2015 was probably the second best year Franklin Fogelman has had since he began farming 18 years ago.
The fourth generation farmer says his operation bucked the trend for many Mid-South farming operations last year by making changes back when the profit margins were much better for most of agriculture.
“We went into it thinking maybe it would be the first only year of a farm recession or decline in prices,” he said, speaking during the Survival Strategy Summit sponsored by BASF in conjunction with the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, Tenn. “We attacked it hard.
“Like a typical year we had several crops that had average production; we were carried by one or possibly two crops,” said Fogelman, who also operates a real estate business. We made some changes as we continue to do every year. Now it looks like it will not be the one and only year where we talk about this.”
Part of the land Fogelman farms near Marion in East Arkansas has been in his family since 1911. But Fogelman doesn’t feel like he’s bound by family tradition or conventional wisdom on making business decisions.
“Why are we talking about doing some of these things now?” he asked. “A good business principle is a good principle with $14 beans and $7 corn. Why do I wait until time to tighten to start making changes? So some of the things I could be doing for 16 I’ve already been doing them. I’ve been doing them for years.”
For more on the agricultural outlook, click on http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/oce-usda-agricultural-projections/oce-2016-1.aspx.