The numbers are staggering. According to the USDA Farm sector profitability is forecast to decline for the third straight year. U.S. net cash farm income is forecast at $90.9 billion, down about 2.5 percent from the 2015 forecast levels. Net farm income is forecast to be $54.8 billion in 2016, down 3 percent. If realized, 2016 net farm income would be the lowest since 2002 (in both real and nominal terms) and a drop of 56 percent from its recent high of $123.3 billion in 2013.
Farmers all across the United States will be seeking ways in which to hold down their costs just to break even with last year. There isn't much they can do when it comes to seed and inputs but there is plenty they can do when it comes to fixing and repairing their equipment.
This is a golden opportunity to increase your sales and your standing in the agricultural community. How? It may take some work but here are a couple of suggestions:
- Let Farmers Know - Don't expect that all farmers know about you and your business. Take some time, and some cash, and let farmers know that you exist. That can come in the form of paid advertising or in social media;
- Focus on Cost Benefit - If you offer free shipping, quick delivery or any number of added value options make sure your customers are aware;
- Create a Call to Action - Not every visitor coming to your website knows exactly what to do. Make it easy for the visitor to go to the right place. Tell the visitor if you have live chat or a message service where you can answer their questions quickly and accurately. Consumers often need to be told "what to do".
The downturn in farm income is real and when you reach out to your customers and let them know you understand and you are willing to help...you'll boost your brand and your sales.