Sustainable Ag 101: Rotational Grazing Improves Profits and Pastures
June 15, 2021
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.
Sustainable Ag 101: The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Organic Farming
June 08, 2021
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
NAVIGATING HIGH FARMLAND MARKET
June 03, 2021
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
BUYING OR REFINANCING FARMLAND? TIPS TO NAVIGATE A BULLISH FARMLAND MARKET
IS REFINANCING FARM DEBT TO CAPTURE LOW INTEREST RATES RIGHT FOR YOU?
May 25, 2021
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.
These 7 Sustainable Ag Trends Could Future-Proof Your Farm
May 13, 2021
With net farm incomes predicted to decrease 8.1% in
2021, you may be looking for ways to stretch your budget and increase
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
Is Over Analysis Bogging You Down?
May 10, 2021
“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
Rebuilding the Beef Industry Throughout 2021
May 04, 2021
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
April 19, 2021
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
‘BREAK YOUR COMPANY’: 4 REASONS FOR FARM STRESS TESTING
April 01, 2021
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
4 STEPS TO STRESS TEST YOUR FARM AND ALL THE ‘WHAT IFS’ YOU’LL ANSWER
April 01, 2021
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
4 Steps to Maximize Financial Success this Planting Season
March 31, 2021
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
Are You Really Using Your Financial Statements to Improve your Operation?
March 25, 2021
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
Agriculture Reaches Further than the Farm
March 23, 2021
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
The need to employ those working on the farm, food processing
pl... Continue reading
American Farmers Bring Everyone to the Table
March 22, 2021
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
National Pistachio Day
February 26, 2021
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
Celebrate the Blue Corduroy Jacket – National FFA Week
February 22, 2021
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
2021 OPPORTUNITIES: CAPTURE PROFITS, CONTROL COSTS IN AN EXPECTED BULLISH GRAIN MARKET YEAR
February 11, 2021
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
January 27, 2021
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
FOCUS ON WORKING CAPITAL AND COST CONTAINMENT IN THE NEW YEAR
November 06, 2020
farmers made money the old-fashioned way — from operations — in 2020, while
others showed profit from the consequences of this strange year.
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.
You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression
November 05, 2020
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.
few ways mentioned to achieve this are:
Be PreparedBe on TimeBe AwareBe PositiveBe SelflessBe an OriginalPresent Yourself with AuthorityHave a Winning SmileBe Courtesy and Attentive...an... Continue reading