Farmers’ grain marketing satisfaction increases with knowledge and use of cost of production data to price their crop, according to the 2023 State of the Farm Report published by Bushel. Bushel is an independently-owned software technology company focused on developing digital tools for the agricultural supply chain.
Bushel’s 2023 State of the Farm Report is based on a comprehensive survey of more than 1,350 U.S. farmers. The survey asked questions pertaining to technology, grain marketing, industry payment practices, sustainability opportunities, and future priorities and concerns.
“At Bushel, we are committed to staying in touch with industry trends and with the people who use our software,” said Julie Christensen, product marketer for Bushel Farm, the next generation of farm management software. “Our State of the Farm report helps us do just that, and on top of it, we can share what we learn with our customers and the broader industry for greater impact.”
Key findings of the report:
- The State of the Farm Report began as an annual farmer survey in 2017 by FarmLogs (now Bushel Farm). It has become one of the largest farm surveys with more than 1,350 respondents in 2023.
- The report responses predominantly represent larger farms with 50% of respondents farming more than 500 acres. This contrasts with the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture reporting only 15% of U.S. farms of this size.
- A significant 86% of respondents identified themselves as the farm’s primary financial decision-maker.
Confidence in Grain Marketing
- The report reveals only 4% of respondents expressed high satisfaction with their grain marketing results, while 42% of respondents were neutral.
- When a farmer knows and uses their cost of production data when pricing their crop, their satisfaction with their grain marketing results increases. 74% of respondents who reported being satisfied with their marketing results said they use cost of production data to set the initial price for their crop. Among those farmers who said they were dissatisfied with their marketing, only 50% were using their cost of production data to guide their marketing efforts.
Experimenting with Technology
- The report indicates 44% of respondents are willing to experiment with new agricultural technologies. Another 21.8% are willing to try new technologies after seeing successful implementation by others. Respondents in the 18-40 age range are the most likely to experiment with new technologies.
- 31% of all respondents said they are likely to use an app or website to submit firm offers or sell grain, while another 31% remained unsure. In comparison, in 2022, 75% of respondents said they did not want to sell their crops through an app.
New Ways of Thinking about Transactions
- The survey reveals that, despite 82% of grain payments currently being made through paper checks, nearly 40% of farmers have already embraced digital payment methods and are familiar with this technology.
- Although paper checks remain the primary form of payment for grain and inputs among farmers, shifting consumer preferences are expected to significantly impact the agriculture sector. A separate 2022 American Finance Professionals Digital Payments Survey indicated that B2B check payments have declined by nearly 50% from 2004 to 2023.
- Asked about sustainability programs, 84% of respondents expressed an interest in obtaining information about participating. However, only 10% are currently participating in carbon or sustainability programs.
- The primary reason cited for not participating in such programs was a lack of sufficient information, with 60% of respondents stating that they need more information to engage in sustainability or carbon programs.
- Online research emerged as the primary resource for farmers seeking information on sustainability programs, followed by insights from peers and agronomists/ag input dealers.
Priorities for the Future
The report highlights that farmers are focused on their business operations for the next year with three top priorities:
- Increasing profitability
- Tracking/improving individual field performance
- Improving marketing strategies
To download the full report, visit https://bushelfarm.com/2023-state-of-the-farm