Plot And Profit

Money_generic

The U.S. produce market is operating under increased pressure with narrower margins than we have seen in many years. It is easy to see the pressure brought on by our current economic and government spending issues. 2008 brought the U.S. into a recession that left many unemployed, which threatens the underlying demand for many of our commodities. The U.S. economy is threatened with a double-dip recession, something that previously occurred in 1980 and 1982. The U.S. budget crisis calls for major reforms in how our country operates. A stalemate by our policymakers could lead us into a double-dip recession. The European debt crisis also could lead the world into another recession.

A second threat to our industry is the increasing cost of supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to consumers, causing a decline in demand even in the face of the obesity crisis widely recognized to exist in the U.S. What was a growth industry from 1980 to 2000 is now an industry threatened with declining consumption and shrinking profit margins.

Steps To Success

How do we make money in this kind of challenging environment? Making money in any environment starts with planning and organization. Here are nine steps that can improve your chances to make money in this difficult market.

1. Get organized and be efficient. While the produce industry is not a true commodity business, it is still important to operate as efficiently as possible. This starts with being organized in all tasks you undertake in your business.

2. Keep detailed records. The only way you can know where you can improve your operation is to know the costs and returns to those operations.

3. Analyze the competition. There are two things you can learn from your competition. First, how do you stack up to the competition in competing on a cost basis. Second, what can you learn from your competition that points to areas of improvement that you must make to compete with your product.

4. Understand the risks and returns. You have to understand that high returns generally involve higher risk. Low risk is usually associated with low returns. Know the risks and returns to investments on your farm and have a good understanding of what risk you can live with.

5. Be creative and remain open to new ideas. The old adage is “the only certainties in life are death and taxes.” You can add failure without innovation.

6. Stay focused. Focus on your core business. Keep your eyes open to new opportunities but do not lose sight of your core business. Stay organized and efficient.

7. Prepare to make sacrifices. Change often requires sacrifice. That often requires self-improvement so that the organization can move forward.

8. Provide great service: Take care of your customers. Your customers face the same crises that you face. You can maintain your customer base only if you take care of their needs as the market changes.

9. Be consistent: Help your customers manage their risk. Risk is related to uncertainty. Your customers can help you manage your risk if you help them to manage theirs.

Get Your Head In The Game

Fruit and vegetable growers are losing market share in the food chain at a time when U.S. policymakers are driven to improve the health and welfare of our citizens — especially our children. Without cost containment, the future of U.S. vegetable growers is at risk. They are operating with higher costs and at greater risk. Individual producers must think about defensive risk management at this point. Like football, there are times for offense and times for defense. In challenging markets, you play defense. Any points scored are a bonus, and can make the difference between winning and losing.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Plot And Profit

  1. You are so right one must be ever vigilant in this game. I believe that all farmers especially have to learn to play both offense and defense and sometimes both at the same time. Its not easy but must be done. www.womenfarmers.org

