Bloomington, IL, December 3, 2020 — As ag retailers are increasingly adopting digital solutions to improve their operational efficiencies and enhance customers’ overall service experience, GROWMARK is expanding its partnership with Solinftec.
Solinftec is a Brazilian company with 13 years of experience developing digital ag solutions for the largest agricultural operations in the world on more than 22 million acres of row crops, sugarcane, coffee and citrus. By marrying logistics, analytics and real time weather data with algorithms, Solinftec significantly increases partners’ machinery and input use efficiency, improving crop yields and reducing environmental impacts.
“When I learned of the efficiency gains that the Brazilian sugarcane industry achieved through Solinftec’s digital and artificial intelligence solutions, I knew this could be game-changing. It could take our operations to a whole new level of efficiency,” says Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK’s director of agronomy marketing technology. “When we look at any new technology, we are looking for two things. One, to be more efficient with our people, our equipment and resources. And two, to bring a higher level of customer service that makes growers want to keep doing business with us.”
Solinftec established its U.S. headquarters at Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2019 and began researching the needs of U.S. ag retailers and growers. Initial research in the U.S. found ag retailers’ machines were idle 30% of the time, traveling 35% of the time and generating revenue 35% of the time. Solinftec saw the potential to more than double the average acreage covered by one sprayer in a season.
Over the past year and a half, GROWMARK and several of its FS cooperatives have collaborated with Solinftec to develop a software solution that significantly enhances the operational efficiency of its custom application business. The Solinftec sprayer/spreader solution for crop protection products, anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers will be available to all of GROWMARK’s FS cooperatives across the U.S. and Canada for the 2021 growing season.
“From day one, the Solinftec team dug in and collected a lot of data to understand how an FS retail location was doing business and find areas we could be better,” says Ruppert. "With Solinftec technology, we are getting more acres applied in a day and more acres through each machine.”
Britaldo Hernandez, Solinftec’s chief executive officer says, “We are very proud and excited to be GROWMARK's partner in this bold leap towards digitalization.”
Solinftec delivers solutions that optimize the timing and application of pesticides, anhydrous ammonia and fertilizers to help assure timely, effective and regulatory-compliant applications with immediate connectivity and full visibility of services being provided. “We organize the whole supply chain to keep the machines working,” says Daniel Padrão, Solinftec’s chief operating officer. “Our clients can expect at least a 70% increase in operational efficiency.”
The Solinftec web-based software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create the most efficient daily schedules and routes for a fleet by integrating information from many sources including work orders, weather forecast, real time equipment and weather data, agronomic data and more. This information is communicated in real time to the custom applicator, the tender truck driver, the dispatch office and the sales agronomist through a Solinftec app.
“Timing of applications is very important. Farmers plant crops extremely fast, our weather seems to be more volatile and label restrictions are increasing, so our window for applying inputs is shrinking. We need to be smarter about how we apply products and Solinftec is helping us do that,” concludes Ruppert.