2022 USA Ag Tour

Over the last year, Spraytec has observed significant growth in sales, interest and brand recognition on the back of our own persistence and commitment to break into the Australian agricultural market. This inevitably allowed us to promote and facilitate a 10-day international tour of the United States of America (USA) with a group of loyal clients and business partners from Western Australia (WA)! Those that attended consisted of farmers, agronomists and retail managers, and were selected according to product purchased, product sold and commitment shown to the Spraytec brand. Group members hailed from all areas of the wheatbelt, including Ravensthorpe, Merredin, Kojonup, York and Geraldton. This diversity showcases the reach that we have generated since we arrived on Australian shores in 2019.

The tour began at Perth International Airport with a departure time of 11:55PM on a Thursday that was assisted with a couple celebratory drinks as the group got to know each other. We then embarked on a near-on 38 hour journey that would take us from Perth to Sydney, San Francisco, and finally, New York. Spending the weekend in New York allowed the group to bond, share a laugh, explore the depths of Manhattan, and ultimately adjust to American cuisine. We were met by Spraytec Argentina and their select clients, who introduced themselves and made us feel welcome. After visiting all the usual tourist traps including Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge, it was time to travel to the central state of Iowa where the bulk of the tour would be conducted.

Initial meeting at the Spraytec USA head office in Urbandale (Iowa) together with Spraytec Argentina, Spraytec Brazil, and their select clients.

Arriving into Des Moines (Iowa), we had a comprehensive itinerary to complete. Beginning at the Spraytec USA head office, we were introduced to Diego Parodi (CEO and Founder) who delved into the history of Spraytec, how the business was established, and explained the concepts behind patented product formulations. These formulations were created with the intention of including 3 fundamental ingredients;

  1. Patented application technology providing as an all-in-one tool and enhancing overall spray efficacy
  2. Chelated nutrients which complement uptake and translocation, as well as improve yield potential
  3. Phosphites that promote plant health, own defences, and assist with uptake and translocation

America-based technical agronomists further explained the success of Spraytec in the USA, touching on specific trial research and development findings into corn and soybean production.

Visiting and hearing from a soybean producer near Fort Dodge (Iowa) that uses Spraytec products across their program.

With a newfound knowledge into corn and soybeans, we visited a large cooperative and a local grower to better understand their handling, production operations, and overall reception of Spraytec. We were intrigued by the fact most American farmers contracted out the bulk of their operation requirements (seeding, spraying, harvesting, etc.). The average farm size in Iowa was found out to be only 360ha – a far cry from the average farm seen in WA. Assessing corn and soybean paddocks treated with Spraytec products against paddocks that hadn’t been was of high interest to most, as we were able to see first-hand the improved impact our products possessed. This was most notable in fields that had been substantially impacted by the dry conditions that a significant portion of the corn-belt had experienced recently. Paddocks that had been treated with Spraytec products were noticeable healthier and had appeared to bounce back from the dry period a lot quicker.

Heading back to the classroom at the Iowa State University allowed us to pick the minds of researchers and students, enlightening us into many different aspects and considerations into the American agricultural industry. We were even provided the opportunity to view some glasshouse pot trial work that was being conducted in a highly advanced environment with climate control features. A vast proportion of the research was investigating the fungicidal control, most noticeably on sudden death syndrome (SDS), that Spraytec products possess in comparison to competitor treatments.

Visiting Iowa State University in Ames (Iowa) to participate in workshops, presentations and view glasshouse trial work that assessed the performance of Spraytec products.

Following an organised dinner at a traditional steakhouse where we were charged with preparing and cooking our own steaks, attending a day at the 2022 Farm Progress Show was next on the agenda. For over 50 years, the Show has ensured producers from around the world remain connected and updated with agriculture’s leading companies and their solutions. Living up to its reputation, the Show shared an incredible insight into the industry, challenging us with new innovations which the entire group could bring back to Australia. Ignoring the numerous open bars, other key highlights from around the Show included sophisticated ag-tech programs, drone sprayer demonstrations, exhibitions showcasing the latest machinery and gear, and the endless supply of golf carts used for getting around.

As was the theme of the day, Spraytec USA put on its own show, providing extensive information, demonstrations, plot trials and holding presentations throughout its marquee. The inclusion of plot treatment trials in a expo-type environment was something that resonated heavily with us, as you were able to hear about a product, view its performance across various demonstrations and then compare plot treatments immediately.

Hearing from a Spraytec USA technical agronomist regarding various plot trial treatments at the 2022 Farm Progress Show.

Following the Farm Progress Show, we travelled to our final destination to end the week; Lincoln (Nebraska). Here we heard presentations from highly regarded professors and researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Key topics included nutrient management, fertigation operations, importance of genetics, and soil analysis. We learned that agriculture utilises 92% of Nebraska’s total land area, with 1 in 4 jobs being related to the industry. Ending the tour as a group, Australians, Argentineans and Brazilians shared a final meal at another steakhouse, reminiscing on the trip that had been and saving contacts to stay in touch across future years.

After another 38 hour journey back to Perth, the tour concluded.

It’s safe to say that the group will be hard to beat over the next few years! We would like to thank them all for their engagement, enthusiasm and overall reception to us and our business! The fact that a group was able to gel together so well with no prior meetings is a fantastic reflection of our industry and one that promotes camaraderie, communication and trust.

Please follow us on our socials or get in touch with your local retailer to ensure you don’t miss out on the next tour opportunity!

We look forward till next time and hope you can all join us!