Are You Looking For the Right Farmers?

We all know farmers are important, but sometimes the magnitude of just how important they are can be forgotten. Agriculture and those industries dependent upon it comprised 5.5% of the total United States GDP in 2015, with farming itself accounting for 1% of that number. That 1% translated into over 136 billion dollars.

Value Added to GDP by Agriculture Industries Chart

Source: USDA

The Farmers’ Predicament

 
Given all the different products and services that the United States produces, the agriculture industry’s contribution is not an insignificant number. Most of us, however, continue to take their role for granted.

Though the industry is and will continue to be a key element of the prosperity America enjoys, the cost of keeping all this going is not exactly cheap. The needed machinery can be a huge investment for farmers.

In addition to the initial cost, they have to keep in mind interest, taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and labor wages for machinery operators. All of that adds up to a hefty sum, which is why it’s not surprising that the decision to buy a new piece of equipment is one farmers do not take lightly.

Then there’s the unfortunate fact that the profitability of the farming sector has been falling. In recent years, the average farm income has come down and commodity prices have fallen. Though income is down, farmers and growers still need tractors, cultivators, sorters, spreaders, and all the other equipment that helps make their lives easier. Whether growing crops or raising livestock, there is a plethora of gear that our agriculturists have come to rely on.

The Key to Reaching Farmers

 
But with profitability down how can you sell equipment to those with less money and thereby less likely to buy? When faced with tough times like these efficiency is key.

Manufacturers and dealers need to be better equipped to cater to their core clientele. Keeping up with the latest industry trends, a finger on the pulse of the market, is important so that you don’t miss opportunities. For instance, through EDA’s Industry Insights, you can see that March is trending as the time to push used over new agriculture equipment sales. Insights like that can put you ahead of the competition.

In today’s down market, farmers are tightening their belts and being more frugal with their money. So, moving forward it is more important than ever to find the right farmers for your product.

Where To Look For Farmers

 
Using data gathered by the USDA we can look at the areas with the most agricultural activity. With their data, we can narrow our scope to the top ten states for agriculture.

Map of Top 10 Agriculture Producing States in the U.S.A.

Source: USDA

But this is all public information and easily obtained. While it is a good start, someone else could get this material just as easily. With a little more information, available through Randall-Reilly’s EDA, you can take it a step further and see exactly which states or regions are loyal to a specific brand of equipment. Want to refine your search and try to target only those farmers who own multiple pieces of machinery as opposed to those only owning one? Now you can. Anything and everything, down to the age of the equipment currently owned and when they are likely to purchase a new piece based on previous behavior and buying cycles, is now only a search away.

Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition

 
Digging a little deeper and having access to this kind of information will set your company apart from the competition. It’s relatively easy to find out which regions are the most active. But what if  you knew details about the farmers who work in those regions? Knowing where to look is important, but having a head start on knowing who to look for could be invaluable.

This country was built on the hard work of farmers and we continue to depend on them to put food on our tables today. It has been and will continue to be an important contributing factor to our nation’s success. But in down times, such as the industry is currently experiencing, competition to gain and maintain a customer base is more important than ever. Utilizing the information available to you and building a custom audience for your product can be crucial to growing and nurturing a loyal customer base that could last for years to come. It’s not about finding farmers. It’s about finding the right farmers.
 

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