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10 Things to Keep in Mind at Planting
Mar 22, 2023
Planting is the most important trip you’ll make across your fields each year. Some of the biggest and most impactful steps you can take toward reaching your yield potential are completed as soon as your planter leaves the field. Here are 10 things you’ll want to consider before your planter hits the field. 1. Soil temperature Corn can germinate at 50° Fahrenheit, which is one reason that soil temperature is important. Don’t get underway with planting until the average daily temperature reaches 50° and future temperatures are predicted to be adequate for maintaining or increasing that soil temperature. 2. Soil moisture Soil moisture is also critical for proper germination and uniform crop emergence. By placing corn seed into adequate moisture, you have a greater chance of achieving even germination and emergence. During drought years, pre-irrigating soils can eliminate moisture deficit problems. In wet years, be careful driving equipment across the field so you don’t create added soil compaction. 3. Weather forecast Keep a close watch on upcoming weather and how it could affect planted seed. For example, if heavy rains are in the forecast, it may be a good idea to delay planting for a slightly later date. Wait to begin planting until future frost chances are low. 4. Soil type Soil type should also be a consideration when planting. Sandy soils tend to warm up faster than clay soils and have less nutrient and water holding capacity. In some cases, it may be better to plant the sandy soil fields first, as those soils may be drier and warmer. 5. Crusting probability Some fields are prone to crusting issues. If that sounds like some of your fields, consider planting when less rainfall is in the forecast. Keep in mind that scouting emergence issues and taking appropriate action can usually help to alleviate crusting. 6. Emergence vigor Choose corn hybrids rated high in seedling vigor in order to establish the uniform final population desired. This is especially important on farms with a history of soil crusting or when hard rains and high temperatures are in the forecast. 7. Planting depth Because corn seed imbibes 30% of its weight in water to achieve germination, corn should be a half-inch below the soil moisture line to ensure adequate moisture is available. Most seed companies and agronomists agree that corn seed should be planted at a depth between 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches. This depth will ensure that the nodal roots will develop at least 3/4 of an inch below the soil surface. The nodal roots are critical to the healthy establishment of the corn plant’s root system, as they supply the plant with nearly all nutrients during the first two weeks of seedling emergence. When the nodal roots are exposed to heat and air the root system can become compromised, reducing nutrient availability and resulting in yield reduction. 8. Seed-to-soil contact Firm seed-to-soil contact is essential. This will protect against inhibited root growth due to air pockets in the soil and will assist in water availability to begin germination. 9. Planting date When planting dates are later than in previous years, some farmers are prone to rush, often planting into soil conditions that are less than ideal. Any yield loss seen from later planting is often less costly than the soil issues that can result from early planting into poor conditions. 10. Crop residue Crop residue can impact seed depth, seed-to-soil contact and soil temperature. “Hairpinning” corn seed into previous crop residue is a common problem when planting into both no-till cropping systems and conventional tillage. This can result in skips of the final stand and cause delayed seedling emergence. And, finally, stay calm. Keep all these factors in mind, but remember that common sense plays an important role in determining what is best for every scenario. Always have your planting equipment in the best condition possible. Take time to check behind the planter and make any adjustments necessary to accomplish your final stand population. Monitors do not find all planter issues. And when in doubt, remember that making the right planting decisions is what helps you reach your maximum yield potential. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any crop protection product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.
Harvesting the Headlines: Week Ending March 17
Mar 16, 2023
Between the 24/7 demands of running an agricultural operation and the blinding pace of our world today, there is little time to sift through all the headlines. The good news is that you no longer have to! Our goal is to point you to some of the most important headlines in agriculture, so you can stay informed on the forces shaping your livelihoods. To save you time, here are the week's top links and news items: Top news 1. From FBN: 4 Financial Priorities for Farmers in March This link highlights the financial priorities to consider keeping top of mind this month. Watch for Interest Rate Changes Following the March Fed Meeting Conduct Equipment Maintenance Before Planting Begins Finalize Your Insurance Coverage Assess the Future Value of Your Farmland 2. What Does the Failure of Silicon Valley Bank Mean to Ag Markets? FDIC records show SVB's failure is the second largest in US history. Companies at risk of losing money in a scenario of higher interest rates and lower returns typically carry high debt loads and earn a low return on assets. The primary concern for the ag markets is that this is the type of event that causes traders to trim their long positions. Corn, soybeans and cattle have large net-long positions held by specs and look vulnerable. Corn prices look the most vulnerable as specs were already stressed by May prices that have fallen 60 cents in the past three weeks. 3. Growth in Farmland Values Slows Amid Higher Interest Rates Farm real estate values increased in 2022 but showed signs of softening during the final months of 2022 as interest rates rose sharply. The average rate charged on agricultural loans increased nearly 150 basis points from the previous quarter and were about 300 basis points higher than a year ago. Rates rose to the highest level since 2008 and pushed up financing costs considerably. Benchmark interest rates surpassed returns to farmland owners in recent months, which could put some downward pressure on growth in farmland values going forward. Capitalization rates, calculated as the ratio of cash rents to farmland values, have decreased continuously over the past 15 years. 4. Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Ag Retailer in Drift Case This recent court case highlights the requirements of farmers attempting to prove financial damage from exposure to pesticides. Demonstrating visual damage is not sufficient in these cases. Farmers must show what amount of the pesticide reached the crop and whether that amount would reduce crop yields. Expert testimony is required for corroboration, as the farmer's experience is not sufficient. Farmers must show reduced crop yields for the entire area for which he seeks damages. 5. For beef-on-dairy, Angus performs best Penn State is conducting a feedlot trial to determine optimal beef genetics of steers born to Holstein cows. Because the cattle that consumed less feed grew slower, no breed differences existed in feed conversion to gain. Angus-sired steers were heaviest at feedlot entry and were fed at the center for the fewest days. The Angus-Holstein steers reported the best profit/hd. Wagyu-Holstein steers had the worst profit/hd due to inferior average daily gain and dry matter intake, greater days on feed, and reduced carcass weights. Get in touch If you have any links you'd like to share or have any questions, please contact Travis Carlstrom, Sr. Ag Credit Analyst at FBN. © 2015-2023 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” and “FBN” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates.
