Farm Operations

  • Lock in Low Rates with LIBOR futures

    Most farmers know that they can hedge their corn, wheat or beans (or about any other agricultural commodity) using various types of futures contracts.  You can use the regular contract, options – both calls and puts, spreads, etc. However, many farmers do not know that they can hedge their operating loans interest rates using LIBOR […]

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  • Supplemental Nitrogen – Don’t Waste It

    Summary: Delayed corn plantings have allowed pre-plant forms of nitrogen to dissipate, leaving many fields with wide variations in their need for supplmental nitrogen applications.  One potential solution is tractor-mounted sensors which detects the amount of greenness in corn and reveals whether there is sufficient nitrogen or it needs additional side-dress application and the amount to apply.  Such a […]

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  • High Cost – High Return : Low Cost – Negative Return

    During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I was a part owner of a plastic packaging company.  We had always used a costing mechanism that relied upon standard costs and return for various products.  This usually resulted in accurate information except when the cost of the product got too high. In many cases, we would […]

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  • Farming Videos

    I was in Walla Walla, Washington with my cousins yesterday.  I helped them move their Case 4 Wheel Tractor and Case IH 2388 combine to get ready for wheat harvest. After doing that, we went to take a look at the green pea harvest that is just about to finish in the Walla Walla valley.  […]

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  • Joint Ownership of Machinery

    With the ever increasing cost of new and used farm machinery, it may pay for farmers to enter into joint ownership of certain farm machinery.  Probably the best type of machinery to have in joint ownership would be combines, sprayers and drills.  This type of equipment is usually only used at certain times of the […]

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  • The Road From Good To Great

        As a CPA, I review a lot of financial statements.  As part of this review, I try to determine the ratios that separate the business from other businesses in the same industry.  Sometimes these ratios are positive and sometimes they are negative.  For comparing ratios for farmers, a great site is the Farm […]

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  • Your Time is Worth Something

    As a CPA, I get asked many times by small business owners what their business is worth.  As part of calculating that value we usually work up what the net bottom line earnings of the business is.  To detemine that, we take the profit and loss of the company and make certain adjustments.  Normally, we […]

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  • In-Kind Wages Can Be Better Than Cash

    One of the great options open to farmers is to pay their employees in-kind wages.  In-kind wages are the payments of the crops that a farmer grows.  For example, a farmer could pay their employees either cash wages of $10,000 or 1,000 bushels of soybeans worth $10,000.  The reason that a farmer would want to […]

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  • Why Strategic Plan Succeed

    In my previous post, I listed six reasons why strategic plans fail.   Strategic plans will succeed if they incorporate three main phases: The first phase is “intuitive thinking ” and it has more of an emotional attachment to it.  This first phase answers the bigger questions such as, “Why are we in business?  Who are our […]

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  • The Budget is Your Road Map

    Most farmers prepare a budget at the end of the year to present to their bankers and then promptly put it away and forget about it until the following fall.  I like to envision a budget is similar to a road map.  A map has many ways to get from point A to point B.  […]

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