August 29, 2012

By Karol Aure Flynn, Entira

As a California native who has had the opportunity to work in multiple sectors of agriculture in the western U.S., I’m constantly amazed with the resilience, diversity and innovation of western farmers.  It seems that every time Mother Nature, the markets, consumers, or regulator throws them a curve ball, they find a way to address the challenge and continue producing the food supply that our country relies upon.

However, all the characteristics that make western farmers successful in producing a wide diversity of specialty crops present a host of challenges to the agricultural businesses trying to serve them.

Traditional market research that focuses on demographics or other factors doesn’t hold up well when applied to western specialty crop producers.  Imagine the differences in cultural operations between strawberry, table grape, pistachio, treefruit, citrus, and processing tomatoes!  In these markets, acreage and other commonly used demographics can be confusing and lead to costly marketing mistakes for ag suppliers.

That’s why I’m excited about the new approach Entira is taking in our upcoming Multi-Client Study.  “A Year in the Life of the Western Farm” is a new way of looking at farmer decision making that turns traditional marketing research on its head.

The study will use in-depth qualitative interviews and a series of quantitative surveys to follow a group of top-tier specialty growers throughout the entire 2012-2013 growing season. 

We believe that ag marketers will find a wealth of information by looking at how growers make decisions at key points throughout the growing season.  Who or what influences decisions at what points in the season?  How is that different between annual and perennial crop growers?  How do regulatory, agronomic, and market factors influence decisions depending on the growing season?

At Entira, we’ve always encouraged ag marketers to get out and talk to your customers.  Here’s a unique opportunity to find out what a top group of farmers are thinking throughout an entire growing season … at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost to conduct this in-depth research on your own. 

Please contact Entira at info@entira.net for more information.