The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*
It’s a trend in American agriculture: the big are getting bigger. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show farms with at least $1 million in annual revenue account for 4% of the nation’s farms, but 66% of the commodities produced in the nation.
As farm workforces and asset bases grow and change, farmers today are increasingly adapting farm management strategies to integrate things like human relations and employee management.
Changing farm management priorities
As farms and acres grow, so do workforces. That causes changes in farm management priorities, added Nationwide Agribusiness Senior Underwriting Director Doug Becker.
“Large farmers are investing in bigger facilities and truck fleets. You may need to start adding HR resources so you can manage new tasks like vetting truck drivers so you know your fleet is well-maintained and safe,” Becker said. “That’s not an easy transition for farmers who are wired to put ROI first. It’s hard to put a price on adding people and resources to make sure you’re not becoming more exposed to risk.”
Consider these factors for larger farms
Mitigating that risk on large farms happens in different ways. Managing a large farm today accounts for risk mitigation in several ways. Consider devoting resources to these priorities as your farm grows:
ROI isn’t always immediate
While ROI is a major factor in many changes as your farm grows, it’s often difficult to measure for things like workforce training and education. That doesn’t mean they’re without value. “Since these aren’t really tangible, they’re not necessarily going to show a direct ROI,” Becker said. “It’s important to see the value of these things when you’re growing your operation.”
For these types of specific farm management components, Owens recommends thinking in the context of both ROI and general competitiveness.
“There has to be a return on the investment,” he said. “Investing in these types of things will help make you more competitive, which will provide ROI in the long run.”
*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2019. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2021 Nationwide.
Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to nationwide.com/southernstates to find a local agent.
At Southern States®, we are proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on farm insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.