Many individuals use the term risk when discussing farming when they really mean uncertainty. Risks are measurable; farmers can calculate and prepare for them. Uncertainties are not quantifiable which means farmers cannot gauge them. While most people do not like to dwell on the negative, farmers cannot afford to ignore risks within their operation. Below are several risks that farmers can address and mitigate straightaway.
Clear Contingency Plans
No one likes to consider his or her mortality, but it is necessary to ensure farms continue to run smoothly during adverse events. Farmers need to make sure vital employees have a backup team in place. Backup employees can be existing staff members. These substitute workers should have all necessary skills to perform the job, so farmers may need to cross train these individuals. Contingency plans are not only in place for deaths. They allow farmers to leave the farm if needed without bringing business to a halt.
Farms are often a family operation, but this presents challenges. Power struggles and secrecy plague family businesses. These issues are particularly damaging during a transfer of leadership. Almost all family businesses suffer from communication problems. Some examples include authoritarianism, refusing to accept blame, and ongoing disputes. Farmers can hire consultants who specialize in family businesses to address communication issues. Bringing in a third party will help keep emotions out of business discussions.
Victims of Success
While many business owners may think there is no such thing as too much success, farmers are at an increased risk of expanding at an unsustainable rate. Before taking advantage of a growth opportunity, farmers need to analyze the costs of their current operation as well as how much money they have in reserve. Farmers need to make sure they can bear the burden of increased costs while waiting for returns. They also need to address logistical elements. For example, if a farmer purchases new land two hours away from his or her home, he or she needs to determine who will manage it.
Farmers cannot remove every threat to their operation. Some are uncontrollable, such as the environment. However, several farming risks are manageable and farmers should take steps to confront them. Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks specific to their farms and suggest methods to managing them. To learn more, contact us today.
This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.agribusiness best practices, agribusiness blog, agribusiness planning, agribusiness protection, agribusiness risk