This is the final part in a four-part series running this week on FarmFutures.com. See links to the series at the end of this story.
In our most recent Farm Futures survey, hundreds of farmers revealed how they are making adjustments to cope with low grain prices. Most everyone will delay new equipment purchases and will watch expenses like a hawk.
Here's a sampling of comments:
"We traded two older, high-maintenance tractors for one 2-year-old low-hour tractor."
"Prepay crop expenses; go all no-till."
"We'll sell lazy assets and will expand cattle operation to offset grains."
"We're increasing off-farm revenues, like trucking and custom application."
"More cover crops to recycle nutrients and lower herbicide needs."
"We are watching markets to place puts on beans and milo, restructured planting schedule to minimize risk, and will maximize yields through irrigation."
"We're thinking about retirement in the next four years. I don't want to, but I feel like the coach who won the Super Bowl and stayed too long."
"Laid off one full-time employee and will use less part-time labor."
"Will mine some built-up fertility."
"Plan not to make any major purchases, but be ready when purchase prices become an offer I can't refuse."
"We put pressure on suppliers to lower costs, and shopped around more than in the past."
"Will use more tech … to fine-tune fertilizer timing and placement."
"I rented my best land out for high rent."
"When grain prices were higher, I paid off most of my debt and have been paying cash for everything now, including land purchases."
"Let a rental farm go. Landlord wouldn't lower rent or improve drainage and the farm was a poor performer."
"I'm going to try to outgrow the lower prices with yield."
"We are planting more sorghum. We planted cover crops to, hopefully, decrease input costs and retain moisture."
"Premium markets for corn and soybeans; i.e. non-GMO and white corn."
"We added a second marketing adviser who pursues more speculative futures trades in an attempt to capture more profits outside traditional hedges."
"We're using managerial accounting and marginal analysis to evaluate decisions."
Survivor's guide to low commodity prices: Cost cutting – Part one
Survivor's guide to low commodity prices: Communicate with partners – Part two
Survivor's guide to low commodity prices: Free up cash – Part three
Survivor's guide to low commodity prices: Survey says – Part four (current entry)