Farmers know firsthand 2016 will be a year to circle the wagons. Margins will be tight. Some growers will do better than others. But all farmers can take well-targeted shots and proactively defend against market down times. A new editorial series from Southeast Farm Press will provide them the ammo.
“Managing the Margins: 2016” will appear in Southeast Farm Press print and digital editions monthly, or more often as needed, to provide up-to-date information and strategies to manage the risk associated with farming in the Southeast, especially as row crop markets across the board remain depressed … and depressing.
The articles for the series will come from interviews with and articles by the Southeast’s top farm economists and industry professionals and with Southeast farmers doing their best to balance financial management while sustaining the production needed to keep their operations afloat.
Many farm economists now say the next year to two years, unfortunately, will feel a lot like things did during early 1980s when tough economic times claimed too many farming operations. But the Southeast ag industry survived, changed in some ways and again thrived. And that is what will happen on the tail-end of this current boom-bust cycle farming is experiencing.
Besides, the boom-bust cycle, though painful, can be a good thing for those farmers who can weather it. The down time forces the farmer to really look closer at where the money is going and what can be done to become more efficient, which many successful farmers say is really the only way to farm long term. The down time can set the farming operation up to capitalize even more when things improve.
But will a farmer have to burn capital to stay in business now? Maybe, but how much gets burned and in what manner it is burned can make a big difference in how things turn out. The farm bill is maturing now and being adjusted. The series will report those changes and show how farmers can best participate in current federal farm programs to help them get through the bust. … Or at least make the best worst bet available.
The new series will introduce farmers to economic risk management ideas and tools, which many farmers now realize they will need to understand better. But the series will also report ways to help those seasoned risk management farmers better hone their skills and tactics.
The southeast ag economy is too strong and too diverse and too important to stay suppressed for too long. We want to get to the better economic road sooner rather than later and Southeast Farm Press will be there with readers every step of the way.