GROWMARK is now the sole owner and operator of AgriVisor after completing a purchase of the Illinois Agricultural Association’s ownership interest Dec. 30.

AgriVisor, a full-service ag risk management and marketing services firm, delivers in-depth market analysis and recommendations to more than 1,000 farmers across North America.

“We continually adapt our services to meet the high demands of marketing, especially in times of volatility, utilizing the latest technology,” said Tim Tresslar, GROWMARK manager of grain origination. “Under GROWMARK’s ownership, we have assembled an industry-leading team of experienced professionals to assist customers with an unsurpassed level of customer service.”

Using extensive relationships with grain elevators, farm insurance brokerages, Farm Bureaus, ag research firms and other advisory firms, AgriVisor leverages collective buying power and pricing strategies on crop insurance and other innovative services such as its Crossover Solutions.

AgriVisor’s market recommendations and Cash Strategist page have been a staple in FarmWeek since the late-1970s along with analysts’ appearances at county Farm Bureaus and on the RFD Radio Network. The page originally debuted as “Market Line” in the first issue of FarmWeek in 1974, according to Randy Bridson, former senior commodities editor.

“AgriVisor has a rich history of providing market advice to our members,” said IFB President Richard Guebert Jr.

“Over the years access to marketing information and advice has evolved,” he continued. “IFB appreciated working with GROWMARK as a partner in the AgriVisor joint venture. Our board felt the timing was right for GROWMARK to purchase full ownership of AgriVisor.”

AgriVisor came into being in the 1970s, following the introduction of a telephone/tape system that provided daily market updates to IFB members produced by Jim Gill in Stark County, according to Jim Quinton, who joined AgriVisor as the sales/service manager in 1980.

“The roots of the program date back to the upheaval of the markets from 1971-74. Members were frustrated they couldn’t get good market information tailored to farmers,” Quinton said. “(The regional phone advisory service was introduced), and it wasn’t long before the whole state wanted it.”

A call center with lines for 800 numbers was later housed at IFB in a large cabinet, known as “Big Bertha”, until a radio system was introduced to relay market updates for members around the state.

In fact, experiments at IFB putting audio signals in FM sub-channels was the birth of Farm Data, according to Quinton. AgriVisor later rolled out a video pilot project known as StratoVisor.

Quinton, who previously worked for Continental Grain in the 1970s, also responded to demand for a crop condition update in the middle of the growing season and helped create an in-state corn and soybean tour with the Illinois Corn Growers and Soybean Associations in the 1980s along with a regional wheat tour.

“Pro Farmer was always very supportive, so we made a deal to let them take (the crop tour) over, along with sponsorship of it,” Quinton said.

The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour has since become a major event every August, with all eyes on its corn and soybean estimates. The Illinois Wheat Association also continues to organize the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour each May so the milling industry can gauge the condition and quality of the soft red winter wheat crop before harvest.

More information about AgriVisor’s services can be found online, AgriVisor.com.