The 2-day Purdue Top Farmer Conference concludes Wednesday with presentations on big data, farmland values and what the macroeconomic outlook means for agriculture. During an afternoon presentation Tuesday Dr. Mike Boehlje outlined ten strategies farmers should employ in today’s agricultural marketplace. He told HAT that the strategies don’t break new ground, but they are important points to be reminded of.
“It’s not as though they don’t know how to do these things, and I sometimes say ain’t nothing new here, we just got a little bit lethargic in what we’re doing today because with good prices you didn’t have to be so focused on some of these things. So dust off the old playbook, figure out those things that you used to do extremely well, that you got a little bit sloppy on here over the last 2 or 3 or 4 years and go back and go back and do what I used to do and just continue to do it better and better and better.”
One of the ten points centers on managing the risk associated with your farming operation and being able to survive lower crop prices.
“Our projections are we think that we’re going to be going into a lower price regime, so you need to think about how you can position yourself to be able to handle that so you have more working capital in your business. You try to maintain a more liquid position in your business. You try to make sure that you don’t spend money on things that maybe you would like but don’t need necessarily, and you also do everything you can to participate in any kind of crop insurance program or those types of things. You can’t do much about making those types of decisions right now. Maybe even doing a little bit more forward pricing even though you don’t like these prices. If you think prices are going to go down you need to think seriously about doing that.”
Boehlje also says farmers should focus the rest of this year and in the coming years on lowering every cost they can think of.
“So being more efficient,” he explains. “Using what we call work flow scheduling, standard operating procedures, making sure you do everything to be more systematic in your analysis process and in your work process.”
He also says you need to do the “best job you can in terms of buying inputs and buying them at a reasonable price. Make sure that you don’t put more fertilizer on than you really need.”
The tough one, he says, is to work hard to find ways to get cash rents down. Learn more about the 10 strategies at the Purdue Top Farmer website.
Hear more from Boehlje:Mike Boehlje