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Plan, Prevent and Prepare

There are so many things that happen on farms that result in billions of dollars in losses that can be prevented. Or, perhaps dealt with in a more timely way by thoughtful planning and preparedness.

Wisconsin Agricultural Land Prices

Over the last 5 years, Wisconsin land values remained strong despite difficult economic conditions and substantial losses in the number of dairy farms. This report provides a statewide overview of agricultural land values/prices across Wisconsin based on a statistical analysis of more than 8,000 actual sales from 2009-2019, including land values versus rental rates, influencing […]

How to prioritize debt repayments

Debt can feel overwhelming. It can be difficult to think clearly when the bills pile up, late fees accrue and interest adds up. Taking a moment to organize your obligations is important to maintain your assets, avoid paying more in fees and interest, and protect your credit. Use the provided tool to develop a comprehensive list of all outstanding creditors so you are able to differentiate and organize secured and unsecured debt.

Cash flow budgeting

The cash flow budget is a valuable planning tool for the farm manager. It enables the manager to know and plan borrowing needs and investment opportunities throughout the year. With a cash flow budget, the manager has an initial cash position for each time period. It can also serve as a communication tool to share with a lender to set up a line of credit, make capital investments, or perhaps discuss the reduction of debt.

Three questions to ask yourself when planning the future of a farm business

Planning for the future of a farm business is complex. There are many moving parts.   Extension’s network of County Educators and State Specialists assist with workshops and one-on-one consulting with farm families working on their farm succession plans, including the communication, financial, and estate planning issues that surround farm succession.

Don’t keep feeding dead-weight debt

Investing in capital replacement or new investments is appealing, but building working capital and paying off dead-weight debt may be the more prudent financial decision.

Creating a farm’s operating agreement: time well spent

Farmers are notorious for preferring to farm while leaving business dealings to trust, fate or chance. Afterall, there are only so many hours in a day, and when farm families work near each other all day, it is tempting to believe that assumptions or verbal communication may replace written text. Farmers must remember, however, that every business entity carries legal and tax implications, and the written operating agreement may save a lot of headaches and heartaches when legal and tax issues arise.

A culture of ‘farm safety’ starts with a well-written policy

The farm press is filled with stories of farm injuries, workplace fatalities and life-threatening health concerns from exposure to toxic gases, dusts and other hazards. Articles and radio and TV interviews often provide safety tips and other prevention recommendations. All are important, but if you operate a farm, a critical key to effective farm safety and health management is a thoughtful, well-written workplace safety policy that you review often with all who live and work on the farm.

Safe handling of agricultural chemicals

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations. Access to safety information and best practices is a vital component to improving farm safety. It is also key to have this information provided in the farm owner or employees’ native language, so a four-part video series on agricultural chemical safety is available in both English and Spanish.

Farm employment in Wisconsin

For the year 2017, the total number of farm employees in Wisconsin (including crop, horticulture, and livestock farms) was just above 24,000. This estimate comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which gathers data on all employees covered by state unemployment insurance(UI)1. In comparison, only 16,507 farm employee were reported in 2007. This represents […]

Labor savings from adopting automated milking systems

When considering major changes in production technology such as the adoption of automated milking systems (AMS), identifying and quantifying the main costs and benefits is a crucial part of the planning process. Most dairy producers expect some labor savings from AMS adoption, and for some it might be the main motivation. But exactly how much […]

Interview tips to help you find top talent

Like any business, farms depend on good employees for things to run smoothly. When you have a vacancy on your team, structure your interviews so that you can hire the best available employee. Make sure you prepare for interviews in advance, and allow yourself enough time to consider each individual carefully.

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