Dealers

January - March 2003

Paul Kassel , crops field specialist

Area agriculture chemical and fertilizer dealers often turn to Iowa State University Extension when they have individual needs concerning the crop production operations of their customers. These dealers often seek extension-based assistance when crop problems have in-depth complications, legal implications or involve multiple subject matter areas.

Extension can respond to individual needs of area chemical and fertilizer dealers by assessing crop problems in the field. In-field assessments can help dealers and their farmer customers with decision-making. These in-field assessments can help the dealer and the farmer realize a sizable economic impact.
I made a total of 22 dealer visits in 2002. These dealer visits represent 51 hours of contact time with the dealer (excludes time for travel, preparation, follow-up, etc).

I sent nine evaluations of ‘one-on-one contact/agribusiness' to dealers where I thought there would be some economic impact and seven evaluations were returned.

Comments from the survey included, “Paul Kassel brings an unbiased side to the (crop production) issue, such as we had with a local farmer,” and “Paul assisted me with problem areas, trouble shooting, and problem solving.”
The following are some direct quotes from the surveys. Economic impact is as follows:
- Select corn herbicides with increased crop tolerance - $2.00/acre on 30,000 acres.
- Our agronomy people provide better recommendations - $1.00/acre on 375,000 acres.
- Lowered nitrogen recommendations in 2003 because of hailed out soybean - $10.00/acre on 200 acres.
- Increased soil testing and soil fertility recommendations on high pH soils, and evaluate (other characteristics) of iron chlorosis resistant soybeans - $2.25/acre on 10,000 acres.
The total impact of these dealer visits in 2002 was $459,500.
One dealer reports that, “I use (Extension) extensively—not only locally but also people in Ames . You are profitable to my business.”

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