Conterra Ag Capital

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West Des Moines, IA 50266


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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

National Pistachio Day

By Roy Martin
February 26, 2021
Category: Ag News

Pistachios have a rich history and are very deserving of national and world recognition on February 26, 2021.  Those of us in lending business have been watching the progress of pistachios for many years.  Some of us were around at a time when the only pistachios we saw or purchased were covered in red dye to hide blemishes from those imported nuts. 

We saw the trial and errors of early rootstocks to eliminate the tree mortality from verticillium wilt.&n... Continue reading

The Power of Pistachios
Tags: Pistachio Day Ag Lending California Agriculture Pistachio Tree Pistachio Farming Pistachios

Celebrate the Blue Corduroy Jacket – National FFA Week

By Jackie Mosier
February 22, 2021
Category: Agriculture

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions, “blue corduroy jacket?” If I had to guess, I bet it is FFA. The infamous jacket is linked to one of the most elite leadership programs for high school students across the nation.  This organization is built on supporting each other, supporting our future leaders, and supporting communities while being rooted in agriculture. 

National FFA Week kicks off this week to commemorate George Washington’s critical role as a leader in agriculture with celebrator... Continue reading

Tags: FFA Blue Corduroy Jacket FFA Week


By Conterra Ag
February 11, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

With a lot of positive momentum heading into the year and continued signs that’s likely to be the case for a while, the first few months of 2021 offer farmers opportunities to check some items off their operations’ financial to-do lists. Just stay on top of your farm’s production costs and don’t get lulled into the financial complacency that is common when grain prices turn higher, advises a Conterra Ag Capital ag finance expert. Here are a few tips for how to navigate what many expect to be a generally bullish year for t... Continue reading


Experiencing tough times? Look to Alternative Lending options

By Roy Martin
January 27, 2021
Category: Ag Financing

Whether they are dairymen, crop farmers, livestock producers or agribusiness operations, most borrowers go to their bank once a year to renew their operating lines for the upcoming season.  Most years this process comes off without any major hitches.  But what happens if they experienced losses for the past season or maybe a couple of seasons?  Now the process becomes more difficult. The bank who is providing operating financing is now unwilling to move forward without some serious changes being made. ... Continue reading



By Conterra Ag
November 06, 2020
Category: Ag Financing

Some farmers made money the old-fashioned way — from operations — in 2020, while others showed profit from the consequences of this strange year.


Direct payments through programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) could mask underlying issues within farm businesses and have implications for ag lending and farm balance sheets into the new year. Here are four things to watch as we move into the new year, namely some strategies and tactics to help ensure your operation rema... Continue reading

New farm diversification opportunities could help sustain long-term revenue and viability.
Tags: managing farm debt

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

By Roy Martin
November 05, 2020
Category: Ag Financing

You have all heard the expression “You Never Get a Second Change to Make a First Impression.” It has been attributed to Oscar Wilde and Will Rogers, although nobody really knows for sure.  Studies show a person will form their first impression somewhere between seven seconds and two minutes.


A few ways mentioned to achieve this are:

Be PreparedBe on TimeBe AwareBe PositiveBe SelflessBe an OriginalPresent Yourself with AuthorityHave a Winning SmileBe Courtesy and Continue reading
Tags: Lending farming ag finance agribusiness
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