[From iSource Business, April 2001] Don't let Jimmy Sanford's warm, southern drawl and down-home, country charm fool you. He is as much a Prattville, Ala.-based cotton farmer as he is a card-holding member of today's tech-savvy agricultural community.
Last year alone, Sanford spent more than $125,000 over the Internet on chemicals for his 4,000-acre farm. Through Quickfarm.com, an e-marketplace that peddles seed, fertilizer and chemicals, Sanford says he saved an estimated 10 to 15 percent on purchases and countless hours that would have otherwise been spent negotiating with local dealers.
Say goodbye to the antiquated stereotype of the straw-chomping, overall-adorned, all-American farmer. Today's crop producers are becoming increasingly tech savvy as e-marketplaces and precision farming tools promise to chop prices, boost productivity, streamline operations and modernize the supply chain.
In fact, according to a W.W. Kellogg Foundation study, 2 percent of 1999 ag sales were Internet-based, which amounts to $16.6 billion. The Kellogg report also cites industry estimates that suggest Internet-based ag commerce doubled in 2000. By the end of 2001 it will grow to 6 percent of all ag spending, representing approximately $50 billion in total sales.