Can your farm's finances weather a storm?

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After several years of financial gains in agriculture, we face an uncertain future. Does your farm operation sit on a solid base, prepared to weather a storm? Or are you floating along, unaware you are in a position of high tide?

The three programs described in this article have been created to address agricultural fi nances in today’s changing world, starting with awareness in a short seminar and moving toward a multi-session program that covers a multitude of information in an interactive setting. Program developers and presenters for the programs include Kelvin Leibold, Tim Eggers, Kristen Schulte and Ann Johanns, ISU Extension farm management specialists.

“The USDA marketing year average for corn in 2012 was $6.89; predictions going forward are showing a price closer to $4.50,” says Leibold. “Soybeans show a similar story, going from $14.40 in 2012 to $12.15.” When high prices leave, will your boat be left stranded on the shore?

Eggers states, “Participants should plan to attend one or all, or send your clientele to raise their awareness of financial analysis as it applies to their farm operation.”

Your key ratio

This 45-minute program will share resources available for analyzing your fi nancial position. Attend to increase your awareness of financial risks and identify ways to manage those risks.

Deep water or high tide?

Learn how changes to interest rates and other input costs can affect your net farm income. How can you manage these changes to balance lower prices and rising costs in the future?

Spend a day playing the game of farm finances. Win prizes and gain greater knowledge of farm finances! Practice simulations to build a financial picture from a case study. The day will allow you to learn with other participants from team leaders on the basics of having a solid financial foundation.

Moving beyond the basics

This program takes learning to a deeper level with a multi-session program for women focusing on financial literacy. This program is modeled after the nationwide Annie’s Project for Farm and Ranch Women. According to Schulte, “This program will allow women the opportunity to evaluate record keeping systems and test-drive accounting software in a classroom setting.”

Knowing the resources available for analyzing your financial position will make you better able to ride periods of low prices and farm income. Programs will be offered at various locations in Ohio and Iowa. These programs have been developed through a grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Source: Ag Decision Maker



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