Robin O'Mara President, O’Mara Ag Services

“We never plant corn in June, but we will plant it during all six weeks of May!” That is a funny (kind of) take on spring planting that came from a client’s granddad some years back. This year is being another weird, wild, cold, wet, late spring planting season – zoicks!

You’ve done your job of planning, getting growing and conditioning contracts signed, locking in growers, gathering inputs, etc., only to have it complicated by things beyond your control.

In our construction and manufacturing business, we have this kind of spring every year, never knowing when or if the business will come to us, so I feel ya. We plant our “seeds” all year long, doing our jobs of planning and promoting, making new ads, displaying at trade shows, making personal visits, adding more products and services to our business, and so on, only to have things complicated by consolidations, increased import tariffs, changing market conditions, changing of the guard, unusual weather, etc. 

 I think I can speak for others in my line of business by saying that we have a “lumpy” revenue stream that follows either the growing season, the construction season, the economy, or market conditions. Sound familiar? It seems like more products, more geography, more crops or industries, more agents, more customers…all of that stuff could help. How do we do all these things without diluting who we are and who we currently serve? Do you as a seedsman have these thoughts or questions? Maybe not exactly, but a similar line of thinking, I suspect.

How do we think outside the box? How can we change it or fix it? Can the things we do be planned out a year in advance and what would that look like? Does your crystal ball let you see five years out? We are currently helping some clients with their long-term seed plant needs, which I love doing. It makes me feel good about both their future and ours. Can we do it now while building in some “trap doors,” so to speak, that allows a change of direction if needed? As long as our industry doesn’t change from making seed to making bowling balls, I am pretty sure it can be done.