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Riley Anderson, Manitoba

Reily Anderson headshot

Unlocking Greater ROI

Riley Anderson has no shortage of decisions to make and inputs to track with a family operation producing wheat, corn, soybeans, canola and occasional oats. ADM Farm Direct Fertilizer was a welcome addition to Riley’s annual planning, freeing up time and stress in getting the fertilizer he needs, when he needs it, with huge savings along the way.

A Simple Switch

When Riley first looked into ADM Farm Direct, he wanted to know what infrastructure he’d need in place. He was pleasantly surprised to learn he could use what he already had.

“I use the hopper bins I’ve had on the farm for 30 years. I use the auger we use every year to load grain. And I didn’t have to buy any materials or any infrastructure to do this. And that’s what creates the advantage,” Riley says.

From there, direct purchase and delivery proved their value immediately.

“Buying has been very easy. It’s a phone call. And then we make a purchase contract, and there’s a delivery date set out. Everything’s clear and concise. You know what you’re getting when you’re getting it,” he says.

Riley has also been impressed with prompt delivery times and coordination.

“Funny enough, the first week of delivery, every time I’ve had phone calls from trucking companies, ‘Hey, when are you ready to take delivery?’ And they’ve been very prompt and very timely with when I need it and when I’ve ordered it.”

Combatting Market Uncertainty

Riley knows that, in farming, maximizing the controllables is key to better profit potential. With the ability to lock in market prices up to 12 months in advance of delivery, he can plan ahead while utilizing the help of his ADM representative.

“One of the biggest things that helps me is I like to know what my costs are, and it makes me a lot more confident in my numbers. And I can lock those costs in ahead of time. So that helps me make decisions for the future in this uncertain world that we have right now,” he says.

He recalls working with his ADM Farm Direct rep, Ryan, during an especially unsteady time for phosphate supply in the U.S.

“I booked fertilizer back last July, and at that time [it] was almost a record low for phosphate. And I had a lot of conversations with Ryan, and we were trying to figure out what the best plan of action was. So finally, we pulled the trigger, because I was getting scared of tariffs that were coming in on imported phosphate, and that triggered a whole run in the phosphate market — which the tariffs were only part of. The other part was supply shortages. And so we saw a significant run in the phosphate market where I am,” Riley says.

In the end, Riley saved hundreds of dollars on his phosphate purchase by buying it a year prior to delivery.

A Full Picture of ROI

Transparency and control of inputs has been key to better margins on Riley’s farm, especially when measured against grain market fluctuations.

“Locking in my price on my phosphate earlier, I locked in my costs on part of my fertilizer, and that helped me know my costs. So, when I sell grain, I can lock in a profit or a positive ROI because I have my costs locked in already,” he says. “You can take a position in fertilizer, just like you could take a position on grain.”

When thinking about the two greatest advantages of forward pricing and direct purchase, Riley takes pride in the autonomy he and his family feel in their operation.

“The biggest thing it does is it unlocks an advantage to us that can make our farm more money,” he says of working with ADM Farm Direct Fertilizer. “The number two thing would be, it gives us flexibility on when to buy and when to make the best decisions for our farm, not the best decision for other people.”

Riley ties his experiences back to a principle of agribusiness. “I heard a saying once that, in farming, it’s always good for someone. You just have to make sure it’s good for the farmer.”


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