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Highest farm profits since 2001 vs. OMG the farmers have it so bad?
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Posted 9/13/2020 21:53 (#8494206 - in reply to #8494100)
Subject: RE: Highest farm profits since 2001 vs. OMG the farmers have it so bad?

The Campbell Soup Company example is a good one why corporate America cannot and finally will not end up being the endpoint of American ag. Unlike pork or chicken production, the American land base is simply too diverse for a "one size fits all" corporate management style. One can place a large sow farm complex virtually anywhere where the management protocols can be applied and with the necessary employee training produce a consistent product. But in production agriculture in the major crop world it takes nimble knowledge of local conditions regarding soils,weather, fertility, and a host of other variables to make an enterprise profitable year in and year out. We all know that some practices that may work here in the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington would lead to bankruptcy in short order if applied elsewhere in the country and vice versa. One cannot simply identify all of the key variables across environments. It is interesting to me that most of the big COOPs that have attempted to move into actual production soon divest themselves of those efforts and concentrate on the contracting and marketing of the products they were attempting to grow themselves. This has been true of spuds, most vegetables, sugar beets, clover seed, grass seed, and a host of other crops. The most notorious example--CHS has, from what I have heard, totally exited the crop production side in Brazil.

Even the most concentrated of industries have found it to their advantage to "farm out" many aspects of their business which used to be under their full management control. The major oil companies do virtually no drilling or exploration anymore. Profitability is better without assuming the risks of that part of the business.

The fear of corporate takeover is overdone.

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