The agriculture business is incredibly rewarding, providing a source of income – and enjoyment – for millions of people. However, as with most industries, it isn’t without its issues, and many farming business owners will face a number of challenges over the course of running their company.
If you already own a farm or would like to do so in the future, then the need to overcome these challenges is crucial to sustaining success. Below, we have detailed the three major issues faced by farmers and provided some advice as to the best solutions for each concern.
1) Soil degradation
The soil in the USA is not as fertile, or as nutritious, as it once was, with monoculture – the practice of planting the same crops, year in year out, in the same field – shouldering much of the blame.
The problems caused by soil depletion are problematic, but there is a relatively simple way to mitigate them: cover crops. Cover crops help to bolster the soil naturally, and their use is becoming increasingly popular. It is therefore highly advisable to consider using cover crops on your farm in future, with options such as rye, vetch, and clover all well worth considering.
2) Suboptimal yield
Yield is a difficult subject for many farmers, not least because yield so often feels like it is out of their control. While farmers know they want to achieve the greatest return from their available land, sometimes, this just won’t happen – and pinpointing the exact cause of poor performance can be as impossible as finding a needle in a haystack.
Thankfully, there are some innovations that can help manage suboptimal yield by applying constant analysis to a variety of different elements. Precision AG programs from the likes of MKCoop are designed to apply a data-driven strategy in order to achieve the best possible yield, every time. If you’ve struggled to reach the yield you believe your land is capable of – and especially if you have struggled to ascertain why your farm is underperforming – then these advanced programs could be the solution you need.
3) High oil prices / low produce prices
Oil prices directly influence farmers, with high oil prices leading to higher gas prices for the machinery they rely on. Unfortunately, this issue is currently being compounded by relatively low prices on produce, leaving farmers trapped: they have to spend more to work, but they’re receiving less in return for that work.
There is no simple solution to this issue, though increasing overall farm efficiency and improving yield could both help to safeguard against the gap for the moment. For the future, electric farming vehicles may be a viable solution, with the first electric tractors expected to start appearing on farms as soon as 2020.
Agriculture and farming can initially seem to be industries that are rife with issues, but it is important to remember that there are dedicated experts – and companies – seeking to ensure farmers can overcome the problems they face. By seeking advice and intelligent solutions, every farming business can jump the hurdles, and strive towards a profitable, successful future.