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
anti-GMO corn spoof via social media
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat [Opinion]
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineeriing will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Fruits
May 24, 2016
Organic Sales Hit Record Of $43.3 Billion In 2015
Organic Trade Association says organic fruits and vegetables logged sales of $14.4 billion. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human Health
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam checks out prepared school lunches. School meals are looking more colorful these days as fresh produce finds a place on the tray.
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-To-School Programs
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyphosate Not Carcinogenic
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Food safety meeting for growers in Florida
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On Front Burner
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Example of cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus
Cucurbits
May 21, 2016
Cucurbit Yellow Stunting Disorder Virus Cases Flaring In South Florida
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
nutcracker crunching down on a walnut
Nuts
May 20, 2016
Bank Predicts A Roller Coaster Ride For Tree Nut Industry
Supply expected to grow by more than one-third in next five years, but decreasing demand may lower prices. Read More
Participants of a Citrus Health Roundtable hosted by Yara International pose for a post-event photo.
Insect & Disease Update
May 20, 2016
Yara International Pledges $100,000 To Support Florida Agriculture Students
Scholarship will fund University of Florida undergraduate and graduate students. Read More
South Florida farmland
Citrus
May 20, 2016
Florida Farmland Becoming Big Deal For Institutional Investors
Real estate values in the Sunshine State dictated by money looking for a home. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat …
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineeriing will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
Fruits
May 24, 2016
Organic Sales Hit Record Of $43.3 Billio…
Organic Trade Association says organic fruits and vegetables logged sales of $14.4 billion. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human …
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-T…
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyph…
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On F…
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Cucurbits
May 21, 2016
Cucurbit Yellow Stunting Disorder Virus …
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Nuts
May 20, 2016
Bank Predicts A Roller Coaster Ride For …
Supply expected to grow by more than one-third in next five years, but decreasing demand may lower prices. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
May 20, 2016
Yara International Pledges $100,000 To S…
Scholarship will fund University of Florida undergraduate and graduate students. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2016
Florida Farmland Becoming Big Deal For I…
Real estate values in the Sunshine State dictated by money looking for a home. Read More
Citrus
May 19, 2016
Bayer Makes Bid For Monsanto
Monsanto says proposal is being reviewed by board of directors as well as legal and financial advisors. Read More
GenNext Growers
May 19, 2016
Get To Know Rory Crowley Of The Almond L…
The assistant operations manager and director of business and research development for the Nicolaus Nut Company, Rory Crowley talks about how the Almond Leadership Program helped him prepare for the future. Read More
Disease Control
May 19, 2016
Native Plants Reduce Need For Vineyard W…
Scientists in eastern Washington are finding drought-tolerant alternatives to roses at the end of vineyard rows that not only save Read More
Grapes
May 18, 2016
Minnesota Has New Cold-Hardy, Lower-Acid…
The University of Minnesota has released a new cold-hardy grape that holds promise for winemakers wanting to make dryer wines Read More
Farm Management
May 17, 2016
Tour De Fresh Cycling Event Will Raise F…
The goal for 2016 is to place 50 additional salad bars in schools across the country. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
$130 Million In Funds For Fruit And Vege…
USDA allocates funds for Extension, organic production, food safety, and technology grants. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
Border Protection Intercepts New Leafhop…
First of its kind found in European shipment. Read More
GenNext Growers
May 17, 2016
More Growers Going High-Tech Down On The…
Embracing new tools and technology will be key in driving productivity forward. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]