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I worked for a company that has been in the tech side of this space since 2004 until acquisition last year. You'll notice that the discussion in this article (which seems to be submarine PR for Cargill) talks about Cargill and ADM's relationship with the farmers. There are a lot of smaller elevators and coops out there that are working to help farmers capitalize on the increased flow of information while maintaining their ability to stay open against corporate competition from the ABC giants (ADM, Bunge, Cargill).

The big thing in the overall space is that the software side of ag lags behind profitability in the industry. The company I worked for was 6 people (fte 3 devs), and we were running on a .NET WebForms platform originally written in 2005 that we didn't have the time or resources to bring nearly 250kloc to something more modern. (That includes web, backend processes, api, our mobile app platform was another 40kloc)

Hopefully, modern web/big data/etc tech allows small farmers to move past occasional profitability to thriving growth, not just allows big companies to capture more profits.




I'm the founder of a company called Harvest Profit. We build a suite of profitability and risk management tools, trying to help farmers better manage their operations.

Farming is a unique business where the average farm generates $1+ million of revenue and is self-managed.

I agree with this article. More farmers are taking on the duties of merchandising their commodities and we help them with that. It's a fun challenge.

As an aside, selling intangible goods like software to farmers (who love equipment) is not for the faint of heart!


I've actually seen your product, as the Myriad, the company that acquired my previous employer is based in the same city as you. I think your product looks great, and I hope you do well. I'm all for products that help local farmers make good profits!


Thanks Russ! Hopefully we will get the opportunity to collaborate!


Hey, cool product you have. I've grown up at the farm and been dreaming of starting an agriculture related company at some day. Most of the biggest issues humanity is facing nowadays are related to agriculture (climate change, starvation etc.)

In my country (Finland) farms are folding faster than ever due to driest summer of the century. Still the food prize isn't going up - neither the profits of the companies selling their products.


> ABC giants (ADM, Bunge, Cargill)

ABC(C)D. Dreyfus is in between Bunge and ADM in terms of revenue and quite influential in Africa and some parts of Latam (Cargill is the outsized one, twice as large as any of the other and culturally quite different). Continental (now ContiGroup) is about a fifth as large as e.g. Dreyfus so doesn't quite count.

I would recommend the ageing, but still relevant Merchants of Grains [1] for a better understanding of the dynamics of this industry. More modern books - such as Marc Rich's biography - are too sanitised. As you hint, it can't really be "disrupted" by technology - the advantages these companies have are more geopolitical than informational. My position reporting platform in the late 2000s dated from 1994 and had never been updated; despite 5-6 layers of control, some faulty trades (e.g. FX hedge the wrong way) were not caught for months. Some heads of trading desks could negotiate with ministers profitably, but had trouble understanding simple derivatives.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Grain-Profits-Companies-Cen...




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