Five Star Cooperative has launched NexStar, a new brand of crop products to enhance customers and member-owners’ ability to decrease production costs while increasing their potential profitability. Five Star Co-op serves 14 counties in northeast and north-central Iowa and areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In launching NexStar Crop Performance, a new lineup of trademarked crop inputs, Five Star takes the first step in collapsing the multi-step distribution channel by working more directly with manufacturers to bring brands under local control to save farmers money.
“By owning the NexStar brand, Five Star will reduce agronomic costs, be able to offer more competitive pricing and keep more of our income close to the cooperative,” says Ken Smith, CEO of Five Star. “By removing links out of the chain, Five Star will be better able to compete with big, multinational players and further grow relationships with our customers.”
Maximizing return on inputs
Farmers are under competitive pressure in today’s global grain trade, Smith says, and are driven to reduce the cost of production to be successful with maximized return on input investments. “Our cooperative mission is just that. To aid producers in maintaining their success, not just for today but in the future and preparing for what’s to come.”
Consolidation continues all across agriculture, he notes, and Five Star is intent on finding innovative products and services to continue putting members first, decreasing their costs and saving them money.
“We have become laser-focused on serving our patrons the best way we know how,” says Olin Amundson, Five Star agronomy manager. “Today, that means sourcing our products more efficiently and finding ways to cut the fat out to deliver optimum value for farmers.”
NexStar’s new slogan is “On-point Performance,” with an initial product portfolio that includes crop input additives widely used by corn, soybean and wheat growers. The list includes JumpPoint ST seed treatments and JumpPoint plant growth regulator, SprayPoint drift control, water conditioners, surfactants, the StayPoint nitrogen stabilization system and ProfitPoint micronutrients nutritionals. All are available for immediate sale by working with a local sales agronomist. Five Star is also evaluating possible crop protection offerings under the CropPoint brand.
Quality products, lower price
“The Five Star team has been searching to get into the rapidly growing agronomy input market with these high-quality, lower price-point offerings,” says Tom Shatek, board chairman of Five Star. “As a director and farmer, I’m excited that we are adding NexStar to the mix, allowing our sales team and cooperative to be more price-competitive.”
“These private-labeled products will be produced specifically for us and will fit well into our long-term strategy of servicing member-customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin,” he says. Shatek sees opportunity for not only saving money with the NexStar products, but also as a way for the cooperative to grow, best adapt to an ever-changing marketplace and exceed the demands of producers.
“We are always looking for ways to drive cost out of production for farmers, and NexStar Crop Performance is going to help us do that,” Amundson says.
For more information, visit fivestarcoop.com.