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  • Oct 30, 2014
    blog

    Lots more farmland coming online in Africa

    Corn and soybean farmers will face more price pressure once 247,100 square miles of productive African land enters production, according to a Wall Street Journal report....More
  • Oct 28, 2014
    blog

    Price increases could impact crop insurance payments for 2014

    Even with projected record U.S. production of both corn and soybeans in 2014, the market prices of both crops have risen during the month of October. While the recent improvement in grain prices is generally good news to crop producers, it could be costly to farm operators that will likely qualify for 2014 crop insurance indemnity payments....More
  • Oct 28, 2014
    blog

    Tips for farmer-lender meetings, communication

    Recently, a farmer asked a panel I was a member of, “How often should farmers and lenders communicate during the year, particularly during the planning season?” The panel recommended having a meeting during planning season followed by a quarterly or semi-annual assessment, along with a year-end evaluation, which is imperative to determine financial success....More
  • Oct 21, 2014
    blog

    Financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses 1

    In many of my speeches I emphasize that better is better before bigger is better; that is, get efficient before you embark on growth. What is a good financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses? One of my favorites is the operating expense to revenue ratio....More
  • Oct 14, 2014
    blog

    What's the coverage ratio for your farm? 1

    One of the key financial ratios that agricultural lenders use to determine repayment ability is the term debt and lease coverage ratio. It measures the amount of debt obligations (debt service which includes principal and interest), compared to the debt servicing capacity (net income plus interest and depreciation)....More
  • Oct 7, 2014
    blog

    Slipping farm profitability

    After stellar financial performance from a net farm income standpoint from 2009 to 2012, median net incomes are moving back to levels observed in the period between 2003 and 2008. In that era, median net farm income for the average group was typically in the $40,000 to $60,000 range....More

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