Conterra Ag Capital

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West Des Moines, IA 50266


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By Conterra Ag
July 22, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

July Federal Reserve Beige Book Released

Coming out of a pandemic, the ag financial landscape looks pretty good, according to Federal Reserve Beige Book report which is issued by the banks that make up the Federal Reserve System. However, there are more wild cards out there than up a riverboat gambler’s sleeve. “Labor, especially in the segment that affects agriculture, is problematic,” says Tom Stenson, executive vice president at Conterra Ag Capital. In addition, prod... Continue reading

Read the latest in ag finance. This insights summary breaks down the newly released Federal Reserve Beige Book.
Tags: Beige Book Fed Beige Book Federal Reserve Beige Book

Maintain Communication During Times of Drought

By Joe Erickson
July 21, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Stresses to your operation can be difficult to deal with, especially those that fall out of your control. Whether it be floods, hail, or drought; carefully planning your next steps is crucial for your operational health. 


As the historic drought continues to worsen through the western half of the United States, tough choices are being made. It might be culling a he... Continue reading

Tags: Drought Farmland Midwest

How Water Effects Land Values in California

By Jerred Davis
July 13, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Land values in California are becoming more unpredictable as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is threatening groundwater pumping in the coming years.  As we are embracing another year of exceptional drought in most areas of California and there will be little to no allocation of surface water in many areas, farmers and ranchers are reminded just how important water is. 

As noted in a previous article, surface water supply will often vary depending on climate an... Continue reading

Tags: Water Effects Land Values California Agriculture

How Family Living Expenses Effect the Farm Loan Process

By Jackie Mosier
July 06, 2021
Category: Ag Financing
Financial metrics are commonly evaluated during the farm loan process. Often times, cash flow and debt to asset is far easier to explain than family living expenses. Questions regarding what needs to be estimated, or even what exactly family living cost is arise.

Family living is exactly that, items that are included in the basic family budget: housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes. From a financial standpoint, why are these items tracked?  It all comes down to cash fl... Continue reading

Tags: Farm Loans Ag Loans Agriculture Expenses

Include Farm Loan Education in Your Succession Planning

By Roy Martin
June 29, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

The term Succession Planning is not new to those in the business of agriculture.  While an important part of any operation, many farmers and ranchers fail to pay close attention to the process.  Succession planning requires considerable upfront preparation and plan maintenance to keep moving in a productive direction.  Many resources are available, as this issue is important to any type of business, especially when adult children are brought into the business.


It’s no... Continue reading

Tags: Succession Planning Business Aspects

Sustainable Ag 101: Protect Profits and Beneficial Insects with IPM

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
June 22, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

This is the fourth installment of our series on sustainable farming practices, where we take a closer look at how each practice can bring long-term economic and environmental benefits.


Pests are an unfortunate reality of farming. While pesticides are a common way of dealing with them, they may not always be the best solution.


To start, they’re an additional expense. According to a recent article of the University of Illinois’ farmdoc daily, pesticides acc... Continue reading

Tags: Sustainable Ag Pest Management IPM

Sustainable Ag 101: Rotational Grazing Improves Profits and Pastures

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
June 15, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Livestock owners: What if you could make more money with fewer animals? It may seem counterintuitive, but with rotational grazing, it’s possible.  

Rotational grazing is just as it sounds. Instead of letting livestock continuously graze across a pasture, the pasture is split into smaller paddocks, which the animals are rotated through.


This change in grazing can have big payoffs. In Virginia, livestock owners saw net profits increase 0 per head. Beef Ma... Continue reading

This is the third installment of our series on sustainable farming practices, where we take a closer look at how each practice can bring long-term economic and environmental benefits.
Tags: Rational Grazing Livestock Agriculture

Sustainable Ag 101: The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Organic Farming

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
June 08, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

This is the second installment of our series on sustainable farming practices, where we take a closer look at how each practice can bring long-term economic and environmental benefits.


Farmers who are interested in pursuing organics have good reason. The USDA says consumer demand for organically produced goods shows double-digit growth, while the Organic Trade Association’s most recent industry survey found organic sales in the food and non-food markets reached a record .1 billion.

 ... Continue reading
Tags: Organic Farming Environmental Benefits


By Conterra Ag
June 03, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

A rising tide lifts all boats, and corn prices that have doubled in the last 18 months are doing the same for other ag market sectors, including farmland values.


Land prices didn’t exactly track the downturn in grain prices in the last eight to nine years. However, now that grain prices are bullish, so is the farmland market. This is fueling some eye-popping five-figure sale prices in places like the Midwest where farmland is a bellwe... Continue reading

Tags: Farmland values Farmland market Refinancing farmland


By Conterra Ag
May 25, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Interest rates are low, and it's enticing many farmers and ranchers to refinance ag debt to capture savings the marketplace is offering.


