ENFIELD, Conn. — Farm Credit East recently released the findings of a survey indicating Northeast farm, fishing and forestry producers face a number of business challenges in the year ahead. Topping the list are concerns with shrinking margins and lower prices, labor availability and regulatory compliance. Despite these challenges, Northeast producers are generally optimistic, with more than 70 percent of respondents looking to grow their business in the coming year.
These responses were pulled from Farm Credit East’s Pulse of Agriculture survey, which asks Northeast producers to provide insight into their 2016 business results and perspectives on the year ahead. A cross section of more than 150 Northeast producers responded to this year’s survey. Key results included:
- Almost 70 percent of respondents continue to be optimistic or cautiously optimistic for the future of their farming enterprise.
- 94 percent of respondents plan to either maintain or increase production in the coming year, but at a slightly more modest rate than previous years, with about half of respondents looking to increase production by 1 to 10%. Additionally, respondents indicated the top focus of their 2017 business plan to be the availability of land (36%), restructuring operations (34%) and the addition of an enterprise (26%).
- In terms of gross farm income, more than half of respondents either stayed about the same or experienced growth in 2016.
- Survey respondents anticipate consumer buying habits to stay about the same as they have been in previous years, with a cautious outlook on spending in 2017.
This survey was conducted in December 2016 into early January 2017. The survey was open to any farmer, fisherman or forest products producer operating within the seven Northeast states of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The survey was made available on Farm Credit East’s website and social media sites. To view the full report of Farm Credit East’s Pulse of Agriculture survey results, visit FarmCreditEast.com.
—Farm Credit East
For more articles concerning finance, click here.