5 Ways For Canadian Farmers to Delay Herbicide Weed Resistance
Mar 16, 2023
Weeds are a threat to every farming operation and the number of herbicide-resistant weeds continues to grow every year. Creating a strategy to delay the development of resistant weeds is important and should be prioritized on every farm. As of April 2022, the U.S. has 127 unique herbicide resistant weeds and Canada has 52.¹ There are a number of ways a grower can take a proactive approach to ensure a weed resistance management strategy is implemented on every acre. Let’s get into the weeds with the five ways to delay the development of herbicide resistant weeds: 1. Tank Mixing & Multiple Modes of Action Whenever possible, it’s important to prioritize tank mixing multiple herbicide groups to enhance weed control and mitigate the development of herbicide resistant weeds. A pre-seed application is a great opportunity to include multiple modes of action from different herbicide groups that target the same weeds.² Maxunitech Carfentrazone-Ethyl 240 EC (group 14) and Bromoxinyl-240 EC (group 6) are both excellent herbicide options that tank mix well with Smoke® 540 Glyphosate pre-seed for most crops. 2. Crop Rotation Diversifying your crop rotation will optimize fertility, and mitigate disease and pest infestation. As well, this will provide you with the opportunity to utilize different selective chemistries for your crops. Consider rotating crops with different seeding and harvest windows to target weeds at optimal points throughout the growing season. Implementing both a diverse crop and chemistry rotation helps to prevent weeds from maturing, setting seed, and becoming a challenge the following year. [Powered by FBN members, the 2022 Canada Plantings Report provides one of the first major survey-based estimates of Canadian farmers’ planting intentions for the year. Click here to download the free report. ] 3. Chemistry Rotation Throughout the Season It’s a good strategy to use different herbicide groups at different points in the season that target the same weed spectrum. As part of an integrated weed management program, tank mixing products from multiple herbicide groups with every application and focusing on diversifying the annual chemistry rotation is recommended. [Curious about the shelf life of your ag chemicals? Review our ag chemical shelf life reference list and learn three tips for extending your chemicals' efficacy on FBN's blog .] 4. Effective Herbicide Application Keeping clean fields year over year helps reduce the opportunity for herbicide resistant weeds to develop, set seed, and propagate. When using products, it’s recommended to always use the label rate and directions to help you best achieve clean fields and minimize weed growth. Utilizing best practices regarding boom height, water volume, wind speed, and sprayer speed increase your chances of eliminating herbicide resistant weeds. [Looking to buy herbicide? Learn how to shop online, get it shipped directly to your door, and save money with FBN Direct ® in this video .] 5. Maintaining Clean Fields with Multiple Applications Throughout the Season Preemergence Early weed control is recommended as herbicides are typically most effective on small weeds.³ Most product labels do not target later stages of weed development and, as a result, weeds can mature, set seed, and become a challenge to control. Disha 480 (group 4) is an example of a preemergence product with residual control that can be applied prior to planting cereals that targets kochia (including group 2 resistant biotypes). In Crop As a grower, you need to scout your fields to tailor your herbicide post emergence program to maximize and diversify weed control programs. Regional differences in weed pressures and crop mix potentially require more selective herbicide tank mix partners to control all types of weeds in the field. There are multiple tank mix options that can be customized according to crop and target weed spectrum. For example, tank mixing Steel (group 2 and 4) and MCPA (group 4) are options for an in crop application in cereals. Another potential tank mix is FBN Glufosinate 150 (group 10) with FBN Clethodim 240(R) (group 1) and Clever® Dry Flowable Herbicide (group 4) for an in crop application in glufosinate tolerant canola. Post-Harvest Burndown Combining a non-selective herbicide and a selective herbicide in a post-harvest application can be a very effective way to incorporate different herbicide groups and modes of action. Prioritizing weed control in the fall will help to minimize weed seed development and weed pressure the following year. Always add another effective mode of action like a group 2 or 4 when applying glyphosate. For example, tank mixing Florasulam 50 (group 2), 2,4-D (group 4) or MCPA Ester 600 (group 4) with Smoke® 540 Glyphosate (group 9) for a post-harvest application. Protecting the long-term sustainability of your operation starts with protecting your crops by implementing a robust weed management strategy that incorporates cropping and chemistry diversity. Shop for Herbicides Through FBN Find the products you need at FBN Direct® . With a diverse product portfolio, we provide the product options growers like you need to develop an integrated weed management strategy. You can also learn more about our available crop nutrition solutions, seed, animal health products, and more by clicking here . Sources: https://www.weedscience.org/Pages/GeoChart.aspx https://manageresistancenow.ca/weeds/wfs-how-to-manage-herbicide-resistance-in-your-fields/ https://www.canolacouncil.org/canola-watch/2019/04/04/herbicide-resistant-weeds-prevention-and-management/ Copyright © 2015 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN,", "Farmers First", "FBN Direct," "F2F Genetics Network", the Pro Ag logo, "Pro Ag", and "Professional Ag Distributors" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. and are available only in provinces where Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Not available in Quebec. 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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and provincial law to use any pest control product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pest control product is a violation of federal and/or provincial law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, provincial and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license and/or be a certified farmer, to use restricted and commercial pest control products (exceptions may apply based on province). Please consult your applicable provincial authority for complete rules and regulations on licensing, use, and recording keeping requirements of restricted and commercial pest control products. The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific agronomic, business, legal, investment or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified agronomist, financial planner, or investment manager. Neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.
