2019 Farming Predictions
In the absence of a crystal ball, here’s what some industry experts are predicting for farmers in 2019:
· Fewer soybeans, but more corn and spring wheat—The U.S. is expected to continue to be the number one corn producer in the world, but tariffs will make Brazil the top soybean producer. U.S. soybean farmers are likely to transition to corn or spring wheat.
· Corn prices likely to increase to $3.90 per bushel—This is likely due to three years of strong international demand for meat as producers rely on corn to feed their livestock.
· A shift in trade—Over the past year, the U.S. doubled sales to the European Union and Mexico, which are now our top two soybean export markets.
· Cost and profits flat—Fertilizer and fuel prices may increase, but lower cash rents will balance it out.
· Better dairy markets—Since it can’t get much worse, prices are likely to increase, but the predicted 5 percent gain won’t offset large losses.
3 TIPS FOR HIRING FARM LABOR
With some farmers struggling to find reliable farm labor, it is important to invest some thought in the hiring process. Here are some tips for finding the right help:
1. Examine your needs. You might have a general idea in your head of what work needs to be done, but it’s best to be specific. Narrow down broad processes into specific jobs so you can determine how much help you truly need.
2. Think about desired traits. Do you need someone to fill a temporary need, or are you hoping that person can go on to fill a managerial role? You’ll have to determine whether people skills are more important than manual labor or machinery skills, and list those traits in your job description.
3. Consider hiring for a trial period. If you’re hesitant about a candidate but need immediate help, consider hiring them for a short-term trial period. This saves you from high employee turnover while buying you time to recognize your needs. It allows both you and the worker to communicate any frustrations and expectations after the trial period before considering whether the working relationship is worth investing in long term.