Retailer reports strong prepay season

A seed and fertilizer retailer says the pre-New Year’s prepay season was very busy.

Tony Grapsas with Jay-Mar in Plover, Wisconsin tells Brownfield most of the flurry of activity happens in the last two weeks of December, as farmers look at both favorable prices and potential tax savings.  “What I can tell you is our pre-pay amount gathered is the same as last year, and that means we’re way up in tons because fertilizer prices are lower than last year.”

Grapsas says in central Wisconsin, the potato and vegetable growers had a very good 2023, allowing many of them to put cash towards 2024 inputs.  He says the aging farmer population is also a factor for end-of-year sales.  “The farming population is getting older and as a result of that, to secure their benefits, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, you can only make so much money, and so for those reasons, they needed to find someplace to park some dollars for benefit and tax purposes.”

Grapsas says they’re wrapping up pre-pay season and moving into the booking season, and he gets products by truck and rail from warehouses in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  “I don’t buy product based on ‘river open.’  To me, that’s just too dodgy and an uncomfortable risk, so I base it on tons to be delivered between April and June, and I think we’ve had wonderful suppliers.  They have not let us down.”

Grapsas advises farmers not to wait and reach out to their suppliers of seed and fertilizer now.  “The most popular seed varieties are being gathered up and booked and secured.  For the fertilizer portion, now would be the time to book.  I don’t see any need for you to wait longer.  As the season gets closer, the prices are only going to creep up.”

Grapsas says he’s also not seeing any shortages for the most common ag chemicals this spring.

Audio: Tony Grapsas joins Brownfield’s Larry Lee to discuss the busy pre-pay season and why farmers should be booking inputs now.

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