Give Your Fields The Nutrients They Need
Mar 14, 2023
All you need is your yield monitor files, your soil samples, and your state's crop nutrient removal figures to carefully manage both your crop yields and your input budgets. Here's how. Yield monitors have dramatically increased our ability to improve nutrient management on each and every field. Historically, nutrient recommendations were based on yield goals chosen by farmers, which often meant that they were based on a farmer’s aspirational yield, rather than the actual needs and reasonable expectations of a field’s yield potential. In some cases, this led to massive over-applications of fertilizers which, beyond costing farmers a lot of money, has also had negative impacts on water systems across the country. Getting the right nutrients , in the right amount, to the right part of the field is the key cost-effective nutrient management, and one powerful tool in identifying those factors is your yield files. Yield monitor data allows farmers to accurately replace the nutrients that have been removed from the soil by the previous crops by showing them exactly where nutrients were removed. Top yielding areas within a field remove more nutrients, so it’s generally safe to assume that in a field with big variations in yields, you’ll need to change your application rate within the field to make sure you get the nutrients to where they’ve been removed. If farmers aren’t careful to replenish these nutrients, field fertility will decline, decreasing the yield potential in the field every year. Organizing Yield Monitor Data Organizing your yield monitor data into zones can be a valuable way to determine the amount of nutrients that are removed from an area in a cropping year. These zones can be defined in multiple ways; by soil types, grids, aerial imagery, historic yield data, etc. The smaller your chosen zones are, the more accurately you’ll be able to apply replacement nutrients, within the limitations of equipment and time. [READ: 8 Ways to Track Your Farm Data Throughout the Season] Soil Tests If soil test data is available for the field and can be summarized for each zone, the rates can be adjusted so that excess applications will not waste the input and zones with low soil test values can have higher rates applied to increase yield potential and fertilizer efficiency. More antiquated methods of determining applications, like the whole field yield goals previously discussed, tend to average out applications across fields. You'll often end up applying less than what is needed in high-yielding areas, possibly crippling your yield potential for the coming seasons, while over-applying and wasting fertilizer in low-yielding areas. [READ: How to Read a Soil Analysis Test] Crop Nutrient Removal Numbers Crop nutrient removal numbers vary between states, and more information on crop nutrient removal numbers can be found at state agricultural extension service pages online. The USDA also has compiled a list of removal rates and has created tools to access the information ( https://plants.usda.gov/npk/main ). Using these defined removal factors, each zone in your field can be treated as an independent field and have its own recommendation calculated so that you can have more confidence that you’re getting nutrients exactly where they’re needed most. The best way to check your nutrient application strategy on any zone in the field is to soil sample on a regular basis (most recommendations suggest a four year soil test rotation for all fields) and keep records of all inputs between sampling cycles. By using precision application methods to apply nutrients, you can use your crop nutrient removal numbers, your application totals, and your soil sample information to determine if your application strategy is really helping you replenish your soil’s nutrients, and ensure your soil reaches and maintains its peak fertility. Looking For Crop Nutrition Products? If you're purchasing soil prebiotics , soil probiotics , high uptake nutrients or other crop nutrition products to improve your soil, FBN Direct® offers a range of solutions available for delivery directly to your farm. Shop online 24/7 with full insight into pricing and discounts upfront — no rebates required. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. 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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business, or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.
Growing Yellow Field Peas: A Farmer's Perspective
Mar 10, 2023
With today’s low commodity prices, you may be thinking about planting fewer corn acres and more soybean acres. If so, you might want to consider growing yellow field peas. Growing Yellow Field Peas We chose to grow yellow field peas on our farm for the past three years to diversify our typical corn-soybean rotation and as a “defensive” crop. While yellow field peas are not overly profitable, the agronomic benefits for subsequent crops carry significant value. This is especially true on non-irrigated acres where annual precipitation is 20 inches or less. Water use efficiency for the crop following yellow field peas is much higher. On our non-irrigated acres, we’ve also seen higher corn yields and improved plant health following peas. I’ve heard from other pea producers, anecdotally, that peas can provide benefits for the following two growing seasons. Plus, yellow field peas can be planted and harvested much earlier than corn or soybeans. This allows us to spread out our planting and harvest windows, minimizing risk and reducing the stress that the planting and harvest season typically bring. Where we are in central Nebraska, planting peas gives us a much larger fall seeding window, which gives it an advantage over wheat, which can be difficult to get established after soybean harvest in the fall. If you practice summer fallow or are open to exploring a multi-species cover crop, field peas are a crop that you should consider. How To Grow Yellow Field Peas We use a John Deere 1990 air seeder with 7.5” spacing to drill peas at a 300-350k population. A thick stand is important for yield and season-long weed control, so I haven’t seeded any wider than 10” spacing. Field peas can tolerate much colder conditions than corn or soybeans, so on our farm, we target the end of March to the first week in April for our planting window. This allows for bloom/pollination to wrap up before the bulk of the summer heat arrives, and then we harvest in late July to early August. Our fertilizer program is pretty basic. Peas are a legume, so a typical soybean fertilizing program works great. At a minimum, we apply 100-150 pounds of MAP per acre. Being a legume, peas do use a lot of calcium. We use gypsum to get calcium and sulfur into our fertilizer mix. The remainder of our fertilizer mix is dependent on the soil’s needs based on sampling we do every 3-4 years. [READ: Give Your Fields The Nutrients They Need] Pea inoculant, another important factor, is different than soybean inoculant. Particularly when we first started planting peas, we were sure to double inoculate. The peat-based inoculant is cheap, so the more the merrier as long as it doesn’t hurt seed flow during planting. Our seed dealer is able to provide us with this inoculant. We’ve had good success controlling weeds with a pre-emerge pass of Spartan Charge. This herbicide costs around $20/ac plus application costs. We did attempt a post-emerge application of a Raptor and Basagran mix once when kochia was getting a little thick with limited success considering cost. A high seeding rate and a thick stand is your best bet for season-long weed control. Most dry, edible bean herbicide programs will work for peas (i.e. Dual and Outlook). Of course, consult your herbicide dealer and/or agronomist for the best options for your region. Harvest is very similar to soybean harvest with a few exceptions. To ensure a consistent harvest without a lot of green peas or green weeds to contend with, we sometimes use a desiccant, such as Gramoxone, to terminate the field. We typically use a flex head for soybean harvest, and it also works great for field pea harvest. If you invested in a flex draper head, you might want to borrow a neighbor’s standard flex head. Peas tie themselves together using their tendrils and won’t flow into the combine using a flex draper. They can actually roll right over the head and you’ll have a mess in a hurry. We harvest peas at a slightly higher moisture than soybeans to reduce shattering and splits which could result in dockage at the elevator. If we’re going to handle the grain more than once or twice, we use a conveyor instead of metal augers, which will damage the grain even more. This is also true when handling seed at planting. [READ: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Planting] Do We Make any Money on Field Peas? For a quick profit analysis, our annual costs (above) can run around $200/ac, and if we grow 50 bu/ac and sell them at $6/bu, which nets us about $100/ac. Of course, this doesn’t account for the agronomic benefits for the next crop or two, which are more difficult to quantify without long term studies. As yellow field peas are non-proprietary, we’ve recently begun holding back and cleaning enough seed for the next year. There is a little risk and more logistical issues, but we estimate we’re saving about $20-$25/ac. Is There a Market for Yellow Field Peas? This is typically the first question that I am asked when discussing yellow field pea production. In central Nebraska, nearly every acre is corn, soybeans, wheat, or alfalfa. There is a more developed market for peas in the Nebraskan panhandle where small grains and pulse crops are more prevalent. Gavilon built a pea processing facility in Hastings, Nebraska, so hopefully this will create a more stable market for field peas. What are Yellow Field Peas Used For? Peas are a great protein source. If I had my own small cattle or hog operation, I think feeding peas would be a good option since they are a balanced protein. When sold to an elevator, yellow field peas likely go to a dog or cat food manufacturer or are ground and used in vegetarian protein powders. If they are higher quality peas and considered food-grade, then you might even find them in a can of split pea soup at your local grocery store! If you’d like to learn more about why you should consider field peas in your operation please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. The views expressed in this article are the author's alone, and not those of Farmer's Business Network, Inc., its affiliates or members. As such, neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.
