It’s a new year, and with that, you’ll want to start planning for how you’re going to approach your farming practices this year.
This involves taking what you gathered from last year, and staying up to date on some of the projections for 2019. We’ve provided some of the common predictions for agriculture in 2019. Read on and let us know what you think by stopping by one of the many Everglades Equipment Group locations throughout central and southern Florida.
Crop and Harvest Projections
One of the most popular numbers many farmers like to look at are the kinds of crop yields expected for the year. Of course, these are all projections, so there’s always a possibility that what professionals and the USDA predict isn’t going to be correct. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it into consideration.
For the next year, the USDA believes many of Florida’s most popular citrus crops are going to hold steady, unlike some of the other crops around the country, like soybeans and corn. While there has been some fluctuation in the original numbers, many regional farmers see the industry as steady and strong.
Managing Citrus Greening
If you grow citrus fruits in Florida, then you know all too well how this disease has destroyed our citrus market. It’s severely hurt the industry and there’s currently no way to stop it. The good news is that many major research centers are testing ways to combat this devastating crop killer, but you might not want to rely on a solution arriving any time soon. You’ll need to be diligent and maintain your current systems of fighting off citrus greening, including planting disease-free stock, removing infected trees, managing the insects that carry the disease, and promoting root health. Also make sure you can identify when your crops are infected.
Political Changes and Trade Wars
The last few years have proved to be some of the most politically divisive in recent history. When it comes to your farm, try to keep an objective, logical approach to how regulation changes and trade tension is going to affect you. It’s hard to predict how things might change over the next 12 months, so you’ll want to be as flexible as possible.
As the trade war continues, you’ll need to know how tariffs and other developments affect not only the products you sell, but also the products you buy. Not to mention, the most recent United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement could radically change which crops are likely to succeed under the new deal. For example, Florida tomato farmers could be facing insurmountable competition from Mexico and tariffs on citrus fruit could affect how willing international markets are to buy Florida crops. Keeping yourself updated on these kinds of changes and adjusting accordingly is going to be essential this next year.
There is some good news! The best part about living in the 21st century is the speed at which technology advances. Some of the most exciting advances for the agricultural community includes ways to increase food production using minimal materials. Synthetic biology and precision agriculture are all believed to help farmers improve their crops and yield. Plus, you might start to see younger faces in your farming community as millennials take up the farming mantle.
Here’s hoping to a successful, if not challenging, 2019 farming year. Here in Florida, we have our fair share of struggles, but with the right strategy and some forward thinking, we’ll get through every obstacle the year throws at us. Stop by Everglades Equipment Group and let us know what your thoughts are about next year’s planting and harvesting predictions. We welcome all farmers from central and southern Florida.