Rear-View Reflections: Will you shy away, or seize the day?
by Global Ag Risk Solutions
Capitalizing on opportunity in 2022.
This year’s uncertainty leaves many decisions and options to weigh. Many of these decisions exist on a spectrum of risk and opportunity, depending on how you’re insured. With much on the line this year, here’s how de-risking your farm is the best path to long-term success.
Simple ways to leverage agronomy and marketing
Unfortunately, the record high cost of fertilizer is influencing agronomic decisions for farmers across the Prairies. However, in places with dry or drought conditions, there is an opportunity to recognize cost savings from nutrients in the ground. In drier areas, fertilizer applied last year wasn’t completely used by the plants, nor was there significant moisture to dissolve particles in the soil, so a portion of those nutrients remain in the soil and available for plant uptake in 2022. While unused nutrients would have had a negative impact on crops last year, these residual nutrients potentially pose a valuable opportunity this year.
Soil sampling is a simple, a cost-conscious way to get ahead this year. Spending $2 per acre on sampling could save a farm up to $15 per acre by not applying unnecessary fertilizer on fields with residual nutrients and still executing your 2022 crop plan.
Maybe soil sampling isn’t something you typically do, but the return on investment this year is especially high, given the circumstances with high input costs. Including sampling into your plans this year could put you well ahead of the pack by giving you insight directly correlated to your costs and savings before production. You’ll go into the growing season with insight to manage a better gross margin, and more information and data to build your marketing plans with.
And what about those marketing plans? Farmers are coming into a year with some of the highest, and most attractive grain prices in over a decade. On one hand, these historically high grain prices may lead to complacency. Why pay for insurance when grain prices could lead to a jackpot? On the other hand, the high prices also pose a great risk to farmers, especially in potential drought zones, as we saw in 2021. Locking in these forward prices also means locking in delivery and production contracts. We have a saying: “prosperity doesn’t come from austerity.” In a year that could be the most successful crop in recent history, farmers will need to be able to market aggressively and boldly, without the risk of defaulting on grain contracts.
One thing we frequently hear from farmers is that when suitably insured, they can make a marketing plan without reluctance, sell when cashflow requires it, and sell to that plan without fear of production contracts. If you don’t produce the grain, GARS still has your back.
The farms that de-risk with the right insurance will go into this season protected from the more challenging aspects of this year – drought uncertainty, record high fertilizer costs and the risk of not fulfilling contracts, and ready to capitalize on record high commodity prices.
Production Cost Insurance (PCI) removes the reluctance and the risk from farming decisions. This insurance product was created to allow farmers to make decisions with certainty and confidence. Yield loss, base price, cause of loss, or traditional peril – none of these are considerations or barriers with PCI.
Instead, we insure your bottom line by covering the costs of a farm’s three major inputs – seed, fertilizer and chemical, plus a gross margin of your choosing above those costs. Not only do you get to make more flexible agronomic decisions, based on your needs at various points in the growing season, but you can also stick to your marketing plans and not have to worry about fulfilling contracts in the event of a claim. Once you lock in your coverage, you will know exactly what revenue you’re insured for before you even begin seeding.
Like any year, 2022 is uncertain, but along with this big risk, you have big opportunity. Our advice this year is to put yourself in a position to farm like you’re going to have the crop of a lifetime, making generational wealth a real possibility for your farm. Now is the time to seize the day, not shy away.
Global Ag Risk Solutions offers insurance options for farmers to maximize profitability – regardless of weather. markets or the next combine payment. Chat with an advisor today to learn more about our customized insurance products. Visit agrisksolutions.ca for more information.