Opinion

What’s next for ag in 2020?

Rows of soy plants in a field

Looking ahead into 2020, many Midwest farmers see themselves in a holding pattern. With a presidential election looming, the economy tends to slow in the lead-up to November. A strong dollar isn’t helping. While some producers hold out hope for trade resolutions, others doubt it will make enough of an impact. [Continue]

Up the ante on employee engagement

Are you satisfied with how your organization measures employee performance? Performance management is meant to enable employees to perform to the best of their abilities while making everyone accountable for reaching their goals. It’s proactive, not reactive, and builds better manager and employee relationships. [Continue]

Recent wet weather puts a damper on ag

“Weather has been one of the big issues [in 2019] that has impacted agriculture. It started in the spring and did not let up all year. … The growing season saw plenty of struggles with wetness and cool temperatures. Finally, the delayed harvest due to slow growing conditions, wetness, early snow and liquid propane shortages all added up to an extremely difficult year for crop enterprises.” [Continue]

Ag bankers consider 2019, look forward to 2020

When Midwestern ag bankers consider 2020, they expect some challenges for their farmer customers, not unlike the year that just ended. In 2019, struggles included severely wet weather, flooding, low commodity prices and a trade war with China. Changes within the dairy industry — from proposed regulations to breeding advancements — affected that sector. [Continue]

Include all internal experts when launching new products

How exciting is it to roll out a new client offering? It is like that new car smell and getting the new iPhone folded into one! The anticipation of how “the product” will grow deposits, increase non-interest income and reduce expenses can be intoxicating. But how often is excitement (or even formal communication) about a new product offering spread throughout the entire organization effectively prior to launch? [Continue]