There’s a running joke in the agriculture world that is founded on the basis that baling twine can fix just about anything. From ‘why did the farmer cross the road…to buy more baling twine’ to endless online memes, they all humorously allude to farmers’ and ranchers’ skill at solving even complex problems with simple baling twine. Like most humor, there’s a sliver of truth to the anecdote in all its forms: the people in the ag industry are very adept at solving problems and at making things work, like using baling twine in a MacGyver-esque manner.
Crop diversification is one method that ag operators utilize to weather the literal and figurative storms that affect farms and ranches in every corner of the country. AgAmerica Lending conducted a survey in February 2016 about the trends in crop diversification across the nation, and how the practice affects ag operations. Here’s what we took away from the 500 responses:
- Crop diversification is widespread. Over 50 percent of the respondents had added a new crop in the last three years, 15 percent had added two, and another 15 percent had added three.
- Crop diversification changes take time. Of the producers who reported they’re planning to make a crop addition in 2016, almost two-thirds of them maintain they’re changing their current production by only 10 percent or less.
- Money plays a big role. While the goal of crop diversification is to improve a farm’s financial health, money concerns drive the decision-making process. In the survey, 12 percent of growers reported they would diversify further if commodity prices were more consistent and 21 percent maintained they would utilize more crop diversification if they had additional capital.
As the leaders in farm lending, AgAmerica Lending is dedicated to assisting the country’s growers and producers with moves that create financial strength, such as farming diversification. We’ve helped numerous farmers and ranchers to grow their businesses with our ag loans that offer low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit.