First published in Grainmen’s Mirror Magazine
Two brothers haul grain together during grain harvest…
One brother is in the combine while the other is driving a semi to their local elevator. While the brothers are doing different jobs; they’re both able to see the moisture of the grain, the protein, how much they’ve delivered against their contract, what the prices are at–– instantly, no matter where they are. This instance is not a distant dream, it is an actually happening at several grain elevators in the Arthur Companies in Arthur, North Dakota. These brothers are able to have automated, real time data through their Bushel-powered grain elevator app.
Developed by Fargo, ND based Myriad Mobile, Bushel is the grain industry’s first automated mobile app platform for grain elevators, cooperatives, and ethanol plants to better communicate with their customers. Also headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, the Bushel team pays homage to its home state by finding solutions to back assist the strong ag community that attests for the financial success of the state. Bushel’s team is deep rooted in North Dakota agriculture. Many team members have farm backgrounds and wanted to find a way to give back to the farms.
In North Dakota, there are eight North Dakota elevators currently launched under the Bushel platform, serving 3,046 happy farmers. Reynolds United Co-Op, Scranton Equity Exchange, Minn-Kota Ag Products, Hunter Grain Company, Arthur Companies, Ray Farmers Union Elevator, Beach Cooperative, and Tharaldson Ethanol make up these eight active locations providing their growers with their elevator-branded apps. Nationwide, there are nearly 9,000 farmers using Bushel-powered elevator apps in six states including North Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, Georgia, Nebraska, and Iowa.
One of these happy farmers, Ryan Evans, hauls to Scranton Equity in Scranton, North Dakota. Evans has been using his Bushel-powered Scranton Equity app since its August 2017 release. The mobile aspect of real-time scale tickets, contracts, cash bids, prepaids, and more is what really drove Evans to download the app. Before having access to the information he needed daily, Evans relied on his home desktop computer to log in to the Scranton Equity website, and then search through his statements in order to find critical information. Not only was this an pain to only be able to know inefficient way to get the information timely information, it was sometimes logistically impossible to get to the computer during the work day and the login process itself required more effort than necessary. When asked about the login process for the Scranton Equity app, Evans answered that he didn’t even remember how he first logged in because “it was that simple.”
During different times of the year, farmers like Evans rely on different bits of information to make the best decisions suited for that time. Knowing how many inputs you’ve prepaid for from your elevator is crucial during spring planting. “Prepaids are very useful this time of year and I end up using that feature more than once a day,” said Evans. Just like the time of year can demonstrate different information needed, Evans has appreciated the “custom harvesting” his Scranton app has provided him. “You can keep track of loads coming in and don’t have to call back and forth about a ticket while you’re driving,” Evans continued. “Calling the elevator you’re hauling to had been the standard previously in order to know how much grain you have brought in, or how much is left on a contract. With the Bushel-powered custom branded app farmers, like Evans, have this information with them at all times, in real-time.
However, access to this information hasn’t kept Evans from calling his local elevator. Evans said that while he might be calling a bit less, he is having more meaningful conversations with his elevator. “It’s quicker to get to the important stuff,” said Evans. Is his Bushel-powered app helping him strengthen his business relationship with Scranton Equity? With no hesitation, Evans says, “For sure.” One of the primary objectives of developing the Bushel platform was to strengthen the relationship between grain elevators and farmers. Look for more features to be rolled out as the platform grows and an even stronger connection between farmers and the grain facilities they do business with.