March 14, 2024 / 2 minute read

Take Action to Beat the Tough Conditions

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

-        Abraham Lincoln

Your job doesn’t come with built-in performance bonuses or an annual raise. The best days start with a cup of coffee out of the thermos and end with a sandwich on the tailgate; the worst days — well, you know how those go. You know how to endure tough seasons. And no matter how hard you work, so many factors are out of your control.

The farming forecast for 2024 suggests it will be a hard row to hoe. That means it’s even more crucial to have the right gameplan that starts from the ground up. The U.S. Department of Agriculture painted a somber picture during its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in February. The USDA projects net farm income will drop more than 25% year over year. The industry faces headwinds from multiple fronts.

The Challenges Ahead

It’s not news to you that commodity prices have plunged since a banner year in 2022. Corn, soybeans and wheat prices are down another 20% to 40% from 2023. As a result, the USDA expects total inflation-adjusted cash receipts to drop for the second straight year. But that’s only part of the equation. The falling crop prices come at a time when direct government farm payments are projected to drop more than 15% and total production expenses are expected to rise about 4%.

Take Control

Every one of those factors is out of your control. The focus, then, should be on what you can do to navigate the situation. Lean years require the strategy to be stronger and the planning more purposeful. The reality is budgets will be tight. Now is the time to make the land you already farm more productive. That’s where ADS comes in.

Improving your farm by more than acre count is a smart way to make the most of the down years. Installing drainage tile boosts yields up to 30%. Even if the acres you farm remain the same, your production can make a substantial jump in a single year. That’s a much-needed jolt when commodity prices are low.

And the thing is, installing drainage tile isn’t just a project for the tough years; it’s playing the long game, too. The USDA projects we’ll have longer droughts and wetter storms in the future — weather patterns that drainage tile is uniquely able to tackle.

The Tough Get Going

Your local ADS rep knows the outlook and is ready to make a plan that helps you and your family tackle the tough months ahead. After all, we’re here to keep families farming through the good years and the downturns. Contact your rep today. 

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