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strategic risk

Agility and Producer Sentiment

Survey of U.S. farmers reveals how a farm’s agility relates to farm growth. Respondents were asked if they had established goals, objectives, and core values; whether their farm looked for opportunities that new enterprises may provide; whether they regularly assessed their advantages and disadvantages compared to other farms.

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Absorption Capacity and Producer Sentiment

Survey of U.S. farmers reveals how absorption capacity drives farm growth and resilience. Respondents were asked if they had low per unit fixed costs, a diversified enterprise mix, and a strong balance sheet.

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Resilience to Strategic Risk

Off-the-shelf strategic risk management tools remain unavailable for farmers (unlike availability of forward pricing commodities, hedging commodities using futures and/or options, locking in input prices, etc., for financial, marketing, and production risk), furthering the misconception that strategic risks are “unmanageable”. Strategic risk management requires a more deliberate approach (i.e., enhancing farm agility and absorption capacity). Results presented in this article reveal how resilience to strategic risk relates to future growth expectations, optimism on the state of the agricultural economy, use of management practices, and financial performance.

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Why is Managing Strategic Risk So Important in Production Agriculture?

Strategic risk is difficult to quantify.  Despite this fact, it is important to prepare risks impacting U.S. farms and build resilience.

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Agility and Absorption Capacity

Over the past several years, maintaining agility and absorption capacity has been a solid mechanism to deal with strategic risk. Absorption capacity has enabled farms to maintain some sense of stability with market turbulence caused by increases in input prices, Covid-19, trade restrictions, higher rental rates, fluctuations in labor availability, ongoing geopolitical conflict, and market downturns. As farms face these obstacles there is also a greater need for agility, including innovative techniques that can reduce business costs, enable workers to shift assignments to meet changing business needs, and diversify to reduce risk.

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Experience, Knowledge, & Collaboration: Why Good Managers Make an Effort to Improve

Knowledge, experience, and collaboration work hand in hand with one another to improve farm output per unit of input (i.e., productivity). Pursuit of one of these items without the others creates a disparity between farms able to survive and those that thrive in the industry. But the question arises, why do these factors play such a critical role in farm performance? This article reflects on the impact these three factors have on farm productivity and describes how each relates to management strategy.

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