Harvesting the Headlines: Week Ending March 10
Mar 10, 2023
Between the 24/7 demands of running an agricultural operation and the blinding pace of our world today, there is little time to sift through all the headlines. The good news is that you no longer have to! Our goal is to point you to some of the most important headlines in agriculture, so you can stay informed on the forces shaping your livelihoods. To save you time, here are the week's top links and news items: Top news 1. From FBN®: Why Did National Farmland Values Increase in 2022? The FBN Data Science delivers data-driven insights on trends related to farmland values. The real mortgage rate is one of the best predictors of farmland value change. Since interest rates were low and inflation high for a big part of 2022, the real mortgage rate remained negative. On average, the farming sector is in an excellent financial position . The debt-to-asset ratio is low, indicating that farmers have used the high net income period to build equipment and financial reserves. 2. USDA Precision Technology Adoption Report Highlights and Analysis This link provides an excellent overview of the recent USDA report, Precision Agriculture in the Digital Era: Recent Adoption on U.S. Farms. Most forms of digital technology have been slowly adopted in the agricultural sector. However, biotechnology has moved at lightning speed in adoption terms . A Hierarchy of Farmer Technology Adoption is developed to show how successfully a technology will be adopted. Farmers slow to adopt technology are typically correlated with smaller farm sizes, lower crop yields, less use of technical or consulting services 3. Grain Stocks Remain Tight A number of factors have elevated commodity prices in recent years, and this link looks at the tight grain stocks situation. Corn, soybean, and wheat stocks are all below the long-run average in the US . The situation is similar on a global scale. Any production concerns in 2023 could trigger a dramatic price response. Accordingly, all crops will be bidding for acres going into 2023. 4. Early herd rebuilding could happen through the bred cow market The USDA Cattle Inventory report shows that feeder cattle supplies will be reduced nationally in 2023 . Expected profit margins in the current year will help determine how quickly the herd can be rebuilt. The quickest way for these producers to increase the feeder cattle supply is through the addition of bred cows or bred heifers. Higher feeder cattle prices create incentives for more calves to be brought to market and bred cows are the quickest way to do so. This link also provides a chart for premiums/discounts for bred cows based on expected feeder cattle and corn prices. 5. The Use of Climate Information in Midwest Agriculture: Results from a Farmer Survey This link examines how farmers utilize weather/climate information in their decision-making processes. Most farmers use the short-term forecast in farming decisions, especially when it comes to planting and spraying time, fertilizer application, and hay management. The use of longer-term forecasts are utilized less frequently. The most common use of long-term forecasts is for marketing strategy. 50% of farmers rely on their own experience when making decisions based on climate/weather forecasts. The other half uses advice from the public sector (University extension) and/or the private sector (Ag inputs supplies, farm advisors, and neighbors). Get in touch If you have any links you'd like to share or have any questions, please contact Travis Carlstrom, Sr. Ag Credit Analyst at FBN. © 2015-2023 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” and “FBN” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates.
5 Things You Need to Know Before Planting
Mar 09, 2023
These pre-season tasks will help you and your operators make the most of your precision equipment. When you back your planter into the shop to do pre-planting checks, you should do the same with your planting monitor. While you’re drawing up your planting schedule and prepping your team, here are a few steps to make it a great season: 1. Determine your farm's optimal planting conditions and timing. By analyzing past yields, FBN can help you identify your farm’s historically optimal planting temperature. In FBN Seed Finder, you can check daily soil temperatures and see seed response to planting temperature and date. 2. Find your optimal planting speed and seeding rate with the Analyze My Operation tool. FBN analyzes your farm’s data to find multi-year trends across your operation in order to effectively determine your planter’s most yield-efficient speed and highest yielding seeding rate. Planting too quickly can cost you real yield dollars, so make sure all your team members know your farm’s unique speed limit! 3. Determine your prescription accuracy to see how well you’ve executed your planting prescriptions in the past. Factors like excessive planting speed, complex prescriptions, high seeding rates and difficult terrain can affect the accuracy of your prescriptions. FBN analyzes planter data to identify your equipment’s effective performance range, both on the field level and across your whole operation. 4. Know whether your prescriptions have been properly inputted and tested. All manufacturers have their own best practices on how prescriptions need to be written, so meet with your Precision Ag Specialist for specific use information and tips for your software. You should have your prescriptions written and inputted to your monitors as early as possible. Your specialist should have insight on what challenges exist and can even contact your prescription provider to write prescriptions for your operation. 5. Identify and understand software updates for your monitor or GPS. Even when software updates are available (for example, Precision Planting requires yearly updates to access the most current database of varieties) your technician may recommend another, more reliable version for your specific area or needs. Open houses or clinics are a great resource to make sure that your displays are up-to-date and properly calibrated. Once you’ve nailed down all the pre-planting information you need, check out the 5 Steps to Optimize Planting Data Collection for tips on calibrating your precision equipment for optimal data collection. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any crop protection product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.
