Without a doubt, 2018 will go into the books as one of the toughest in recent history. To prepare for 2019, identify things you can do to make your operation more efficient. Here are four to get you started:
Use tech tools to save money: Digital solutions like the Farmers Business Network can be worth a look, because these take the guesswork out of finding the best savings for seed and fertilizer. You don’t have to purchase your seed through the network, but having access to the information that other farmers share can give you better leveraging power when making deals. The potential savings can more than make up for the annual membership fee.
Smarter applications: Winter is a good time to review your yield map. Dig deep into the data to determine what caused different areas of your field to be higher producing than others. This and continuing to commit to soil testing can help you identify efficient ways to apply fertilizer and weed control.
Consider a return to the bargaining table: It’s never easy to ask for lower prices, but tough markets might give you enough standing to, say, convince landowners to lower their rates. Going forward, a shared risk agreement might be a smart way to structure lease deals.
Make the comparisons: FINBIN's benchmarking data from the University of Minnesota Extension Office is simply one of the best tools at your disposal to help you evaluate the efficiency of your operation. Enter your financials to calculate your ratios, then you can compare them to similar operations in your area. This data can help you discover your opportunities for improvement, so you can start your year knowing which efforts would have the biggest impact.
Discovering new solutions and making plans now can not only set you up for a better 2019 production year, it can make meetings with lenders and other important professionals all the more productive. Discuss your options with your Minnwest Ag Banker today.
However, if the financial pressure is overwhelming, remember, you’re not alone. Be sure and review these helpful resources for Minnesota farmers coping with financial and economic stress.