It is September already, which means that the bulk of America’s harvesting season is just about upon us. For some, the end of 2012 can’t come too soon. It’s been a rough ride this year for a lot of farmers and manufacturers who make their living off agriculture. As discussed in another blog, drought struck a slight majority of the nation’s counties – including many of its “breadbaskets” – causing irreparable harm to corn, wheat, and soy crops, along with many others.
But there’s a silver lining to the cloudlessness of 2012: namely, 2013. Tractor and combine harvester companies are re-tooling their platforms to reflect the new realities on the ground: the need for greater energy-efficiency and cost-cutting savings for farmers looking to buy their next agricultural vehicle. Gasoline certainly isn’t about to get any less expensive anytime soon, barring a miracle, which – coupled with lower profit margins than usual – has led to a demand from farmers for vehicles that perform all the tasks they’re already so good at – but with a higher ROI as far as long-term fuel savings.
The mixture of market realism and venture optimism can both be felt here at Production Materials, where we are heavily involved in supplying parts for the agriculture industry. We’re looking into ways of providing cost-savings to farm equipment manufacturers so that they have the necessary R & D funds to improve their overall performance efficiency. We’re helping companies reduce in number the varieties of metal and plastic nuts and bolts that go into making their machinery, thereby standardizing their production process and imparting it with maximum efficiency. In turn, we’ve seen major agricultural machine manufacturers bring their supply chains closer to home in order to scale back unforeseeable overseas costs. This, in turn, is definitely helping American manufacturing recover from its long decade of slump and outsourcing.
In short, it’s a mixed bag for a mixed year, with some parts of the economy hard-hit, and other sectors beginning to flourish for the first time in many years. Here’s to believing that 2013 will prove a beneficial year for all parties involved. Production Materials intends to play a key part in that!