Nutrien preparing to launch online crop input sales

The company with the world’s largest bricks-and-mortar crop input retail network is planning to sell products online in 2019.

Nutrien — the company formed through the merger of Agrium and PotashCorp — has more than 1,500 retail locations in North and South America. For farmers in Canada and the U.S., the company’s retail business operated under Agrium’s Crop Production Services (CPS) banner before switching to Nutrien Ag Solutions on July 1, 2018.

As Nutrien’s Zach Corcoran explains in the video below, filmed at the Farm Progress Show in Iowa, the company has developed and rolled out a new digital platform since completing the merger in January.

A screenshot of Nutrien’s new digital platform (click to enlarge)

The portal, which was beta-tested in April and went live in July, allows farm customers to view statements, invoicing information, and historical reports, as well make payments online.

Corcoran says they’re continuing to add features to the platform, updating it every two weeks, with pre-pay allocation and sampling reports to be added in the near future. The company says it will also integrate Echelon Ag’s field mapping and variable rate capabilities, while also providing a place for customers to interact with agronomists and Nutrien field service representatives.

The launch of e-commerce is slated for the end of 2018, says Corcoran, noting they’ve hired two teams to ramp up development of the online sales capability.

“It’s huge. It’s something that we really want to get out there…we want to make sure it’s done right,” he says. “We’re not just trying to sell as much product as possible. We’re trying to make sure the right product is getting put on the right acre so that farmer makes the most for their dollar.”

To begin, he says the plan is to have about 600 products — which make up 95 percent of Nutrien’s retail sales — available online.

He says they plan to link online purchases with the crop planning tool in the platform, allowing customers to immediately order inputs while putting together a crop plan.

The move by Nutrien coincides with the roll-out of online seed and fertilizer sales by competitor, Farmers Business Network (FBN), a largely digital company which entered the Canadian market last winter.

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