What is Agribusiness’ Role in Supply Chain Management?

Creating effective supply chain management plays a significant role in maintaining smooth business operations, especially in these changing times. With supply chains becoming increasingly complex and interdependent, decision-makers are constantly looking for ways to stay competitive. The appearance of many B2-B businesses offering solutions along each part of the supply chain has sparked change. What is agribusiness, and what role do they play in supply chain management?

When it comes to agriculture, the need for insightful innovation is increasingly critical. From sourcing to end customer distribution, agribusiness companies are helping to streamline the agricultural supply chain. When armed with the most robust and accurate data provided by DTN, agribusiness decision-makers are better equipped than ever to be responsive to market changes and prosper in a challenging industry that is always on the move.


The key role agribusinesses play in supply chain management

Maintaining an efficient supply chain is essential, particularly in an industry as critical to daily life as agriculture. Population increases continue; thus, the need for an improved supply chain is becoming more important each day. Thankfully, agribusinesses worldwide are making use of advancements in technology to improve supply chain management at each step in the process. 

Grain Elevator

Sourcing and procurement

Let’s look at sourcing and procurement from a farming point of view. To begin with, producers need various types of farm equipment to run their day-to-day operations. 

Large-scale farmers often must source immense quantities of animal feed, fertilizers, and other necessary materials. Vendors and suppliers must be identified and selected. To manage their bottom line, even small family farms must be prudent in negotiating fair contracts based on the price and the logistics required to ship or transport these essential goods.

Certain agribusinesses help connect farmers to the tools and goods they need to run their businesses smoothly. This includes a way to help producers find the best prices available for the farm machinery they need, often through online markets that expand a producer’s industry connections. 

From an industrial food processing perspective, sourcing and procurement are also an essential part of the supply chain. Factories that produce food must be connected to various producers to get the animal products or produce they require. 

Tractor with technology

Production and processing

Once all necessary materials are supplied, the primary goods are ready to be produced, processed, prepared, and packaged for further movement down the supply chain. In order for the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products to go smoothly, many workers are needed. Both farmers and industries often rely on various agribusinesses to source qualified workers to carry out the day-to-day business operations. 

It’s no secret that two things must happen to improve profitability: an increase in production and a decrease in costs. Even in developing countries, food systems have benefitted from implementing agribusiness industry techniques.

Many farms have benefited from the implementation of digital technology such as drones to help manage vast farmland areas while requiring less personnel. Increased food security has also resulted.

For example, in Ethiopia, a sizeable wheat-producing country that struggles with wheat rust, an early warning system developed by an internationally recognized team of scientists has allowed farmers to take necessary measures to protect their crops. This mobile warning uses surveillance data and forecasts to provide an alert three weeks before a suspected outbreak. 

Increased weather reporting accuracy has increased crop production. Finding the most accurate forecast with real-time information is critical in all supply chain decisions.

The same is true in implementing precision farming techniques. Following the 4 R’s of nutrient stewardship – the right nutrient source, at the right rate, in the right spot, at the right moment – enables farmers to minimize nutrient losses to the environment while vastly increasing crop yields. 

Rather than converting additional land for cultivation, maintaining optimal soil fertility allows more food to be produced within the existing farmland without harming the soil. 

The implementation of advancing technology has also revolutionized inventory management. Understanding market trends helps businesses better maintain inventory levels to avoid either a deficiency or a surplus, eliminating waste and unnecessary storage costs.


Delivery and distribution

Once the crop is ready, it needs to make it off the farm and into the hands of the end consumer. Generally, a farmer isn’t going to be taking his crop off the farm and selling it directly – it will be making its way through wholesalers, such as supermarkets or processing plants first. 

The logistics of the delivery and distribution of agricultural goods are challenging. These products are often perishable, making it especially vital to reduce inefficiencies in the distribution process and limit the amount of damaged or spoiled goods. 

Farmer with tablet in the field

DTN provides agribusinesses with the tools they need to streamline the agriculture supply chain

Agribusinesses are facing increased food insecurity and growing pressures related to climate change. To meet the continued needs for improvements in the supply chain, producers and agribusinesses need access to the right tools and technology.

With a suite of agribusiness products available, DTN is determined to provide you with superior insights and the tools you need to support your customers better. You can benefit from 24/7 monitoring, daily reports, comprehensive weather data, and an award-winning agriculture newsroom that DTN has to offer.

Some of the many agribusiness products available to you include:

  • ClearAg: Provides environmental data and models to optimize crop management and irrigation. 
  • Agronomic Platform: Enables producers to optimize and monitor disease, pests, and spray applications. 
  • AgriBI: Provides the tools needed to build an actionable business strategy and find opportunities for market expansion.
  • Ag Weather Station: The industry’s best and most extensive weather data network informs on precise weather conditions for precision agriculture.

Whether you are looking to develop stronger client relationships, reduce costs and streamline operations, minimize waste, or increase the value of your goods, DTN has a solution that can fit your business needs. 

Contact DTN today for more information on our many agriculture solutions available to you. Learn how you can put our tools to use in your business and provide your clients with the tools they need to succeed.