Our business is centered on making good products great through marketing and advertising. We spend a lot of time reflecting on trends, forecasts and consumer demand. (If you read our posts you already know that.) We tend to pay attention to manufacturing...especially agricultural manufacturing. That's why a recent newsletter caught our attention.
The Farm Equipment Manufacturing Association (The other FEMA) recently posted, via their newsletter, some pretty optimistic news. Even if you're not in the agriculture arena you might want to pay attention. Here's the basic bullet points:
- Several member manufacturers have already reported robust sales well in excess of projected numbers.
- Of 500 agricultural dealers polled in a recent published survey 51% responded they expect sales to be up significantly over 2006.
- Farmland is selling for record high prices. For example, here in Iowa at 230-acre tract of farmland with no commercial development potential was sold last week at auction for $6,010 per acre. The previous record price for similar land was $5,350.
What's going on? Clearly the boost in ethanol production is the new "Gold Rush". However other row crop products like soybeans with high concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid (good for you!) are clearly making gains. Add to that the rush toward organic and specialty crops you've got a pretty robust economy bubbling in ag.
Why should you pay attention when less than 2% of the US population is involved in production agriculture? It's a driver. A driver that can create opportunities. Are you paying attention and attempting to capture your share of the market?