June 26, 2023
Farmers put seed in the ground and fight through dry spells, high winds, insects and disease.
You might be the most innovative and meticulous farmer on Earth, but you are no foe or ally to the skies above.
At times, it seems pointless. Mother Nature can be stingy, relentless and downright mean. But you must continue to harvest the scraps that are left in the hope it yields enough to cover your costs.
At other times, heaven shines down to produce a phenomenal and profitable bounty. Rebuilding ensues to better tackle the times.
It’s risky. It’s agonizing. It might test your loyalty to this will and way to work. It’s not like you can quit midseason, but as harvest closes, a series of questions arise going forward.
Do you want to put seed in the ground in the spring — to take that personal, yet high-profile, gamble once again?
Are you ready to take on an interlinked series of bets that could potentially rob time, cash and assets?
Putting management aside, it’s you up against nature and her unknowns.
It can be everything from bumper crop to bankrupt. Yes, these are extremes, but the gamble is still real.
This year, like many years in the past and yet to come, is fraught with obstacles and circumstances that at times seem insurmountable.
Advances in agricultural technology, including genetic engineering, offer some optimism to ease the strain.
Crop protection programs provide a shield, but there’s still plenty showing on the table. That loss will pull from other areas of the business or family life and put tension on the next crop before it’s even planted.
Farming is becoming more difficult as producers struggle with unstable conditions, fluctuating growing seasons, erratic weather and ecosystem shifts. Weather extremes are becoming more frequent and intense.
Thankfully, for many, it’s not just a job. It’s a way of life that’s anchored in family members — older and future generations.
There is hope the next to plant the soil — whether that be family or a new mentored farmer — will embrace the passion that underpins this undeniable persistence.
Thank the Lord farmers are sturdy souls and perpetual optimists.
So, hedge your bets.
Zone in on marketing options and incorporate technology to help lift the load — that includes your time, resources and overall well-being. Document everything and draw from programs to improve management and ease uncontrollable losses. Learn from, and lean on, others.
Praise what you have.
Pray for the future.
Plant the seed.
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