Marketing to farmers is no easy task. More than most, the agriculture industry is subject to rapid change from year to year. Market conditions and other variables in the industry can also shift drastically from season to season, forcing a complete overhaul of your B2B strategy at a moment’s notice. While agricultural marketing can be […]

The increasing cost of cash rent is leading many farmers to ask themselves if it is time to give up the lease on their farmland. Of course, the answer to this question has almost everything to do with the financial health of the operation.

In her article, Cash Rent Increases: When is the Right Time to Give Up a Lease?, the executive director of Nebraska Farm Business Inc., Tina Barrett, stresses that reducing cash rent is not a one-sided story.

Landowners have seen their own rapidly increasing costs. The average personal property and real estate taxes paid per acre has also been increasing. In the same 10-year period, this cost has also increased from $29.22 to $55.71.

But no matter how many sides to the story, the reality is that cash rents have doubled in the last 10 years. In Nebraska, that number has risen from $127.71 to $258.11. With cash rent now accounting for more than 30 percent of the total cost of irrigated corn, producers have no choice but to consider how to reduce this expense.

While no one wants to lose money at the end of each year, giving up land is something most producers want to avoid at all costs. This is especially true since while giving up land may reduce expenses, it also means there is less opportunity to make money. Giving up land has other implications, as well.

The likelihood of ever having the opportunity to farm that ground again once you give it up is slim. It is also tough to find additional ground to farm when the markets turn around.

Some operators have more time than others to make these types of tough decisions. Highly-leveraged operations with significant amounts of high-rent land require quicker action than those with low debt and few acres. And operators who have been around longer and have more net worth built up have more wiggle room than farmers just starting out. In the end, each situation is unique and as difficult as it may be, tough decisions need to be made.

If you own a business that markets to farmers or ranchers, getting that business up and running online can seem like a Herculean task. When it finally goes live, it may be tempting to sit back and bask in your accomplishment but that is the last thing you should do.

While it’s true that more than 90 percent of farmers and ranchers will go online to look for products and services, just because you are online doesn’t mean they will be able to find you. In fact, not actively promoting your brand online is the same as not being online at all.

According to The First 5 Things to Do After Getting Your Business Online, an article by the small business editor at Small Business Trends, there are some critical steps you need to take to keep your business moving forward after it goes online.

  1. Use your domain name to promote your brand
  2. Create lots and lots (did we mention a lot) of content
  3. Find customers through email, social media, and search engine optimization
  4. Create ecommerce capabilities and/or capture leads online
  5. Remain flexible and open to new ways of doing things

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t accomplish every item on this list immediately or perfectly. The important thing is that you have a plan and continue to work toward your online goals.

Keep track of what you learn and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way. As your needs change, you may need a full-fledged ecommerce site or you may want to make your website mobile-friendly.

Of course, if you feel that you are in over your head when it comes to getting notice online, it might be time to enlist some help. At US Farm Data, we have helped people just like you create content, actively connect with new farming and ranching customers, and capture leads. And that is just the beginning.

Finally, remember that just because your agriculture business is online, it doesn’t mean you can only use online methods to get it noticed. A combination of online and offline marketing tactics is usually the best strategy for getting your business noticed.