Can U.S. Agriculture Continue To Be A Global Force?
At a recent agricultural bankers meeting in Little Rock, AK, this question was posed to me: “Can U.S. agriculture continue to be a global force?” My response is a resounding “yes.” An agricultural industry that will survive and thrive will have to understand four basic components.
Number one will be the consumer, both domestically and globally. Producers will have to understand the global strategy. Assess the consumer from a global context but then localize the strategic advantages of an area on the farm and ranch resource base.
Second, competitiveness is all about productivity. One aspect I am observing is outstanding producers implementing technology and management practices that are presenting a strategic advantage. It’s amazing how the bottom line is positively impacted on some farms that have implemented GPS and AutoTrac technology successfully.
The ability to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovation will be critical to the U.S. in being a global force. This strong research and implementation program will be a prerequisite to success. Our agricultural producers must realize that they are knowledge workers and must stay in the loop of the institutions and businesses on the cutting edge.
Finally, the U.S. must maintain an agricultural policy and regulatory system that is flexible and proactive. It should allow an industry and individual to be proactive and accountable to their actions ranging from environmental compliance to managing risk.
The Road Warrior of Agriculture
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Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.
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