Agriculture.com - Successful Farming

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  • Risk and uncertainty in agriculture are as old as agriculture itself.Whether dealing with unexpected equipment issues, taking a hit in profitability due to lower crop prices, or coping with yield-threatening problems like droughts and pests, few growers are immune from the many unpredictable and potentially devastating factors that can impact their operations.Consider the recent volatility of crop prices. The USDA forecasts corn prices between $3.35 and $3.95 per bushel for the 2014/2015 growing season. That’s a sharp drop from $4.46 per bushel in 2013/2014 and $6.89 per bushel in 2012/2013. Similarly, forecasted soybean prices between $9.45 and $10 per bushel would be less than the $13 per bushel in 2013/2014 and $14.40 per bushel in 2012/2013. A recent BASF survey of more than 200 growers in the United States found that nearly 75 percent are very or extremely concerned about managing financial risk in the 2015 season. Additionally, nine in 10 growers said they were very or extremely concerned about commodity price fluctuation, while nearly two-thirds of growers had the same level of concern regarding yield uncertainty. “Most growers head into their season with nagging concerns about the unpredictable risks they face, and are left to wonder if they did everything they could to position themselves for success,” said Scott Kay, Vice President of U.S. Crop Protection for BASF. “We at BASF believe that when every detail matters, every advantage counts.”According to the survey, nearly 60 percent of growers agree that they would like crop protection companies to partner with them in helping to manage risk in their operations. More than half agree that a comprehensive partnership would give them peace of mind.It’s a mindset that BASF shares. Its Grower’s Advantage initiative offers five options aimed at helping growers increase their yield potential, save money and get more out of their investments while minimizing risk.The BASF Planning Advantage initiative offers growers financial rebates for purchases of specific BASF fungicides. The company’s Yield Advantage initiative is a comprehensive pest-management initiative that utilizes a combination of effective herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to increase growers’ profitability through higher yield potential. The Finance Advantage initiative provides cost-effective financing options, including 0 percent interest fixed financing and no-payments, no-interest financing for 180 days, for qualifying BASF product purchases. The BASF Investment Advantage initiative was created to help growers manage the fluctuation they may experience in their returns on operational investments. With this initiative, growers can receive partial rebates on qualifying BASF High Yield Package product purchases.For growers who invest in a BASF approach to managing corn, soy or wheat acres, the BASF Risk Advantage initiative offers a level of risk protection. Invested growers who purchase and use BASF products but find their yields are impacted by certain predefined variables will receive a partial financial refund from BASF.More information about these protection initiatives is available on the BASF Grower’s Advantage website.

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