Top farm executives spend time on three key activities—planning, financials and marketing—that go hand in hand, says Jeff Beal of the Gulke Group.
“They are lifelong learners,” Beal says.
Monthly planning is beneficial because it brings your team together to discuss opportunities for growth and profitability.
“Their perspective is different than your perspective,” says Beal, who spoke Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at a Top Producer workshop held before the Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference. Some operations are moving into organics, for example, because of higher margins.
Financials are critical because they affect every aspect of your farm, and they are the bedrock of sound commodity-marketing.
“There’s a lot more to farming than just cost of production,” Beal says. “How do you price stuff? When do you price? What’s the cost of inventory?”
Evaluate whether you are getting the most value out of assets, he says. Do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether it’s more profitable for you to plant and harvest or to hire a custom team to do those roles. Many farmers think their ability to plant or harvest is a key differentiator from other operations, but there might be other ways to add extra value, Beal points out.
Finally, be sure to spend time on commodity marketing. Beal says it’s his experience that farmers who hone their marketing on a regular basis are more successful than those who don’t take time to grow their knowledge.