To weather ag downturn: ‘Keep it simple’

Down cycles are a fact of life in agriculture, and producers who plan for those downturns are the ones who are best position to survive, Abbott Myers told stockholders at the annual meeting of Mississippi Land Bank.

The Dundee, Miss., rice and grains producer, who is chairman of the board of the Senatobia, Miss.-based agricultural lending operation that is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, says, “We’re in one of those down cycles now. With commodity prices the way they are, the best advice going forward is, keep it simple.

“My father always told me, ‘If you make a good crop, save some of that money — you’ll need it when things aren’t so good.’ And he has been proven right many times over the years I’ve been farming.

“I think we’re going to need some savings for the next couple of years. Farm overhead, inputs, living expenses, all need to be trimmed wherever we can. Use common sense. Don’t use farm equity to keep up with the Joneses. Hold on to that equity. Plan ahead rather than trying to come from behind. If you get behind, it’s awfully hard to ever catch up.”

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