Farm Management Tour: July 17, 2024

Learn about innovative farm management strategies, new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity, ways to ensure a successful transition of farm operations to the next generation. Join us at the 91st annual Purdue Farm Management Tour and reception honoring the 2024 Indiana Master Farmers in Randolph County (Winchester), Indiana on Wednesday, July 17th.

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strategic risk

Managing Strategic Risks on Your Farm

Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture recorded a series of short podcasts and accompanying videos to help agricultural producers improve their strategic risk management skills. Farms are exposed to strategic risks that are caused by a wide variety of unanticipated shocks to the operating environment ranging from government policy shifts to disease outbreaks.

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Key Resources

Advancements in production agriculture continue to accelerate making the business environment more complex and creating a significant need for a forward-thinking mindset. Develop an integrated risk management approach and build a strategic plan now.

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Farm Resilience, Management Practices, and Producer Sentiment: Segmenting U.S. Farms Using Machine Learning Algorithms

Margaret Lippsmeyer, Michael Langemeier, James Mintert, and Nathan Thompson segment U.S. farms by farm resilience, management practices, and producer sentiment. This paper was presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in February. 

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Farm Agility, Resilience & Strategic Risk

Purdue ag economists Brady Brewer, Michael Langemeier and Margaret Lippsmeyer discuss the importance of strategic risk management and the factors that contribute to a farm’s resilience In this episode of the Purdue Commercial AgCast.

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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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