One of the most under serviced occupations in agriculture around the world is the career of the independent agronomic consultant. In the United States, it has been documented that there are less than 2000 independent consultants providing services independently from the sale of products or connected to an input provider.
Soil Consultants and Services
The highest number of consultants are in the major cotton growing areas of the U.S., and most provide scouting and crop protection services as the major part of the services that they provide. The next group conducts business in the major corn and soybean producing areas.
Many in this group provide a myriad of services including:
- Soil health and fertility
- Crop scouting
- Yield monitor calibration
- Data management
- Seed selection
- Equipment suggestions
- Planter calibrations
- Variable rate application files
Other consultants provide services to sports turf, landscape, fruits and vegetables, and urban agricultural settings.
Independent Soil Consultants
The independent consultant is said to be independent because they do not sell products or make any part of their living from the sale of input products. They provide services and advice that are unbiased only looking out for the client’s well-being. There are so few consultants on the countryside because it is not the easiest business to get established and make a living doing. Independent consulting is a very relationship-based business. To be successful depends on the development of relationships and building trust with the client. The consultant must not only understand how to do his job but to also explain the advice he gives in a manner that will allow the client to understand sometimes some very complex issues.
Like the financial accountant, the independent consultant is one of the few individuals involved in a farming operation that is directly paid to care for the client’s success. Those involved with the sale of products are not inherently paid to care for the farming client. Not that they intend on doing anything wrong or are trying to deceive the client, but, it is plainly a matter of position. The person selling products must do things that make his product look good so more product will be purchased. The independent consultant must produce results so that he is hired again. Therefore, the person selling products doesn’t have to have the best interest of the client in mind.
Choose the Experts
Whoever is chosen to provide agronomic advice should be one that has integrity, honesty, and objectivity. Always remember that free advice is never free. If it is free, it likely isn’t worth much. At SoilRight, you can rest assured knowing your crops and farms are prospering from nourished soil. If you want to positively impact your soil and plant health as well as lower your costs and increase profitability, contact a consultant for a free consultation today.