Silvera Consulting

Agworld Farm Management Software Client, Silvera Consulting, Visalia, CA

Improving growers’ margins

Challenge
John Silvera works as crop consultant for a number of different growers. Next to providing crop consultancy services, John also helps these growers with their budgets and inputs purchasing program. In order to streamline the three different parts of his service portfolio, John needed a solution that can combine agronomy, budgeting and input purchasing overviews.
Solution
After finding out about Agworld, John evaluated the platform and subsequently decided to switch from his incumbent software provider to Agworld in December 2020. After getting set up and attending some training sessions, John started to use Agworld fulltime in January 2021.
Result
Because John now uses Agworld to create budgets for all his clients at the start of the season, his clients are able to access these budgets and utilize them to communicate their seasonal needs to their banker or other financial partner. During the season, John’s agronomic recommendations in Agworld can easily be turned into a weekly overview of all the inputs a grower will need. This report is then used to help the grower buy their inputs as competitively as possible from a number of different sources.
client map location

Silvera Consulting

Location: Visalia, CA
Size: 12,000 acres
Type: Agronomic consultancy
Crops: Pistachios, almonds, tomatoes, garlic and dairy crops.

Adding Value

Some kids aspire to be an astronaut, pilot or racecar driver - only to find out later in life that this is just an option for the lucky few - whereas others see their dad doing his ‘thing’ and just know that they want to follow in his footsteps one day. For John Silvera the latter was the case and so he’s always known he’d be involved in agriculture, as his dad was a farm manager in the Visalia, CA area for over 35 years.

After obtaining an Ag Business degree with a minor in plant science from Fresno State University, getting his PCA license, and working for a large agronomy and inputs provider for four years, John literally followed in his father’s footsteps when he retired after 35 years of being a farm manager. In addition to being the farm manager on this 3,200 acre property, John also started Silvera consulting in 2016. He now provides agronomic consulting services to a number of clients on over 12,000 acre of pistachios, almonds, tomatoes, garlic and dairy crops such as wheat, sorghum, alfalfa and corn.

While some crop consultants just provide agronomic services, John decided to take it one step further and also help his grower clients with budgeting and inputs purchasing: “Growers pay me a consulting fee every season and in return I want to make sure I add as much value to their operation as possible. For me, the best way of doing that is by providing agronomic consulting services, advising the growers on which inputs they need to apply, and then helping them bid out their input purchasing requirements with six or seven different suppliers. I also assist my grower clients by creating accurate pre-season budgets, so they have a solid understanding of their cash flow requirements which they can then communicate with their financial services provider.”

Joining the Agworld platform

With providing this range of services to growers, John automatically also has different software requirements he explains: “The software I was using prior to Agworld is really only geared towards making agronomic recommendations and nothing else, which might work well for those guys that just check crops and write recommendations, but it didn’t really suit me with the suite of services I provide. When I found out about Agworld I was immediately intrigued and had a couple of meetings with the Agworld team. After seeing a demo and realizing the potential of the Agworld platform in my consulting business, I made the decision to switch to Agworld at the end of 2020.”

John continues: “It seemed intimidating to switch software providers because I service a lot of different fields, but it really wasn’t that hard. Once I learned how to use Agworld on both the web and the app, I just spent a couple of hours here and there to migrate my fields over and basically in the span of a weekend I was all set up on Agworld. I am still learning every day as I haven’t been using Agworld that long yet (around 6 months) but nothing has been hard or arduous yet. And, when I do run into an issue I need help with, I just call the Agworld helpdesk and they help me get the issue resolved in a matter of minutes usually.”

Improving business with Agworld

After spending four years as PCA for a large corporate provider, John had very clear goals and objectives he wanted to achieve with his own consultancy business. John explains: “Growers really like to have a clear separation between the different parties they work with to fill particular needs so they can be sure that they all work as hard as possible to provide the best service and pricing. Growers that work with just one inputs provider have the trust and confidence that they will be taken care off and pay a correct price, and this can indeed be a good strategy to follow, but I also know a lot of growers that are interested in a different model where their consultant just recommends the products they should apply, and doesn’t actually sell them the inputs.”

“I decided to take this a step further and help tender the growers’ needs out to the different retailers in the area and help the grower execute the most cost-effective buying program. In my estimation, I can save an average size farm around $100,000 per year by offering this service. In effect, my services make them money even after they’ve paid me the annual consulting fees - so I’m adding to the grower’s profit margin, which is exactly what I want to do. Especially in a year like 2021 where supply is tight for many products, it pays for growers to have relationships with multiple retailers so they have the best possible chance to cost-effectively procure the products they need.”

John concludes with: “Growers really appreciate that I create a seasonal plan for them with Agworld which translates into an actual budget they can use as a basis to organize financing with. They can then see us working through this plan as the season progresses and see it progressing into a weekly ‘shopping list’ of inputs which I help them to procure. The combination of services that I offer, underpinned with the data in Agworld and reports I derive from it, really tends to impress growers.

John concludes with: “Now, when I visit a potential new client, they really like that I have a budget ready for them in Agworld so they can see that I’ve really thought things through. The budgets show a good estimate of how the season is likely to shape-up and it also shows the grower that I’m serious and I know what I’m talking about. Agworld allows us to make changes on the spot which get calculated through into the whole budget, which really helps the grower visualize the input side of their operation as we’re discussing the available options. Since I’ve started to use Agworld, it has actually helped me pick up a few new consulting clients, which has been a big win for my business. Agworld helps me offer extra services to growers, next to crop consulting, which really helps me set my business apart from the competition; Agworld adds value to my business just like I add value to a grower’s business. The way I see it, everyone needs to add value in a business relationship and Agworld certainly does that for me.”

"Agworld helps me offer extra services to growers, next to crop consulting, which really helps me set my business apart from the competition; Agworld adds value to my business just like I add value to a grower’s business."
John Silvera Silvera Consulting, Visalia, CA
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