4 Financial Priorities for Farmers in March
Mar 08, 2023
With so many tasks requiring your constant attention as a farmer running a demanding business, it’s easy to put operational to-dos on the back-burner… but these tasks can often be some of the most important and time-sensitive. Here are a few financial priorities to consider keeping top of mind this month: 1. Watch for Interest Rate Changes Following the March Fed Meeting The Federal Reserve holds eight scheduled meetings annually to examine and adjust interest rates; the next meeting will be held on March 21 & 22. Following the public announcement of each meeting’s outcome, FBN publishes a recap of interest rate adjustments, future expectations, and actionable perspectives from FBN Chief Economist Kevin McNew. Stay tuned for that post soon on the FBN Blog ! [Click here to catch up on FBN’s recap of the most recent January Fed meeting.] 2. Conduct Equipment Maintenance Before Planting Begins Before you begin planning your planting logistics and getting out into the field this season, it’s important to make sure your equipment is ready. Prioritizing equipment maintenance and making adjustments to get the best planting results — before you plant every field — pays off in the long run. Does your planter need to be serviced — or even replaced? Should you consider leasing instead of buying farm equipment this season? Equipment purchases can be a sizable investment. Take the time to consider your options now to avoid potential challenges later in the season. [READ: 10 Things to Keep in Mind at Planting] 3. Finalize Your Insurance Coverage If you haven’t finalized your crop insurance for this season yet, now is the time to lock in your coverage — there are only a few days remaining before the approaching deadline. The insurance sales closing date for spring planted crops (such as corn, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, spring wheat and spring barley) is generally March 15. When selecting coverage, make sure you’re securing a policy that’s the right fit for your operation. Having the wrong level of insurance coverage can have an immense impact on your bottom line long term — you could be overpaying on premiums year after year or under-compensating for risk, leaving your operation exposed in difficult years. [WATCH: The FBN Crop Insurance team explains why 2023 is a unique year for crop insurance, how global grain markets are looking for the coming months, and how to select appropriate supplemental coverage for your operation.] 4. Assess the Future Value of Your Farmland Many things have changed in the farm economy in recent months. Farmland values across the U.S. increased substantially in many regions last year, and even more recently, interest rates increased, inflation seems to be getting under control and farm income reached a record high in 2022 . But what will happen to farmland prices in the next few months? Will farmland values decrease or increase? By developing a series of data-based models to gather investigative insights, the FBN Data Science team has forecast its expectations for price changes in 2023 in its latest blog post. Click here to read more. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN membership is not required to purchase through FBN Insurance LLC, but certain features may only be available to FBN members. FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states. 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. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.
Planning Ahead: Building a Farm Budget
Mar 07, 2023
It’s time to start thinking about planning your farm’s budget. Proper planning ahead of time will help you make major decisions for your operation. Join FBN ®’s Sunday Mancini as she sits down with TJ Wilson to talk about farm planning and budgeting. TJ Wilson is the Director of Sales for FBN ® Finance. He comes to FBN from a 15 year career in the banking industry working in lending and management roles after graduating from Kansas State University. In addition to working in FBN Finance, TJ is also part of a corn and soybean operation with his family in Northeast Kansas. Farm Planning and Budgeting Webinar Agenda Getting started ( 00:00 ) Projecting your income ( 03:03 ) Projecting your expenses ( 07:17 ) Prepping your balance sheet ( 12:23 ) Financial ratios explained ( 17:35 ) Watch Now: Building a Farm Budget Farm Budget Benchmarking Tools As TJ mentions, there are a number of tools that are produced annually by different universities across the country. A few good benchmarking tools include those below: Kansas State University - https://www.agmanager.info/sites/default/files/pdf/Farm%20Financial%20Benchmarking.pdf University of Illinois - https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2018/09/what-should-my-farm-benchmark University of Minnesota - https://www.cffm.umn.edu/initiatives/benchmarking/ [WATCH: Webinar: Refinancing Your Land Loan: Maximize Savings & Opportunities] Loans from FBN Finance Applying for a loan can sometimes feel like a daunting process, but the loan advisor team at FBN Finance is here to help. With an average of 15+ years each in Ag finance experience, FBN loan advisors are available to talk you through all facets of the real estate loan process, discuss any questions or concerns you may have and make sure you get the solution that best fits the unique needs of your Ag operation. Click here , complete the brief form below, or call 866-619-3080 to get started. Audio Transcript Sunday Mancini: Hey everyone, this is Sunday with Farmers Business Network® and we're here today to talk about all things budgeting and financing as we look toward 2022. And TJ Wilson is our expert who will be guiding us through this journey. He is the head of sales for FBN® Finance. So, hello TJ. Let's dive right into it. TJ Wilson: Thanks for having me. Sunday Mancini: Let's get started with the biggest question that maybe everyone has. Why do I need a farm budget? TJ Wilson: I think budgets are important for all farmers as they're looking because the crop year is obviously year to year, so we need to think about what's the next year gonna look like what kind of income are they gonna generate off of that crop or their expenses gonna be, and start building a baseline for what that may look like and help them make some decisions for the next year. Sunday Mancini: Awesome. So going into this budgeting process what information do farmers need to create or update their current farm budget? TJ Wilson: Yeah. The best information to use when creating a farm budget is looking at your historical information. Obviously farmers all have tax returns, you know, look back at what your expenses have been historically, try to build a baseline for what that may look like for the next year. By this time of year, a lot of farmers are already starting to lock in their expenses as well, so they're gonna have a good idea of what their crop is gonna cost them to raise over the next year, and they're gonna know what they're gonna plant what their formal planting attentions are gonna be because they, a lot of them have already bought their seed, so they're gonna have a good idea of what their expenses are. And then when it comes to the expense or the income side of things, just narrowing down, you know, being conservative with what you're looking at, you know, what are you gonna raise? How much are you gonna raise? What are conservative price estimates gonna be? So looking at those types of things, or that's the main information that you're gonna need in building your budget for the next year. Sunday Mancini: Gotcha. And so if they go about sort of creating a plan and they're thinking about it conservatively, how do they set goals for a crop year? TJ Wilson: Yeah, I think it really comes down to each individual operation has different goals. So what is your goal for the year? Is it paying off debt? Is it building working capital? Is it making as much money as you possibly can? Is it taking risk off the table? So you know, based off of what your goal is for your operation sitting down and com, coming up with a budget that will build around those goals and help accomplish that. So looking at it from the standpoint of, you know, knowing what your revenue that you want, what your income is that you want to accomplish, what your goal is, build a conservative estimate both from the income and expense side of things to try to build in those types of baselines for yourself. You know, a lot of operations, you wanna make sure that you're conservative in what your expense approach