Featured Stories
Wafler apple harvester
Apple Grower of the Year
August 27, 2016
Rock Steady U.S. Apple Crop Forecast
USApple predicts 2016 output will be just slightly higher than in 2015. Read More
UC Cooperative Extension Viticulture Advisor Lindsay Jordan installs a solar “Paso Panel.” (Photo Credit: Matthew Fidelibus)
Grapes
August 27, 2016
Managing Water In California Vineyards
National viticulture symposium provides insights into estimating vineyard irrigation requirements. Read More
A Concord model grape vineyard with a two-tier cordon system. (Photo credit: Tom Zabadel)
Grapes
August 26, 2016
Model Vineyard Looks To Maximize Concord Production
Watching Michigan ‘‘Concord’’ grape growers struggle with stagnant and sometimes declining prices, a team of researchers at Michigan State University Read More
Organic potato grower staring at his crops
Crop Protection
August 25, 2016
Better Biocontrol Options Becoming Available To Organic Growers
New bio-based solutions to effectively control weeds and pests are cropping up. Read More
Marty McKenna and Mark Wheeler grab a photo together at the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference
Citrus Achievement Award
August 25, 2016
Working Together For A Common Cause Key To Citrus Success
Cirus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna says the industry is sustained by strength in numbers. Read More
New citrus grove in Florida
Citrus
August 24, 2016
Florida Citrus Granted New Incentive To Grow On
A state-backed $5.5 million grove renovation/re-establishment program is now available and accepting applications. Read More
Judi Whitson, 2016 Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture
Citrus
August 24, 2016
Meet Florida’s 2016 Woman Of The Year In Agriculture
Dedication to fostering the state’s farming future defines the latest winner of longtime honor. Read More
University of New Hampshire scientists constructed a linkage map of the seven chromosomes of the diploid Fragaria iinumae, which allows them to fill in a piece of the genetic puzzle about the eight sets of chromosomes of the cultivated strawberry.
Berries
August 24, 2016
Researchers Unravel Genetic Ancestry Of Cultivated Strawberry
A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers. Read More
Justin Clements, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center working in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of NPC's 2016-2017 Academic Scholarship.
Potatoes
August 24, 2016
Fifth-Year Doctoral Student Receives NPC’s Scholarship For Potato Research
The National Potato Council (NPC) has announced that Justin Clements, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Read More
2011 WA IFTA Tour
Fruits
August 24, 2016
Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Production Bus Tours For Your Business [Opinion]
Sure, you can see and talk with virtually anyone in the world through your smart phone, but you can’t shake their hand. Read More
The Latest
Apple Grower of the Year
August 27, 2016
Rock Steady U.S. Apple Crop Forecast
USApple predicts 2016 output will be just slightly higher than in 2015. Read More
Grapes
August 27, 2016
Managing Water In California Vineyards
National viticulture symposium provides insights into estimating vineyard irrigation requirements. Read More
Grapes
August 26, 2016
Model Vineyard Looks To Maximize Concord…
Watching Michigan ‘‘Concord’’ grape growers struggle with stagnant and sometimes declining prices, a team of researchers at Michigan State University Read More
Crop Protection
August 25, 2016
Better Biocontrol Options Becoming Avail…
New bio-based solutions to effectively control weeds and pests are cropping up. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
August 25, 2016
Working Together For A Common Cause Key …
Cirus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna says the industry is sustained by strength in numbers. Read More
Citrus
August 24, 2016
Florida Citrus Granted New Incentive To …
A state-backed $5.5 million grove renovation/re-establishment program is now available and accepting applications. Read More
Citrus
August 24, 2016
Meet Florida’s 2016 Woman Of The Year In…
Dedication to fostering the state’s farming future defines the latest winner of longtime honor. Read More
Berries
August 24, 2016
Researchers Unravel Genetic Ancestry Of …
A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers. Read More
Potatoes
August 24, 2016
Fifth-Year Doctoral Student Receives NPC…
The National Potato Council (NPC) has announced that Justin Clements, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Read More
Fruits
August 24, 2016
Don’t Underestimate The Value Of P…
Sure, you can see and talk with virtually anyone in the world through your smart phone, but you can’t shake their hand. Read More
Farm Management
August 24, 2016
Swaying Views On GMO Foods No Easy Task
Featured speaker for the upcoming FFVA Annual Convention says tides are slowly turning in how people digest the concept of genetic modification. Read More
Grapes
August 23, 2016
Deeper Irrigation Method Showing Promise…
A new subsurface irrigation system is showing promise for slashing water usage in vineyards. Many vineyards use drip lines that Read More
Disease Control
August 23, 2016
Florida Sweet Corn Has New Deadly Stalke…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Fruits
August 23, 2016
New Insecticides Geared To Give Growers …
Check out three unique chemistries from several of the industry's leading crop protection suppliers. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2016
Apple Crop Forecasts Live On Twitter
You'll be able to get up-to-the-minute reports of not only the various regions of the U.S., but key production regions around the world. Read More
Oranges
August 22, 2016
Major OJ Purchase Promises Relief For Fl…
$30 million planned acquisition from USDA to be used for surplus removal. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
August 22, 2016
Florida Citrus Breeders Squeezed For Tim…
The pressure is on to develop a more HLB-tolerant orange. Read More
Pest Control
August 21, 2016
Spotted Wing Drosophila: For Michigan, …
Why the pest can be so much more destructive for Eastern cherry growers might be due to what they’re not farming. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]