Nothing beats a written plan when setting goals

For quite a few years, the conversations surrounding agriculture have focused on financial stress. Since 2014, we’ve had a rise in farm bankruptcies, we watched low commodity prices place downward pressure on land values, we expected farm incomes to be stretched thin, and we knew that years of struggle were manifesting in mental health crises across rural America. [Continue]

What the USDA’s American Families Plan means for farmers

The USDA issued a press release in which they indicated that the transfer tax proposed in the American Families Plan will not affect 98 percent of farm estates. However, the details are lacking and most farm families that keep the farm in the family may not owe any transfer tax — but they will owe a lot more income tax under the proposal. [Continue]

Credit quality, climate action may affect ag in 2021

Through the United States Department of Agriculture, farmers were able to use CFAP to provide income assistance due to pandemic-related losses in the marketplace. As of November 15, there were more than 1.2 million approved applications for over $21 billion. There are a lot of unknowns as we look ahead to 2021 and it is difficult to predict what the world may have in store for agricultural banking. It might help if we look at many of the issues that are always at the forefront for agricultural bankers. [Continue]

Where is the industry headed in 2021?

Rows of soy plants in a field

From weather disasters and a pandemic to an increased use of technology that is helping farmers control their own destinies, ag bankers in central states experienced a lot in 2020. Now they look ahead to what 2021 holds, expecting more of the same challenges and uncertainty. [Continue]

Low commodity prices continue to haunt ag

The year began with some optimism on grain prices and improved trade conditions with China, Canada, Mexico and other countries. Then COVID-19 hit in March and everything changed. Commodity prices for crops and livestock dropped rapidly; ag banking experts from across the region weigh in on the local impact. [Continue]

Weather, mental health complicate agriculture

With pressure already exerted by years of low commodity prices, trade uncertainties and pandemic complications, farmers and ranchers in the central states faced a year of difficulties in 2020. Weather varied across the region, and Iowa notably endured the effects of a derecho storm in August that caused billions in damage.  [Continue]

COVID-19 roils the ag economy

Although farmers and ranchers are resilient and used to adversity, all aspects of their lives and industries have been affected to some degree by COVID-19, whether mentally or physically. Here, regional ag banking experts way in on the impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn have had on the country’s ag industry. [Continue]

Farms yield uncertainty for ag bankers

2020 has been a year of great uncertainty and extreme swings in the ag economy. The year started out with some optimism on grain prices and improved trade conditions with China, Canada, Mexico and other countries. Then COVID-19 hit in March and everything changed. [Continue]

Agricultural roundup

Rows of soy plants in a field

In late 2019, when ag bankers reflected on the year and forecast expectations for 2020, they foresaw classic perennial challenges: bad weather and low commodity prices. What 2020 actually delivered would have been hard to predict. No one has been immune from the struggles the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on the nation’s health or the economy, including farmers and their community banking partners. [Continue]

In ag banking, the right relationship still matters

Rows of soy plants in a field

“Ag banking is different.” How many times have you heard that one? Or, if you are an ag banker, how many of you have used that argument in loan committee as the discussion goes on and on about the viability of a particular credit? Is ag lending really different, and if so how? [Continue]