is gonna be to make sure that you've built in enough cushion to, you know, handle the unforeseen situations that we've seen over the last few years. There's a lot of volatility in the ag space, especially on the income side right now. So building in a good cushion for yourself and building in a lot of leeway for your operation to be successful is the utmost importance. Sunday Mancini: Gotcha. Awesome. So let's take a minute to sort of look at projecting income for farmers. So as they look toward 2022, what are the some of the key components of projected income? TJ Wilson: Yeah, the, the key components they're gonna look at is basically the crop insurance information. So most operations have an average yield or an APH that they look at for crop insurance purposes. You know, when you're building a projected cash flow, use that APH information as your average yield. So I would set that as your baseline your under your straightforward main budget plan. And then on the pricing side of things, you know, use conservative estimate there. Obviously we have crop insurance prices that are set in March. But use the December planning prices or whatever those planning prices is are for the crop that you're gonna grow and build in a little bit of cushion off of that, discount it a little bit to make sure that you have some cushion for that volatility that's in the market and use that yield in that price estimate to build in those types of scenarios. TJ Wilson: Obviously government payments is another key item that a lot of farmers are have kind of grown used to over the last few years. Typically, when I'm helping prepare a crop budget, I do not utilize government payments whatsoever. You can't count on 'em, you never know what they're gonna do year to year. So build that budget off of what your actual crop intentions are gonna be in what you expect to grow that year. So those are pretty important when building that. And then on the flip side of that, I typically build one or two other budgets as well on the income side of things. You know, build a revenue plan based off of, you know, what you actually expect to grow from a yield standpoint with some good prices and then go the other direction, you know, what does a crop insurance price look like for yourself this year? You know, if you have a disaster crop and you have to live off a crop insurance, how does that affect your budget overall so that you know, both ends of the spectrum or what you're gonna deal with. Sunday Mancini: Yeah. Awesome. So looking at those benchmarks how can farmers use benchmarks to evaluate their projected income? TJ Wilson: Yeah, obviously this is the, the budget is a tool year to year. And it's not a one and done thing at the beginning of the year when you're making your budget plan. So most farmers should adjust that budget throughout the year and use it as a tool to help guide their decisions all year long. Mainly their marketing decisions, that's an important item for them or their other purchasing decisions if they have the ability to prepay, you know, how does that look like compared to last year, you know, what were those prices last year? How did that fit into their budget and how to affect their budget overall from a breakeven standpoint on their crop? So utilizing that all year long. And then looking at it from year to year, you know, when you did your budget last year and versus this year, what were those comparisons? You know, what was your breakeven difference? Where did you spend more last year than you plan to spend this year? So using that historical information going forward is just gonna help you be a sharper operation. Sunday Mancini: Awesome. so as far as, this is sort of a fun question to, to wrap up this segment, but what steps can I take and what steps can farmers take to improve their 2022 income? TJ Wilson: You know, farmers are doing everything they can right now to try to, you know, limit as much risk as they possibly can. Right now, that's the biggest challenge is the volatility in the risk in the market. So a lot of farmers are trying to do what they can to limit the downside. So what they can do right now is continue to use any risk management tools they have available to 'em. You know, obviously crop insurance whether that's multi peril revenue protection or whole farm insurance are two options that at least limit the downside for operations. Also, working with a team of advisors, you know, whether that's your agronomic advisors, your crop insurance agent, your lender or banker, any financial advisors that you utilize in addition to your marketing advisor. So it takes a team to run a farming operation right now. TJ Wilson: And especially in the volatile times that we're in right now, it takes all hands-on deck and a lot of intelligence farmers have enough on their plate to have to deal with every day and managing their operation. That bringing in some experts will definitely help limit the downside of that operation. And looking at where you're at day-to-day with the ups and downs in the market and the ups and downs of the expense side of things with all the inputs, you know, reevaluate once a month you know, see where your operation is, see where your marketing plan is, see how your budget has adjusted based off of what's going on in the market today. Sunday Mancini: All right. So as we sort of look at projecting expenses for farmers as they approach the next year what are some of the key components of projected expenses? TJ Wilson: Yeah, on the expense side of things, that's a little bit, you know, where we're at right now, that's the hot topic. So expenses continue to rise across the board. I know we did a supply chain video here last week, I believe that talked a little bit about the supply chain and what's, what's causing some of the increase in the expenses and when that may end. It doesn't sound like that's in sight anytime soon. So when you're looking at the expense side of things, you know, two, I always say, or one, I always say, guess high. You know, if you're gonna make an estimate, always, you know, build in plenty of cushion when you're looking at that. Make sure that you handle your, your key components to your operation. You know, the seed, chemical fertilizer, those main inputs that you have to go out and buy every year, and you have to deal with on an annual basis. TJ Wilson: So make sure that you lock those down. As far as knowing where those prices are obviously rent is another big component there if you have to rent ground knowing what your land costs are. So when you're looking at that by this time of year, a lot of people have their prices locked in or have a very good idea of what they are. So use those actual expenses and use a little bit of cushion for overage that you may have if you don't have it on already. Or you have to make any in-season decisions to, you know, add some fertilizer to those crops and try to increase that yield. So looking at those types of things, make sure you're building a little bit of cushion there. Also look at, you know, starting with what you have last year, you know, what did you spend on chemical? TJ Wilson: What's that gonna look like compared to this year? You know, what did you exp spend on repairs last year? Fuel everything across the board. As I mentioned earlier, you have the tax returns. Use those as tools when you're building your budgets going forward. Both on the income and expense side of things. So the other thing that a lot of farmers don't take into account while they're looking at their budgets and don't build into their cashflow budgets going forward is their equipment costs their equipment costs and their overhead. You know, you want to get paid for your work. You know, the farmers wanna make sure that they make a return for their time and their effort. Make sure you build in enough cushion so that you get a return to management for your operation or return to land that you own already. You wanna make sure you're generating a return for that and figuring your depreciation costs. Obviously you're figuring in fuel and repairs, but are you figuring in what the cost is to replace those pieces of equipment? They're not gonna last forever. So make sure you're building in some cushion there and building in plenty of wiggle room for yourself and your operation to be able to expand and make the decisions unique going forward. Sunday Mancini: What benchmarks should farmers use to evaluate their projected expenses? TJ Wilson: Yeah, there's a number of tools out there. So there's a few universities that have reports that come