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ISA offers farmers financial management help

By Staff | May 10, 2015

ANKENY – With net farm income predicted to shrink by a third in 2015, Iowa soybean farmers are scrutinizing all aspects of their farm operations to remain competitive.

To assist in their efforts, the Iowa Soybean Association is renewing its partnership with Pivot Wealth Strategies of Des Moines to provide farmers with timely insight on asset management, financial planning, and farm succession.

In a time of tightening margins, financial decisions impacting farmer profitability are taking on added importance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts net farm income to be $73.6 billion in 2015, down nearly 32 percent from 2014.

In addition, total production expenses are expected to increase 1 percent.

Chris Uglum and Ben Nelson, co-founders of Pivot Wealth Strategies, value the opportunity to partner with ISA in service to soybean farmers.

“Modest declines in farm ground and the increase in production costs signal an increased debt to asset ratio,” Uglum said. “We’re hearing from farmers interested in building a plan for diversification.

“Having more than one ‘net worth bucket’ will make times like these less painful.

“While the most advantageous time to develop such a plan is when times are good, the second best option is to start one today.”

Succession planning and farm transition are also becoming increasingly important given that the average age of the Iowa farmer is nearing 58. Farmers need to have a game plan to ensure their legacy continues.

“Operating a successful farm business certainly includes making the right agronomic and marketing decisions,”” said ISA president Tom Oswald. “But increasingly, it includes being knowledgeable about money management, implications and rules.

“Pivot has been a valuable partner since 2012 and we are excited to deepen our relationship.”

ISA’s partnership with Pivot Wealth Strategies began with the creation of “Farm Wealth Update” a bimonthly e-newsletter providing timely expertise on issues directly impacting farm profitability and competitiveness.

This year, ISA members will also have the opportunity to engage with Pivot through ISA District Advisory Council surveys and events.

ISA members can receive Farm Wealth Update at no charge by contacting Nancy Cunningham at ncunningham@iasoybeans.com.

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