Trips to multiple farming goods stores are a thing of the past following last month's launch of Fence Post Ag, an online site that provides farm hardware and supplies to the agricultural community.
"In order to cover the products that we offer, you would have to drive to a tractor dealership, hardware store, irrigation specialty store, clothing store and industrial store," said CEO Vaughn Brenda. "There are three to four to five different types of stores you have to go to and hope they have it in stock.
"Fence Post has it all has it all on one site, you don’t have to go around driving around and hoping that it's there," continued Brenda.
As part of Valley Farm Supply Stores Inc., Fence Post Ag is the company's first e-commerce website to join existing traditional stores in Hughson, Livingston, Chowchilla, and Kerman. Brenda said that the online site sells many of the same products that customers may find in these four locations, but the website allows the company to expand its customer base.
"We believe in our business model and we have a lot to give to people outside of our typical geographical area," said Brenda.
When it comes to available products, Fence Post Ag has a "little bit of everything with an asterisk," according to Brenda, who said that although the website offers a wide range of agricultural products, including safety supplies, spraying parts and hardware, his company primarily aims to meet the needs of nut, grape and citrus farmers.
"That is our main focus right now, naturally, because those are such a big part of California," said Brenda. "This is an online site that is dedicated to the western agricultural community that is entirely unique to this part of the country."
The prevalence of technology in agriculture, such as Brenda’s Fence Post Ag website, is undeniable as this year’s Stanislaus County Agricultural Crop Report not only highlighted a historic boost for agricultural commodities, but an increasing inclination towards technology use in order to strengthen production, lower costs, improve safety, conserve resources and lessen impacts on the environment.
“The innovations in the dot-com world are rapidly making their way into rural agricultural settings,” the report stated. “The agricultural industry is full of opportunities and challenges and these new technologies provide additional ways to overcome challenges and capitalize on new opportunities.”
In animal health monitoring, Modesto Junior College has upgraded to new ear tag technology, which they paid for through grant funding to better monitor cow health. The new tags not only help the manager determine how much time the animal spends eating, ruminating, and resting, but they can also aid in locating the animal, as well as the deciding as to when is the best time to breed the cow. If the tag detects anything unusual with a particular animal, it sends a text or email alert to the manager.
Crop spraying is also undergoing technological advancements of its own with new features such as enclosed, temperature controlled and carbon filtered cabs that foster improved worker safety and comfort, as well as increase efficiency. Farmers have begun to utilize nozzles that are specifically designed for more precise applications that also use less chemical, and some tools are even capable of using lasers to detect trees to spray.
Drones, which were one of the most popular Christmas gifts in 2015, have also proven popular in the agricultural field. Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of safety and operations standards for commercial agricultural drone use on an individual company basis, more and more farmers are purchasing drones to tailor to their agricultural needs, whether it is to determine plant health, soil type or analyze moisture.
Customers interested in checking out the inventory at Fence Post Ag can do so by visiting fencepostag.com.