out annually that kind of talk about what the expenses are in the market for different parts of the operation. And then when you come looking at a number of other things, use yourself as a benchmark, you know, what have you done historically? You know, what are, what have your operating expenses look like year over year? How do those compare to this year? And then utilize the, the team advisors that we talked about earlier. You know, how does that compare? Talk to your lender, talk to your banker, talk to your seed rep, your agronomic advisors, you know, whoever you're working with, and figure out what the norm is. You know, am I paying too much for this type of stuff? You know, what's normal in the market? What's it been historically? Do I need to adjust my rates? You know, things like that that you want to take into account to make sure that you're meeting the budget criteria that you set for, and that you, you can accomplish the goals that you wanna reach for. Sunday Mancini: Awesome. And so, you know, this is a question I think that everyone can relate to. What steps can farmers take to reduce their 2022 expenses? TJ Wilson: Yeah, obviously that's a, a big challenge this year with the increase in prices that we're gonna look at, but this is more of a long-term topic as well. So what can you do year over year to be able to reduce some expenses? When you're looking at building these things, obviously there's always a lot of fat in anybody's budget that they wanna make sure they build in. So build a budget that works build a budget that make sure it has enough cushion and it still works, you know, if, if you're guessing your expense is high. And then figure out throughout the year are there things that you can make adjustments on. Obviously, you know, the agronomic advisors out there they're gonna have a lot of information on whether that's variable rate applications variable fertilizer, variable rate seating, things like that, that will reduce costs overall. TJ Wilson: So those are definitely things that we need to be considering. Things that you need to be talking to your advisor team about to build in ways to reduce your costs reviewing your, your rental agreements if you have them out there taking a look at those, are there things that can be adjusted so that they're fair to both you and the landlord? If you rent ground and just looking at little pieces of your operation, obviously repairs parts, everything goes into that operation, everything goes into that budget to be able to cut back certain expenses. It's not gonna be one major expense item that somebody can cross off their list when it comes to the, the agriculture operations. It's a lot of little things that you have to make adjustments on. Sunday Mancini: Yeah. Awesome. so another component for budgeting is the balance sheet. So can you give us an overview of that? What is a balance sheet for farmers? TJ Wilson: Yeah, obviously, you know, the cash flow is, is one part of your operation. When you're looking at that, you know, that's what you're looking at from year to year. You know, am I gonna make money or am I gonna lose money on this next year's crop? And how am I gonna do that? When you're looking at a balance sheet, that's a look at a single point in time where you're looking at your overall financial health of your operation. So the balance sheet is gonna be a collection of all of your assets and all of your liabilities, everything you own and everything that you owe. So when you're doing that, you're gonna build it in three different scenarios. So you're gonna have what we call the current section of that balance sheet, which is assets and liabilities that are gonna be, you will either liquidate or that you will have to pay within the next 12 months. TJ Wilson: The next section of that balance sheet is gonna be the intermediate section, and that's gonna be the same thing, assets and liabilities, but that's gonna be more anything from 12 months up to around seven years. Depending on the type of operation it's gonna be assets that have about a useful life, life of seven years. A lot of that's your cattle and equipment. The type of things that sit in that section of the balance sheet and vice versa. On the liability side, it's gonna be, you know, debts that have to be paid over that time period. A lot of it's term cattle loans, equipment loans sometimes pivots and things along those lines. Vehicle loans that you're gonna be paying on. The bottom section of the balance sheet is what we call the long term section. It's gonna be long term assets and liabilities. TJ Wilson: This is mainly just real estate. So you know, we have a real estate, we have any other long-term assets that we own, whether that's investments or, you know, retirement accounts or things like that that farmers have versus mainly just real estate debt. So that's gonna sit on that long-term section of that balance sheet. You know, on the current section back to that, you know, that's gonna be really your inventory, your cash so things that you're gonna be liquidating in the next year, whether that's prepaids or accounts payable on the liability side. So anything that you owe your vendors that you have to pay in the short term. Sunday Mancini: Awesome. And as sort of they, the farmer may itemize the different things that they'll need to include in the battle sheet, what should they include? TJ Wilson: Yeah, absolutely. So be as thorough as you possibly can. So obviously we want to include everything. It's a true picture of your overall financial health and it is a tool that we can look at year over year. I would highly recommend when you're preparing these balance sheets, try to do it the same time every year. I know a lot of operations when I'm working with my customers, I try to sit down and do it January 1st. I encourage them, you know, if they sit down, they're watching football games on New Year's Day you know, try to look at your balance sheet a little bit and sit down and do that while you're watching football. Now that way you have it timestamped and it's the same point in time every year and it's gonna be a good tool for you to be able to measure your success year over year. TJ Wilson: So when you're looking at what to include, include everything you possibly can you know, be realistic about what you're including though you know, make sure you have accurate inventory numbers, make sure you have fairly accurate debt numbers. You know, try to include, you know, what do you owe who do you owe it to what are the interest rates? It's just a good review for every operation on an annual basis to sit down and look at, Hey, make sure I have my bearings about me. I know what kind of assets I have, I know who I owe what to when it's due and how much is due because you're gonna use a lot of the components out of that to help build your budget for the next year as well. So obviously when you're including your budget, you're gonna include what your debt payments are and any expenses that you have due over the next 12 months so that you can make sure you have an accurate representation of what that operation looks like. Sunday Mancini: Why is it important? What value do farmers see from it? TJ Wilson: Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, farmers, you know, are, are tricky individuals when it comes to, you know, the way you're looking at their overall financial health. So farmers are a lot different than other businesses. Other businesses operate on, you know, the shorter sections of their balance sheet where it comes intermediate liabilities, they have a lot of machinery, they have a lot of cash and inventory. Farmers cash and inventory does, it's out there. They use a lot of it because obviously they grow a big crop. But farmers balance sheet typically lies towards the bottom side. A lot of 'em have a lot of long-term assets. Farmers are always, you know, real estate rich cash poor. So, and that's the common saying out there. So their savings account is their real estate, and so making sure that you've got enough equity in your balance sheet should you need to tap into that ever is a good tool to measure on an annual basis and especially with the volatility that we're seeing right now. TJ Wilson: So are there things in, in your balance sheet that you need to be thinking about and planning for? Just like we talked about with your goals earlier on? You know, what do you want to get your balance sheet to the point of what are your goals long term? Do you want to hand real estate down to your kids? Do you wanna build a operation for the