Applying Nitrogen to Winter wheat© Tim Scrivener

Farmers can look for competitive agrochemical and fertiliser prices through a new online service called Yagro.

Many national and regional merchants and distributors have signed up to the platform, which connects farm businesses confidentially with suppliers, enabling them to request quotes and order online.

The service promises a more streamlined, efficient and faster way of sourcing farm supplies. Average response times vary between suppliers, though the majority respond to requests within 10-30 minutes, said co-founder and director Richard Sears.  

See also: How to avoid costly pitfalls during farm business expansion

Suppliers invoice farmers directly on individual terms and are charged a fee by Yagro, which is free for farmers.

So far, farm businesses representing about £60m of chemical, seed, fertiliser and fuel purchasing power have signed up to the service, said Mr Sears.

‘Simple to use’

Liz Ground, farm secretary at Coston Hall Farm, Wymondham, Norfolk, has been using Yagro over the last few months to save time and money on red diesel, white diesel and heating oil for the dairy and arable business.

“It’s very simple to use, you select which product you want, the quantity, when you want delivery and where to. Then you choose from a list of current suppliers in your area who you want quotes from,” said Mrs Ground.

“Most people get back to you within a few minutes. Usually within 20 minutes you will have all of your quotes, and the payment terms are clear.

“It’s very quick, you’re not going backwards and forwards haggling for a better price.”

New suppliers are joining every week, said Mr Sears. “We are led by demand from farms and will work with any suppliers our farms wish to be connected to.”

Any quotes provided are only visible to the farms that request them and there are plans to expand the product categories that are catered for significantly over the next 12 months.

While personal data is never shared, Yagro says it will use aggregated data to help suppliers improve efficiency by enabling them to recognise patterns across seasons, for example, to allow predictive ordering and better forecasting, cutting down risks such as product shortages.