Monday, March 14, 2016

Whether good times or bad, a sound business plan works Mar 8, 2016 Ron Smith

Regardless of whether cotton and grain prices are high, or the bottom has fallen out, a sound business plan is a valuable tool. A strategic management plan should be ongoing, says Frank Fogleman, a producer who is trying to deal with 2016’s challenging economic outlook. The Crittenden County, Ark., farmer was among 16 leading producers who participated in a BASF “Survival Strategy Summit” during the Mid-South Farm and Gin show at Memphis. An important part of his risk management strategy, he says, is “Keep it simple.” Farmers sometimes have a tendency to changes things, switching from one crop to another, he says. “I prefer to do what I’m good at. I’m more likely to make yields by growing the crop I know best.” High yields may be overrated, Fogleman says. “We need to consider economic yield and profit margin.” Other participants in the summit, which was aimed at giving producers a forum to discuss the current outlook, said the current landlord/tenant relationship favors the landlord, and that under the current economic strain many farmers face going into 2016 planting arrangements need to change. Landlords, they say, have done well the last seven or eight years, and a dependable farmer was a good investment.

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