Factors to consider before adding organic, specialty crops to an operation
Low commodity prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat have caused some growers to consider organic production, non-GMO production, hemp, and specialty crops.
Michael Langemeier, an ag economics professor at Purdue University, says there are several factors a grower should consider when evaluating a new enterprise.
“What is success going to look like and if profitability does increase, what about risk,” he says. “What would happen if you get into a new enterprise and you have a market but then the market goes away.”
He tells Brownfield that growers should consider if the new enterprise is a good fit for the current operation and if it will require a new set of skills.
“Is this going to require different managerial skills than you have and if it does how are you going to get the skills or is this something that you should not consider,” he says.
Langemeier says other advice he has is to start slow with limited acreage of the new venture and anticipate a learning curve.