Author

Kathy Bogardus

Kathy grew up in a small agricultural town outside of New Haven, Connecticut where her parents ran a small family business. Having close ties to running a family operation is one of the reasons she joined FBN®.

At FBN, Kathy is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Finance where she strives to help farmers discover the affordable financing solutions FBN® Finance can offer.


Sep 29, 2022

by Kathy Bogardus

Purchasing inputs is one of the most important and vital decisions you’ll make every year for your operation. But how do you pay for your inputs?  When you’re buying inputs, you’re weighing many factors like flexibility in your financing options, cash flow management, low interest rates and overall cost savings. So how do you make the right decisions for your operation when it’s time to start buying inputs every year? In the past when you shopped on FBN Direct® for inputs, you had the option to pay for your purchase with cash, credit cards or an input loan offered by FBN®.  Now, you’ll be able to select an additional financing option directly at check out: an operating line of credit to purchase your inputs, plus unlock 0% interest financing on those inputs for qualified farmers.*  FBN® Finance ’ s flexible financing options give you the power to purchase inputs and do much more for your operation. Let’s look at the difference between input loans and operating lines of credit. What are input loans? When you apply for an input loan with FBN® Finance, you’ll go through a straightforward application process that can be approved in one business day.  Input loans currently only apply to FBN Direct input purchases. These loans are non-revolving lines of $10,000 - $300,000 with a fixed rate. One advantage of using an input loan is that there are no payments due until January 1, 2024. And if you close by January 20, 2023, you’ll get 0% interest on qualifying purchases of FBN Direct inputs. The qualifying purchase requires that you make a minimum purchase of $50,000 by December 23, 2022, or a $75,000 minimum purchase by January 20, 2023, to qualify for 0% interest on FBNDirect inputs purchases all season long.  What’s an operating line of credit? Operating lines of credit are fixed rate, revolving lines of $250,000 - $1 million. FBN® Finance operating lines can be used for many approved ag operating expenses and are not limited to only purchasing inputs. With an operating line of credit, you can buy inputs from FBN (or other vendors), pay for rent or labor, cover the cost of equipment or repairs, or finance other qualifying expenses. When you close by December 9, 2022 you’ll qualify for 0% interest on FBN Direct input purchases all season long. The qualifying purchase requires that you make a minimum purchase of $45,000 by December 9, 2022. And you’ll be able to defer payments with your operating line until March 1, 2024.  Which financing option is right for you? This table outlines the main differences between the two financing options available. But you also have a third option.  Upgrade your input loan with an operating line from FBN Finance to do even more. Qualified farmers who are approved for both loans will have up to $1.3 million in total spending power!  Apply now Learn more about input loans and operating lines of credit and get started with your application today.  Shop for inputs With an incredibly diverse portfolio of products, FBN Direct has the inputs you need, when you need them. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet all underwriting requirements. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. Terms and conditions apply. Land financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC, provided in connection with Farmer Mac and our underwriting partners, and is available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., and meet the underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. All credit is subject to approval and underwriting. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. *Qualified farmers who are approved and close an Operating Line of Credit through FBN® Finance of $250,000 to $1,000,000 between September 1, 2022 - December 9, 2022, make a minimum purchase of $45,000 from FBN Direct® and payoff the balance in full by March 31, 2024 are eligible to receive a promotional interest rate of 0% when using the Operating Line of Credit  to finance purchases of input products made through FBN Direct® between September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023. Qualifying input products include crop protection, adjuvant, crop nutrition, seed, animal health and livestock feed. Advances on the FBN® Finance Operating Line that are not for the purchase of input products from FBN Direct® will be charged interest at the stated (non-promotional) contract rate in the Operating Line of Credit loan agreement.* Approved farmers who close a  FBN®  Finance Operating Line and make a minimum $45,000 purchase from FBN Direct® by December 9, 2022 will receive the benefit of automatic qualification for the 0% Club from FBN Direct®. The 0% Club offers qualified farmers a promotional rate of 0% interest on purchases of input products only made through FBN Direct® between January 21 - August 31, 2023. Qualifying input products include crop protection, adjuvant, crop nutrition, seed, animal health and livestock feed.  *Payments for all amounts owed under the associated FBN® Finance Operating Line of Credit are due March 1, 2024.  If the total balance for all amounts owed is not paid in full by March 31, 2024, interest charges on all purchases of input products made through FBN Direct® between September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023, using an Operating Line of Credit through FBN® Finance will be imposed from the purchase date at the stated (non-promotional) contract rate in the Operating Line of Credit loan agreement.   FBN Finance, LLC commercial operating lines of credit are offered by FBN Finance, LLC and are available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. Input financing provided in connection with our financing partners. To qualify for a financing offer, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet the underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. All credit is subject to approval and underwriting. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.


