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What happens if I suddenly lose a market for my product(s) or the price for my product(s) plummets?

Often, farmers are more concerned with the risks associated with legal or production aspects of farming, but the market is risky, too! There are several ways to address the risks associated with marketing your product.

Strategies:

  • Diversify your marketing strategy. If one market falls through, you can rely on others.
  • Purchase AGR crop insurance; it provides a level of guaranteed income against market losses.
  • Some forms of commodity crop insurance protect against falling prices.
  • As a damage-control solution, consider turning your crop or livestock product into a value-added product. For example, turn tomatoes into salsa. Remember to comply with food safety guidelines (see the Massachusetts Food Processors Resource Manual, above).
  • Consider a marketing strategy that provides you with a guaranteed income. Investigate production contracts, producer cooperatives, CSA, and other marketing strategies.

Resources:

  • Risk Management Agency. RMA can provide information about crop insurance, AGR and AGR-Lite insurance, and insurers that offer appropriate policies in Massachusetts. http://www.rma.usda.gov/
  • The National Agricultural Risk Assessment Library has many documents about marketing issues. http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/
  • ATTRA is a national information service with publications about a wide range of topics, including a range of publications about marketing strategies and market diversification. http://www.attra.org/
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