The agriculture industry influences almost every sector of our national and global economies. Because agriculture is the backbone of our country, it’s important to understand what’s going on in the industry and what trends are coming down the pike.
A Push to Attract Younger Farmers
Young people are not entering farming in the same numbers they did a few decades ago. When students graduate from college, they face mountains of debt, which leads many to abandon the notion of farming and go into a field they believe to be more lucrative so they can pay off their debts. Farming associations and state and federal governments are looking for ways to incentivize young people to enter farming because the average age of the American farmer is 60, and the industry needs young people in order to survive.
Crop Monitoring Technology Will Advance
Farmers can now use drones to monitor and spray crops and use sensors attached to smartphone and computer apps to monitor fields. This year, the technology will continue to advance with drones that can withstand changing weather conditions, apps that offer extremely localized weather data and sensors that can collect even more data about the soil and condition of the crops therein.
Water Use Will Be A Big Focus
Agriculture is responsible for eighty percent of all water use in the United States, and with an ever-increasing focus on environmental issues, farmers are looking for ways to reduce consumption of water without negatively impacting yields. For example, what’s known as “dirty water” provides water for animals and then gets used to help water the crops when the animals are done drinking.
Food Safety Issues
When something like an E. coli outbreak occurs, farmers eat the costs. Those costs can range anywhere from 1/3 of one percent to over two percent of profits. These costs may continue to grow as farmers face increased regulations in the future. Preventing contamination in the fields and during transportation will be a big focus this year to help farmers offset the costs of an outbreak.
Increased Client Interaction
Small farmers are turning to social media to spread the word about their farms, and those numbers are expected to grow. Currently, forty percent of all farmers are on Facebook, and others are starting to branch out onto Instagram to connect with locals as well as people around the country. Social media accounts can also make it clear that farmers serve a vitally important role in the region’s economy and the life of the community. Knowing who’s growing the region’s food makes people feel more connected and invested in the foods they consume.
Is Your Ag Business Ready For 2021?
If you are looking for forward-thinking sales and marketing talent, who stay ahead of industry trends and can help your business maintain a competitive advantage, contact the agricultural industry staffing experts at Morris Bixby Group. Our proven strategies for success can help you achieve your recruiting and retention goals quickly and efficiently.