Sep 21, 2022

by Kathy Bogardus

As inflation continues to skyrocket, the Federal Reserve met once again to try to stabilize the economy. And as many analysts predict a possible recession, consumers are once more bracing for a rate hike of at least three-quarters of a point. This is the third increase in less than 4 months as we saw a rate hike of 0.75% back in June and July. And as FBN’s Chief Economist Kevin McNew predicted, the Fed is raising interest rates once again.  With inflation at the highest it’s been in over 40 years, the Fed has to continue to try to curb this escalating situation. But the global market has been impacted by external factors like the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.  By increasing interest rates, the Fed is actively slowing down the economy which leaves the risk of recession higher than ever. And as the economy continues to shift, we turned to the experts to better understand this overwhelming issue. What should farmers focus on We previously advocated for farmers to refinance and take advantage of the lower interest rates when they were available. If you locked in a lower rate but still need cash, we suggest you consider our Farmland Capital product. This program is similar to a second mortgage in that FBN will take a second lien position to whatever lien currently exists, which means that you won’t lose that low rate interest loan.  Another option in an increasing rate environment is for farmers to consider locking in rates with longer terms. Farmers who can lock in rates for the next 10-30 years may have some certainty that they’ll continue to remain profitable. And if rates drop, they can prepay and refinance at lower rates. Locking in for the long term may be the right thing to do now for many. Review our great land loan rates across a variety of term options. With farm costs not going down anytime soon due to the cost of both inputs and fertilizer, it’s good to look at ways to effectively run your operation. While the cost of fertilizer is likely to be elevated for some time, it’s worth looking at adopting technology to make input usage more efficient. Thinking about strategic alternative investments to improve your ROI is a sound option.  Is U.S. farmland at risk? Farmland real estate has been a good long-term investment but with the uncertainties of the current economic climate, you might be wondering how this recent market turbulence will impact farmland values. Farmland real estate is still holding value and there is strong confidence that it will continue to do so. Interest rates will have to get well above inflation rates and hold for a very long time before farmland values would be affected negatively.  Fortunately, farmland as an asset class is somewhat insulated from the turbulent U.S. economy. Recent data from the USDA shows U.S. farmland values actually increased 12.4% between June 2021 and June 2022, but the future of such values still remains uncertain. [Learn more about how the economic shocks of 2022 are affecting farmland values in our recent FBN Research report. Unlock the free report today .] Looking forward While the ‘80s brought high inflation rates to the country due to energy and food price shocks that started in the ‘70s, the outlook for farmland values is not as dire as it was back then.  With interest rates well below current inflation rates and farmland valuations trending around fair value based on projected cash flows, there is still strong confidence in farmland values nationwide. Near-term global grain shortfalls from weather and war should further support farmland values even as the underlying investment calculus changes based on shifting interest rates. And with the Federal Reserve now trying to get ahead of the curve, they risk creating a situation where rates are higher for longer than expected, causing longer term economic impacts. Finding the right balance is a precarious position for the Fed at the moment.  Source: 1. USDA Ag Land Values August 2022. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  Financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners and is available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet all underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify.