Conterra Ag Capital

5465 Mills Civic Pkway,  Suite 201

West Des Moines, IA 50266


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By Conterra Ag
November 16, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Anticipate and provide for ag business cycle

Agriculture is the only business with more cycles than a motorcycle dealership. Farming is a constant cycle of good years and down years. One of the keys to survival and success is sound underwriting during economic hardships.


Agriculture is looking up financially for nut and dairy producers, according to Jerred Davis, Conterra Ag Capital relationship manager in California. The positive change from recent years gives p... Continue reading

Tags: Farm Economy Ag Lender


By Conterra Ag
November 09, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Diversifying on-farm cash flow by adding additional sources of revenue can be a smart way to increase profitability or better withstand economic hardships. However, the venture doesn’t come without risk. Thorough preparation can mean the difference between a fruitful pursuit and an expensive undertaking.


“Farming is a lot more than just putting a seed in the ground and hoping it grows,” says Jackie Mosier, Conterra Ag Capital relationship... Continue reading

Tags: Farm Profit Ag Lending


By Conterra Ag
November 04, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Intermediate-term debt chases more farmers out of business than any other risk factor.


Financial risk remains the biggest hurdle most producers face each year. In profitable times, there is always the temptation to add more acreage or buy new equipment. While sometimes it makes more sense to purchase land than to rent, such a decision should be made in light of a farm’s five-year and ten-year plans, and a good hard look at the farm balance sheet. With cash on hand, most operations can su... Continue reading

Tags: Risk Mitigation Intermediate Term Debt Operational Cash Flow

4 Financial Tasks to Complete During Harvest

By Joe Erickson
October 12, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

With the 2021 season coming to an end, farming operations across the U.S. are harvesting. Now is also the time to prepare for next year. Outside of the all the necessary field work, crop science, equipment maintenance, spraying, tiling, etc.; there are the essential financial tasks to keep your operation funded. It is vital to the overall health of your farm to take care of a few yearly tasks: review financials, loan rates, marketing practices, and insurance.


1. Measure Liquidity:

&... Continue reading
Prepare for 2022 with these 4 essential farm operation planning tasks to optimize finances.
Tags: Farm Operations Agriculture Financing Harvest

Sustainable Ag 101: Carbon Farming Brings Extra Income and Environmental Benefits

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
August 31, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

This is the seventh and final 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.&n... Continue reading

Tags: Carbon Farming Soil Agriculture

Sustainable Ag 101: 4Rs Protect the Earth and Farmers’ Budgets

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
August 25, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

This is the fifth 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.


If you purchased fertilizer this spring, you probably experienced sticker shock.


Fertilizer prices jumped significantly from last fall. According to the University of Illinois’ farmdoc daily, the price of anhydrous ammonia was 2 per ton in September 2020. By April 2... Continue reading

Tags: Environmental Management Farming SustainableAg

Sustainable Ag 101: Taking Urban Farms Indoors Can Maximize Resources and Production

By Laura Barrera for Conterra Ag
August 10, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

This is the sixth 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.


When we think of agriculture, we often picture large fields of row crops or green pastures stretching into the horizon. For urban farmers, it’s a very different reality.


Urban farmers face unique challenges in being profitable and productive... Continue reading

Tags: Indoor Systems Vertical Farming Urban Farms


By Conterra Ag
August 02, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

As farmers and agribusinesses owners across the country seek certainty in the post-pandemic economic outlook, a .5 trillion investment proposal by the White House casts a huge shadow over the economy.


At this point, the uncertainty is so widespread that, no matter where you sit on the political spectrum, it is impossible to predict the outcome of President Joe Biden’s proposed stimulus investment package. There are those who question whether the package ever will get through Congress. H... Continue reading

Now is the time to lock in low rates
Tags: Farm Debt How to get out of farm debt


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
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