Despite the forecast for another year of falling farm income and nonexistent profit margins, the National Farm Machinery Show drew large crowds this week. Over 900 exhibitors fill the Kentucky Exposition center in Louisville, showcasing the latest in innovation for agriculture. Exhibitors said anything that can help producers reduce costs was getting a lot of attention. “These guys are looking under every rock they can find to try and cut costs,” said Elston Sayers, with Seed Consultants. He told HAT he had seen producer attitudes improve in the past few weeks.
At Farm Credit Mid-America, the talk was about finding ways to get producers the operating credit they need and protecting the interests of both borrowers and lenders with crop insurance. Cody Gault, with Farm Credit Mid-America, told HAT farmers need to focus on protecting their operation with crop insurance, “They need to understand how their policy works and understand their guarantee. You need to have a sound plan and make it part of your marketing plan for the 2018 crop.”
Lenders are taking more of a risk with many operations this year and are requiring crop insurance as a way of protecting their investment. “We want to work with growers and help them limit their risk exposure and have that repayment capacity,” said Gault. “Helping to secure the future of agriculture, that is what we are here for.”
Wendy Osborn with Farm Credit Mid-America said they are optimistic about the future and feel 2019 will bring recover and better margins to many operations. “Many farmers are taking a look at their balance sheet and finding ways to improve their operations,” she stated. “I think farmers are finding ways to make some changes and set their operation up for a more profitable future.”