As a farmer what does retirement look like for you?
Working with experienced farmers is nothing new. As you look at the average age of a farmer, it is very common to work with many producers who are nearing retirement age. Many farmers today don’t have the next generation coming behind them, ready to take over the farm. For these producers, what’s next is really up in the air.
In many of these conversations, I hear the comment “I am playing for the end game.” So my question for you is this: what is the end game? Many farmers nearing retirement are looking to rent their family land to a younger farmer. One mistake I hear farmers make in their later years is putting less energy, effort, and money into their land. I see this as a knee-jerk reaction to limit business and crop input cost as they finish out their later years.
A productive Farm House
There are a few flaws in this thinking that I want to address today. The first is that limiting production in later years can limit the rental income on the land after retirement. Let’s face it, production always has a direct impact on cropland rental rates. If the production is really good, rental rates should reflect that. And if production is poor, the rental rates should follow. By limiting your emphasis on high production, you may be lowering your four-year APH (Actual Production History).
So maximizing your production has to always start with soil quality. Improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil along with correct air and water management goes a long way in increasing production. If production is limited by these barriers, there will also be a barrier on your rental income till you can offer a more consistent environment to grow the crop. Many farmers hate negotiating their rental agreements, as a retired farmer who is renting land, these conversations aren’t going to be any easier on the other side of the table. So make sure if you have a desire rate you are looking to get out of your land, you have the production to back it up.
An attractive Farm House
The next thing I will address is much harder to prove but I think will make sense after I explain it. You attract who you are. I have always been a believer in surrounding yourself with people who are better, smarter, and more successful than you are. If you have that lackadaisical attitude going into retirement, those you attract may not be the highest-quality producers. If you set the bar high in what you do and how you farm, you will attract farmers who will follow in your foot-steps. This scenario is every farmer’s dream even if it isn’t family. So how high are you setting the bar going into retirement? What you do today will impact your future. Is it time to get your Farm House in order?
One other issue as a retiring farmer is how you filter through the two dozen farmers interested in renting your land. How do you keep from making the other 23 mad when you don’t choose them? As a retiring farmer, Bird Dog can reduce the stress in your selection process. What if you just had to talk to the farmers who best suited for you? Bird Dog is here to make your selection process easier and set you up for a future of stability and growth, just by helping you work with the right farmer who will rent your land.