next generation? Do you wanna retire the next five years? What does that look like? And so looking at your balance sheet is a good gauge and tool to tell you whether you'll be able to accomplish some of those things going forward. Sunday Mancini: Awesome. That's great. And I feel like helpful even for me. Maybe I need to start budgeting myself. Awesome. So I wanna talk through some terminology that I certainly would love to learn more about. And that is financial ratios. So I'll go through some of those terms and, and hopefully learn something myself. Starting with a current ratio. What is it, what is its implications? TJ Wilson: Yeah, we talked about the current section of your balance sheet a little bit bit ago. So that's gonna be that top section of, you know, the, the inventory and liabilities that are all due within one year or can be liquidated in one year. So what does that ratio mean? What does it look like? So basically it's just your current assets over your current liabilities. So do you have more current assets than you have current liabilities? That's the key component right there. So we call that the working capital position and the current ratio. So typically we wanna see a current ratio, obviously over one. We wanna make sure that you have more current assets than you have current liabilities so that you have enough inventory, cash or anything on hand to be able to pay all your debts that are due within the next year. TJ Wilson: So obviously with the, the farmers, they have an annual crop, so they're gonna be generating cashflow all the time when it comes to that thing. But is there any point in time where they do not have enough on hand to be able to pay what they owe the next year? So that's something that a lot of lenders and a lot of bankers sit down and look at. That's a key component when they're doing their analysis. So obviously the higher the number, the better. You know, the general guideline is, you know, about 1.25 to one. So we want to make sure that you have, you know, at least 25% more assets on hand than you have of any liabilities due in the next year. So this is, you know, major cushion. It allows a lot of operations to do things they need to do on an annual basis with the, what we've seen in the the volatility of the input prices this last year, being able to react quickly when you get the opportunity to buy something that you feel is a fair price or that you've been offered to make sure that you can take having that cash on hand or having a good working capital position allows you to do those things. TJ Wilson: So farmers need to definitely take a look each year what is their working capital position. That's a key component they wanna look at when they're doing their balance sheet and doing their cash flow on an annual basis. So if you do have times like we see right now where you have high input expenses and you might see a negative cash flow over the next year, that's not the worst thing in the world as long as you have enough working capital to survive. You know, farmers have been through tough times, they've been through tight times. Do they have enough equity on their balance sheet and enough working capital on hand to be able to to stomach a tough year. Sunday Mancini: Gotcha. so what is a debt to asset ratio? TJ Wilson: Yeah, the debt to asset ratio is very similar to the current ratio, but it takes the entire balance sheet into account. So how many assets do you have versus how many liabilities do you have? So looking at do you have more assets than you have liabilities? Most farmers do, obviously they have a lot of, you know, high dollar assets with the real estate and the equipment that they have on hand. So what does this balance or this ratio really tell us? It tells us what the viability of that operation is long term. So if you have plenty of equity in your balance sheet you can stomach a tough year or two, you know, you have the ability to work through any tough times that come ahead. And it means that you're basically building your retirement account. So the more equity that you have in that operation the more flexibility it gives to your operation the more viability it gives to it long term and gives you a lot of options to do what you want to do, do, whether that's, you know, accomplish your goals, buy real estate, look at a number of different things that you're trying to do going forward. TJ Wilson: And it really tells a picture of the financial health of the operation. Sunday Mancini Awesome. Well I really appreciate you going through and answering all these questions for us. This has been super helpful and informative. But where can farmers learn more about financing through FBN? TJ Wilson Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, we have our website, fbn.com slash finance, so that's where they can go to our finance page, learn about the other products and services that we have available. And we have a team of lenders standing by ready to talk to any farmer or operator that wants to, to go through some of these scenarios. We've got a very skilled team very experienced to be able to talk through a number of these scenarios and work through balance sheets and budgeting questions that these farmers have on an annual basis. Sunday Mancini Awesome. Well thank you so much TJ, and this was great. TJ Wilson Thanks Sunday. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. 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
Avoid Overpaying on Premiums with Personalized FBN® Crop Insurance
Mar 06, 2023
Your farm is unique. Your insurance policy should be, too. Having the wrong level of insurance coverage can have an immense impact on your bottom line long term — you could be overpaying on premiums year after year or under-compensating for risk, leaving your operation exposed in difficult years. At FBN , our insurance agents work closely with farmers to develop risk management plans personalized for their unique operations. Backed by data-based insights and analytics powered by the FBN network, FBN Insurance leverages innovative technology and data science to deliver customized, straightforward advice on crop insurance plans. Personalized Policies No two farms are identical, so your crop insurance coverage shouldn’t be either. FBN Insurance agents use anonymized and aggregated operational, weather and other data to help you make the best decisions possible for the level of risk you’re comfortable with. After building a scenario analysis, our FBN Insurance agents give you a detailed overview of the cost per acre and likely payouts for each policy type and coverage level across a range of possible scenarios. The policy is personalized to your local weather and pricing patterns, crop marketing plans and risk appetite. Not sure what your appetite for risk actually is? We can help with that, too. With FBN Insurance, you can get access to all of the insurance products available through federal programs — plus a large selection of private products offered through our preferred partner companies. [Crop insurance is more than just another number on your cost sheet. Are you confident in your coverage?] Innovative Technology and Data-Based Coverage By developing easy-to-access resources, automated technology and useful tools, FBN Insurance aims to make record-keeping and policy management easier, putting a long-awaited end to lengthy paperwork and painful processing. Guided by a Farmers First® mindset, our goal is to build technology that makes our policyholders’ lives easier and our insurance agents even more effective. [Read more about how our team is innovating the future of FBN Insurance.] Experienced Team with a Straightforward Approach At FBN Insurance, we’re a local team with national reach. Our experienced and localized insurance agent team is readily available to help you make the best decisions for your operation’s unique risk profile. Our agents understand that insurance is about security, and they’ll work with you to think holistically about your risk management strategies so you have peace of mind in your coverage. You shouldn’t have to re-learn the language of insurance every year. Our agents offer straightforward recommendations and walk you through the data that got them there. [WATCH: Data Driven Insurance - How to Use Data to Make Informed Coverage Decisions] FBN Crop Insurance Coverage Interested in a second opinion on your policy? Click here or complete the form below to get more information about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance. Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.