Low interest rates don't automatically mean refinancing farm debt will save you money in the long run. It depends on how current financing is structured and how much interest you're actually paying right now. Sure, you may lower payments, but it's important to consider variables like repayment capaci... Continue reading

Consider long-term goals with farm refinancing decisions.
Tags: Low Interest Rates Refinancing Farm Debt Interest Rates Refinancing Ag Debt

These 7 Sustainable Ag Trends Could Future-Proof Your Farm

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
May 13, 2021
Category: Agriculture
With net farm incomes predicted to decrease 8.1% in 2021, you may be looking for ways to stretch your budget and increase profitability.  

One potential solution? Sustainable farming.


While there is no set definition for sustainable ag, UC Davis says its goal is to “meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


The Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education specifies furt... Continue reading

Tags: sustainability sustainable farming carbon farming nutrient management usda organic farming farmland

Is Over Analysis Bogging You Down?

By Roy Martin
May 10, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

“Paralysis by Analysis” may be affecting the productivity of you or some of your colleagues.  Are important deadlines being missed?  In the ag lending business, we have many of these.  It may be rushing to get a loan funded prior to maturity to avoid the dreaded ‘extension’, which leaves nobody happy.  An escrow may be closing.  It may be putting your loan package together for loan committee for approval or a portfolio update to senior management might be the fire drill of the day.  Whatever th... Continue reading

Tags: Agribusiness farming financing

Rebuilding the Beef Industry Throughout 2021

By Luke Schultz
May 04, 2021
Category: Agriculture

As we celebrate Beef Month in May, it is still easy to see that BEEF is the protein of choice for the American consumer. It just does not sit on the grocery store shelves. It is surely in full demand! From its leanness, convenience, taste & health benefits - and who wouldn’t agree with it cooking up on the grill better than any other option.

As we head into the summer months and onward to fall markets, ranchers and feedlot owners will be faced with several challenges, which is not uncommon to the American be... Continue reading


A New Generation of Ag Lenders

By Roy Martin
April 19, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

As growers many of you have likely gone to your bank or other financial institution and found many new, young faces.  The account officers or relationship managers that you or your parents have done business within the past are no longer there.  This can be very unsettling, as for most of us it is human nature to be comfortable with consistency and familiarity.  The problem is the “Baby Boomer” generation is retiring at a very rapid rate and thus leaving you in the hands of younger, less experienced pers... Continue reading

Tags: ag lending baby boomers farming


By Conterra Ag
April 01, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles discussing farm stress-testing. Read part two on how to stress test here.

Ask farmers a historical question about the last major storm to hit their farm and wipe out their crop and they will likely respond with an exact date, weather details and what they did to recover. The same goes for grain marketing — memories of when they sold at peak prices and when they scraped the floor of the market are vivid in many farmers' minds. The same isn't always true when it... Continue reading

Tags: Farm stress testing


By Conterra Ag
April 01, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Editor’s note: This is the second of two articles discussing farm stress testing. Read part one on why to stress test here.

Stress testing is an exercise in “breaking your farm,” a valuable tool in identifying budget and operational vulnerabilities, how they influence your farm’s working capital and what changes should be implemented to make your farm more resilient. While thereare a lot... Continue reading

Tags: working capital stress testing

4 Steps to Maximize Financial Success this Planting Season

By Joe Erickson
March 31, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Spring is here and planting season will shortly be in full force. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects farmers will plant a record 182 million farmland acres of corn and soybeans in 2021. While for most, planting is the main priority, understanding financial positioning now can set up your operation for the future. Here a few steps to maximize success: 

1.  Review previous years’ financials and build a budget.  Review your previous years’... Continue reading

Tags: farming planting agribusiness

Are You Really Using Your Financial Statements to Improve your Operation?

By Roy Martin
March 25, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

For years now your bank or other financial institution has been asking you for financial statements whenever you request a farm loan.  Whether it is for operating, farmland or term financing the drill is the same – “please provide us with 3 years of historical financial statements”.  If you do not have them handy you immediately call your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to gather them up to send off to the ag lender.

Upon receipt, your lender proceeds to analyze these statements.&nb... Continue reading

Tags: financial statements farm operation ag lending banking CPA agribusiness

Agriculture Reaches Further than the Farm

By Jackie Mosier
March 23, 2021
Category: Agriculture

Did you know about 1 in every 12 jobs is tied to agriculture?  To produce U.S. food, fuel, and fiber it takes almost 22 million jobs!  That is a lot of people to support the backbone of the American farmers and ranchers, who are charged with a tall order to feed almost 9 billion people this year alone.  U.S. farmers are some of the most, if not the most, productive, and efficient producers in the world. 

The need to employ those working on the farm, food processing pl... Continue reading

Tags: Ag Day Agriculture Farming Farmers Agribusiness

American Farmers Bring Everyone to the Table

By Roy Martin
March 22, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

As we cope with the tumultuous times, many of us are seeking things that make us more comfortable. We may look back to when times were simpler.  Farming is one of those reassuring visions that comes to mind. Regardless of where you reside, in the city or in the country, images of tractors tilling farmland, harvesting their crops, or tending to their livestock, provides a down-home feeling.

Most farms today are still family-run operations, although it may not seem s... Continue reading

National Ag Day
Tags: farmers farming agriculture ag ag day
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