Toxic Combination: Weather, Social Media & Farm Markets

By Alena Standley, Montana Farm Bureau regional manager
Tips from Ryan Martin, Meteorologist; Farm Origination Specialist Advantage Weather Solutions, as presented in his workshop at the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and Trade Show.

“The markets don’t care what it costs you to grow it.”- Ryan Martin

In 2016, social media speculators predicted doomsday weather patterns and resulting prices. This social media hype alone influenced how farmers marketed their commodities. When in fact, most of the nation was average for rainfall and temperatures. Therefore, farmers may have impacted their bottom line based on a Facebook post.

Takeaway points from this presentation:

  • Take risk management into your own hands, don’t just hand it off to a contractor.

  • Use the market/options but do not speculate! Only 10-20% of farmers are using any marketing tools beyond selling at local markets.

  • Embrace technology, not the hype!

  • Always ask questions, including looking to family, neighbors, long-time farmers. Learn from their experience.

  • Always question the data you see, especially on social media. Do your own research!

This blog post was based on a workshop held at the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and Trade Show in January 2017. Become a Montana Farm Bureau member today to join in on these excellent educational opportunities: www.mfbf.org/.