FarmLogs Co-Founder on Growth, Agronomics, and U.S. Ag Policy

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make sense for China to buy soybeans from growers in the U.S. when they can get them for a fraction of the price from Brazil, where the dollar is weaker.)

“There’s less export demand when there’s a strong dollar and high supply,” he notes. “I don’t expect that to change anytime soon, so U.S. farmers have to find ways to lower the cost of production.”

Commodity prices aside, uncertainty over how and when the Trump administration might change American trade policies is also adding to farmers’ angst, Vollmar says. (Sonny Perdue, a former fertilizer salesman who also served as Georgia’s governor, is Trump’s pick to head the USDA. In December, he told the New York Times that Trump “believes that we in the U.S. have been sort of patsies over the years in the way we’ve dealt with our foreign competitors and international trade.”)

“It’s absolutely at the top of people’s minds,” Vollmar says. “There are a lot of things in motion, so it’s more important than ever to have the tools to make smart decisions.”

No matter how national policy unfolds in the future, Vollmar is bullish on the potential of FarmLogs, which now has more than 70 employees and is currently hiring for “a ton of open positions,” he adds.

“The new investment helps us to do more faster,” he says. “I feel like we’re on the right track.”

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Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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