A new research study conducted in February by Millennium Research and commissioned by J.L.Farmakis, Inc. shows the extent to which growers are reacting to low commodity prices. Farmers shared the changes they are making to survive the downturn and signaled dramatic shifts in their plans for 2016.
Among the findings of the Farmer Speaks Study are:
• Half of the farmers surveyed are seeking off-farm employment
• 74% will switch to generics or change brands of crop protection products
• No new equipment purchases will be made by 37% of the farmers
• Reduced traits in seeds and changes in fertilizer practices were significant.
• Increased attention to marketing aims to raise revenue through better prices
Bill Farmakis, President of J.L. Farmakis, Inc. observes that shifts of this magnitude have not been seen since the 1980s. “There are a few of us who are around who recall those difficult times. We invested this year in the study to discover what farmers are doing today to adapt to the present reality,” says Farmakis. “Our goal was to help better understand what farmers are thinking, so that our media partners, their advertisers and growers can work together to address the changes as they happen.”
The initial study was conducted with 160 growers primarily in the Midwest, but also with farmers from other agriculture areas around the county. A follow-up Farmer Speaks study is being planned with Millennium Research with an expanded farmer panel later this year. If interested, a copy of the study can be requested from J.L. Farmakis, Inc. at jlfarmakis.com/farmerspeaks.
Farmakis explains the study in this interview: Interview with Bill Farmakis
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