Nothing like rising prices to lift a farmer’s spirit!
So, here we are, perhaps at the end of a seven-year downturn in farm gate prices. These past seven years have certainly been the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.
Farmers’ mental health has been a hot topic of discussion as a result, but as my cousin the dairy farmer said to me a few years ago, “There’s no mental health problems that better prices wouldn’t cure!”
Stress does take it’s toll. Some signs can be seen; some are often unseen. So it’s nice to see most prices on an upward trajectory, and it’s even nicer to see farmers’ spirits rise. Rising prices do help.
We’ve just completed the J.L. Farmakis, Inc. Farmer Speaks study for 2021 and farmers are feeling pretty good. Government payments have cushioned trade blows over the past few years, and farmers have made a lot of changes to tighten up their budgets and get their yields up.
And a $5 increase in soybean prices makes a poor yield still look okay on the balance sheet.
But make no mistake: The 2020 season was disappointing for many. Between bad weather and poor yields, average satisfaction with the year was a dismal 69% out of 100%. But there’s always next year!
If you’re a supplier, prepare for less churn in the marketplace. We see much less brand switching on seed, and still a lot of wait and see on the chemical side.
Growers are still fine tuning, but they have put the screws to nearly everything they can over the past few years, and they are on track. I think we are going to see a pretty good year for equipment sales if prices stay where they are or move higher.
Contact your J.L. Farmakis, Inc. representative for more information. This is a longitudinal study of 120 farmers over the past six years. There are lots of good insights in it, if I do so say myself!