What Market Forces Are Driving Your Agribusiness?

What Market Forces Are Driving Your Agribusiness?

nasty storm cloud

Among emerging market forces for the specialty crop market, concern is definitely on the radar over the potential impact climate change is having on how farmers grow and harvest produce. Photo courtesy of NOAA

Work without worry is a fantasy. Most of us toil to help keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table. The latter is literally the case for many of you. Whatever you do for a living, there are always outside forces pushing business decisions in one way or the other. How we adjust to the pressure is critical for success and survival.

These thoughts are top of mind in the wake of my company’s annual market summit where team members of editorial, executive, and sales convene en masse for a week to talk shop and plan for the future.

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Given the mission of Meister Media Worldwide (Florida Grower magazine’s parent company) is “to be the trusted (media) partner empowering the business of global agriculture to grow a better world,” many of the same market forces on your plate also fill ours.

Among the usual suspects continuing to challenge agribusiness interests of U.S. specialty crop growers (labor, water, foreign competition, overregulation, etc.), a few other industry trends stood out to me from our recent collective conversation.

Climate Change
It seems like weather extremes are becoming the norm, and the potential consequences for farming are many. California already is feeling significant effects of climate change, according to a recently released report compiled by CalEPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

One key finding showed that in parts of the Central Valley, certain fruits and nuts are maturing more quickly with warming temperatures, leading to earlier harvests, smaller yields, and potentially causing a significant loss of revenue for growers and suppliers.

Sound familiar? We in Florida are no stranger to this type of scenario. Do you believe climate change is impacting the way you grow and harvest crops? Recent GrowingProduce.com reader poll results show a majority answering in the affirmative. A few weren’t sure. The remaining were more skeptical.

No matter what side of this controversial topic you fall, there’s no stopping Mother Nature. However, high-tech solutions and protected culture options are expanding and affording growers new and better ways to anticipate and dodge forthcoming weather/climate-related curveballs.

Catering to the New Consumer
It’s no secret millennials are calling the shots these days on what you grow and how you grow it. And what they want is safer, healthier, and more locally sourced food choices. Demand is off the charts for organic produce delivered right to your door and served with sides of sustainabililty and transparency.

Many large conventional growers have upped their game in this regard. Florida Grower’s July cover story cites prime examples of how to turn a challenge like this into an opportunity. And there’s more to be had.

These market forces, plus others we identified, have common threads: the need for open minds and forward thinking to find sensible, profitable solutions. Don’t forget all the hard work, too. No worries though, right?