Some industries enjoy the luxury of being insulated from most external factors. For our readers, you probably don’t need us to remind you that the agricultural and grain industry isn’t one of them.
A variety of global factors in the past calendar year have converged to create a climate where innovation and perseverance will be imperative for many of the major players in the space.
But regardless of the challenges facing the grain industry, no matter the year, key talent occupying critical roles will prove to be the difference.
In this blog, we’ll break down the major challenges facing the grain industry today and explain how top-level talent is more important than ever to overcome them.
Supply Chain Challenges in the Grain Market
Regional variables outside the control of grain companies have proved to be a serious tax on supply chains. As early as 2020, experts warned of unprecedented challenges to the supply chain in grain markets.
Now, Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacerbated those challenges, specifically for key macro ingredients like wheat.
As Gary Iles, senior VP at TraceGains, explains, “any disruption…creates a domino effect that short-circuits everything.”
Other stressors on the supply chain include:
- Railroads challenged by labor shortages
- Ocean freight rates
- Fuel prices
- Grain storage
Addressing these much-publicized supply-chain challenges with a proactive strategy will be key as we head into 2023.
Geopolitical concerns aside, one variable has always superseded the concerns of nations and industries alike and continues to enact its effects today—climate.
No matter how you parse the data, we’re in the midst of a historic drought, with devastating consequences concerning crop yields.
A brief glimpse around the globe:
- The Italian government declared a state of emergency in five regions as drought reaches a severity not seen in 70 years
- France is currently experiencing its worst drought on record
- 75% of Romania is enduring a severe drought, with its cereal crop expected to drop by 30 million tons
- More than 43% of US states are currently experiencing droughts
Limited U.S acreage
The acreage situation across the United States is yet another massive factor affecting the state of today’s grain market.
Higher and higher input costs are having a significant impact on what variety of crops are ultimately planted in the coming year.
Nearly 1.7 million acres of CRP land in the US, for example, are under contracts set to expire on September 30th of this year that are not being renewed by the landowner, the largest shares belonging to Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. And of the 10 counties with the largest acreage, seven are rated as currently being in a state of “extreme” or “exceptional” drought.
Solve The Challenges of Today’s Grain Market With Top Talent
Despite the many antagonizing factors facing today’s grain market, hiring the best and brightest talent in the space can prove the difference in maintaining your competitive advantage. At Ag 1 Source, our specialized recruiters are experts in the grain industry, providing resources to support the entire system from farm grain production through the processing of grain products to markets all over the world. If you’re looking to make your next high-impact hire, contact us today.