Another survey of U.S. farmers shows that growers are cutting back in 2016 as a result of tight profit margins and low crop prices. A survey released by the J.L. Farmakis organization reveals that growers are making changes in their production plans. “Our goal was to help better understand what farmers are thinking, so that our media partners, their advertisers, and growers can work together to address the changes as they happen,” said Bill Farmakis, President of J.L. Farmakis, who notes that shifts of this magnitude have not been seen since the 1980s.
Farmakis said the survey showed that growers are also making changing in not only the types of products they use but also the brands they are choosing. Price and practicality are overriding brand loyalty and crop prices decline. The results of the survey showed:
- Half of the farmers surveyed are seeking off-farm employment.
• 74% will switch to generics or change brands of crop protection products.
• No new equipment purchases will be made by 37% of the farmers.
• Reduced traits in seeds and changes in fertilizer practices were significant.
• Increased attention to marketing aims to raise revenue through better prices.
Producers have seen tough times before, but the Farmakis study suggests that producers feel this downturn may last a bit longer than in the past. The initial study was conducted with 160 growers primarily in the Midwest, but also with farmers from other agricultural areas around the country. A follow-up Farmer Speaks study is being planned with Millennium Research with an expanded farmer panel later this year.
A copy of the study can be requested from J.L. Farmakis, Inc. at jlfarmakis.com/farmerspeaks.