Showing posts from tagged with: farming blog

8 Financial Factors Farmers Need to Consider for 2019

Posted November 29, 2018 by Administrator

Farming has always been a risky occupation with slim margins, and 2019 will be no exception. Both livestock and crop farmers are feeling the financial squeeze, dairy farming and row-crop sectors in particular. Thankfully, not every trend is bleak. The following are several developments farmers need to be aware of to maximize their profits.

Positive Factors Affecting Farming Finances

There are several positive trends affecting the farming industry. These include:

  • Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in over five decades, coming in at 3.7%. Many agribusiness employees are also seeing an increase in salary.
  • Experts expect consumer spending to remain stable as farmers continue to produce strong yields.
  • Farmers have new opportunities at growth due to an increased interest in fresh foods, craft beer, and other ventures that call for specialty crops.
  • Farmland value is stable with some small increases. This is significant for farmers who borrowed against their equity.

Negative Factors Affecting Farming Finances

While there are several notable trends to look forward to, farmers need to be aware of the negative aspects poised to influence the industry as well.

  • Yields may be strong, but prices are not. In addition, just because a farmer can produce more doesn’t mean he or she has enough space to store it before selling it. It may behoove farmers to produce slightly less to keep production costs down.
  • Experts expect the cost for crop production to increase in 2019.
  • A decrease in crop profitability isn’t correlating to a decrease in rent. A visceral desire to control land can make rent negotiations tough, especially when there are other farmers willing to pay steep rent costs.
  • While stable farmland prices is a good thing for established farmers, it’s a challenge for those trying to get their foot in the door. Farmland value remains high, placing it out of reach for up and coming farmers.

Running a successful farming operation requires balancing risk against profit. For example, overreaching or poor planning can turn a successful yield into a financial disaster. Farmers who take the time to learn and plan for the above trends can navigate around the negative while capitalizing on the positive. To learn more about reducing your farming risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

5 Crops That Perform Well in the Fall

Posted October 23, 2018 by Administrator

As temperatures start to drop lower, many farmers stop their planting efforts. This is unsurprising since many crops don’t fare well in cold weather. Freezing temperatures, frost, and snow cripple most crops, but not all of them. Root vegetables perform well despite the change in season; farmers can also take this time to jump-start their spring planting efforts. While fall planting isn’t for every farmer, the following crops offer farmers a prolonged planting season:

  1. It’s easy for farmers to obtain onion bulblets in the fall. Before temperatures drop to below freezing, farmers can reap fresh scallions. Once winter hits full force, the onions will remain dormant until temperatures increase. The crops will pop up in the spring, giving farmers a head start on the season.
  2. As a member of the same plant family as the onion, leeks perform well in the fall and winter. They perform best when planted in the early fall.
  3. Strawberries. Most farmers that cultivate strawberries purchase them for spring planting. However, farmers can increase their productivity by getting started in the fall. Most farmers pinch off the blossoms during the initial season to allow the plant to better develop its roots. By doing this in the fall, farmers can harvest the fruit at the start of the main season.
  4. Radishes. These plants grow much faster than most. Within four weeks of planting, farmers can begin harvesting. Because they thrive in cooler temperatures, farmers can plant and harvest them multiple times during the fall and winter. It also helps that cold weather enhances their flavor.
  5. Greens. Lettuce, kale, and spinach are great fall crops as cooler temperatures make the leaves taste sweeter. Like onions, farmers don’t need to fear planting them too late to harvest. They’ll sprout back up once temperatures begin to rise after winter.

Even though the above crops are excellent for fall planting, farmers do need to take steps to protect them from extreme winter temperatures. This means sprinkling a loose layer of straw over them to protect them from frost heaving. To learn more about how to protect fall crops, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Four Critical Skills for Running a Successful Agribusiness

Posted April 17, 2018 by Administrator

In previous decades, farmers only needed to know how to grow and sustain crops to be successful. Now, the ability to produce a product is a given in farming. With improved technology and communication, almost anyone can grow crops with a modicum of success. Standing out above the competition, however, takes much more work. Farmers now must possess growing power and business savvy to differentiate and remain relevant.

Business Skills and Leadership in Farming

Bringing business skills into the farming industry increases the complexity but also the rewards. Farmers can no longer only rely on their skills at cultivating crops. The following are just some of the areas farmers must learn to navigate to keep ahead of rival operations:

  1. Innovative finance administration
  2. Consumer research and marketing
  3. How to apply and use agricultural technology
  4. Risk management strategies

Risk management, in particular, is a multi-layered concept. Farmers must consider how to avoid risks as well as deal with them should they occur. For example, farmers can take several measures to prevent fires; however, failing to establish a system to manage the aftermath of a fire is foolhardy. Even with the best preventative measures in place, accidents can happen. That is why farmers need to incorporate a number of insurance policies to protect their farm. Failing to invest in insurance coverage can bankrupt a farmer and destroy his or her operation.

The time has come and gone where successful farmers only needed to be good at production. Farmers that fail to improve their business expertise will find themselves falling behind those that invest in marketing, technology, and more to protect their assets. Cline Wood can help struggling farmers navigate the changing landscape of the agriculture industry while putting safeguards in place to protect their farm. Contact us today to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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