Finding the right crop mix for your farm operation is essentially one of the most challenging decisions that you will face. There are many factors that influence farmers’ crop selections, including seed pricing, market demand, soil conditions, and market competition. Crop diversification, which may also include livestock diversification, is the act of changing a portion of your farm to include a new commodity that offers higher profitability than the commodity that it has replaced. Based on our 2016 survey of nearly 500 farmers and ranchers, more than 71 percent reported that they make changes to their crop selection annually to yield higher profits on the commodities that are grown. Other influencing factors included:
- Major commodity price drops
- Declining demand for crops
- Higher labor expenses for crops that are harder to harvest
- Greater input or maintenance costs
Continue reading to learn how crop diversification is helping farmers increase their productivity and reduce their financial risks.
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