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May 19, 2022
The other day, I was conducting a webcast for a group in the western part of the United States. Of course, I was candid about my perspectives concerning inflation, interest rates, and marketing and supply chain disruptions. One of the listeners challenged me to come up with something positive about agriculture, rather than all of the gloom and doom. That interaction charged me up and the following is a summary of some of the positives that I see in the agriculture industry.
I have had the pleasure of conducting 20 to 25 multi-day young farmer and rancher programs across the United States each year. If you want a shot of caffeine, spend a couple of days with these groups. They are very open-minded and hungry for what it takes to be successful. They are also advocates of the agriculture industry in many ways on both the local and national levels. Young and beginning producers are telling their stories to the nonfarm public, government officials, and other leaders.
There is no doubt that bio, engineering, and information technology are game changers. Many individuals are experiencing the benefits of each area in an integrated manner. The positives are the information aspects and the data management. Agriculture is only in the first inning of harvesting profits from information and the ability to drill down and utilize this data. The best managers are observing integrated processes. However, some producers are going the low-tech route by employing a simplification strategy to reap the benefits of efficiency. Other producers are also developing niche markets and are selling directly to the consumer.
Whether it is food, fiber, or fuel, transparency is a valued attribute. One only has to observe energy and supply chain issues as a poster child of this business model of the future to see the value of diversification which builds in flexibility in the business model. Telling the story and being committed to changing consumer preferences are valued.
The future is bright for those who have a strong business IQ and are able to execute a business strategy. They realize the potential for profits and a positive lifestyle by following the five percent rule. This rule is that you strive to be five percent better in many areas of the business. The ability to plan with discipline and execution will put the odds of a positive outcome in their favor over the next seven to ten years.
My concluding comment was that average does not live here anymore. If one aspires to be average, the “shelf life” of the business, without draining equity and wealth, is about five years. This is the nature of a competitive industry such as the agricultural industry and other very competitive markets.
Source: David Kohl, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest
Dr. Dave Kohl is an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Dr. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses. He has traveled over 10 million miles; conducted more than 7,000 presentations; and published more than 2,500 articles in his career. Dr. Kohl’s wisdom and engagement with all levels of the industry provide a unique perspective into future trends.
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