Recently we started a wonderful panel for the JL Farmakis Company called Farmer Speaks. It’s a random, representative selection of farmers, mostly from the Midwest, mostly corn and soybeans, who answer a few questions for us a couple times a year. I have to say, even as I believe in the predictive power of exceptional market research, when you connect the dots after the fact, it’s even more powerful.

We said in February of 2016 that there was more financial uncertainty among farms than the experts would have you think, and that at least half of farmers were concerned with crop prices that didn’t cover the cost of production. We asked what cost reduction strategies were in place. Here are the answers we received.

Monsanto just reported its third quarter results. Here’s the chart.

Sales are down from last year, sales growth is negative. Add on the fact that chemical and seed margins are down, not only at Monsanto, but Dupont and Dow as well.

If you had a good idea of how people were going to act months before they actually did what they said they were going to do, how much more successful could you be? How much more well-positioned could your company be?

Would you be able to surf the wave, rather than getting tossed about by stormy seas?

JL Farmakis is coming out with another Farmer Speaks panel. Should be available by about the time of the Farm Progress Show. Ask them for a copy, or ask me, and I will ask them.

Also, our Young Farmer survey is still front and center. Did you know that millennials make up almost one-third of the workforce, but fewer than 10% of farmers can be categorized as millennials? If you’d like to know more about the future of farming, drop me a line.

And be sure to check out my new guide on fostering productive sales conversations.