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Can farms’ finances weather a storm?

By Staff | Jan 16, 2014

IOWA FALLS – After several years of financial gains in agriculture, we face an uncertain future. Do Iowa farm operations sit on a solid base, prepared to weather a storm?

Or are they floating along unaware you are in a position of high tide?

A program created to address agricultural finances in a changing world is set from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Ellsworth Community College’s Agriculture and Renewable Energy Center. A starting time will be announced later.

The event is a full-day program focused on the impact of changes to farm finances and moving towards a multi-session program that covers a multitude of information in an interactive setting.

Program developers and presenters for the program include Kelvin Leibold, Tim Eggers, Kristen Schulte and Ann Johanns, all ISU Extension farm management specialists.

“The USDA marketing year average for corn in 2012 was $6.89, predictions going forward are showing a price closer to $4.50.” said Leibold. “Soybeans show a similar story, going from $14.40 in 2012 to $12.15.

“When high prices leave, will your boat be left stranded on the shore?”

Eggers said, “Participants should plan to attend to assess their financial health, or send your clientele to raise their awareness of financial analysis as it applies to their farm operations.”

Topics will include:

  • How changes to interest rates and other input costs can affect net farm income.
  • How to manage these changes to balance lower prices and rising costs in the future.
  • Playing the game of farm finances.

Win prizes and gain greater knowledge of farm finances.

Practice simulations to build a financial picture from a case study.

The day will allow one to learn with other participants from team leaders on the basics of having a solid financial foundation.

Registration is $25. To register, contact the Hardin County Extension office at (641) 648-4850.

Beyond the basics

This program takes learning to a deeper level with a multi-session program focusing on financial literacy.

This program is modeled after the nationwide Annie’s Project for Farm and Ranch Women.

“This program will allow women the opportunity to evaluate record keeping systems,” Schulte said, “and test-drive accounting software in a classroom setting.”

Knowing the resources available for analyzing a farm’s financial position will make managers better able to ride periods of low prices and farm income.

The program has been developed through a grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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