Equity is the wealth you have earned in your business and what is used to cover negative profits. Continuing negative profits drains your equity. If the prospect for future profits is not high or not high for a while, then the question becomes how much equity are you willing to spend.
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.
Knowing where to start with financial analysis can be overwhelming. It may be helpful to remember this just one step in the Farm Financial Model: Records → Management Reports → Decision Making Cash vs. Accrual Accounting Records It’s important to know if your records are on a cash or accrual basis. Most farm records are […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Job descriptions add clarity to farm tasks and procedures, helping to avoid confusion and potential disagreements about the work at hand, and delineating who is responsible for those tasks. This can also improve working relationships and keep things running smoothly for all employees, including family members working on the farm.
Farm managers across Wisconsin have a lot on their plates when it comes to human resource management, and the last thing they may want to deal with is employees who are not getting along. However, avoiding the issue and, hoping it will go away could make it worse rather than dealing with the matter quickly. […]
The development of a meaningful vision is not easy or instantaneous. It takes time, thought, effort, and teamwork. Once you have thought through the following steps, share your vision with the members involved in your farm business. The farm vision will need their input as well, if they are to be involved in the future of the business.
As agricultural and rural community professionals, it is important to understand how to effectively communicate with farmers and family members who face highly stressful situations. Based on cited research and interactions with thousands of farmers and ranchers throughout the US, ten key suggestions have been developed. Understand the basic physical, chemical and physiological workings of […]
For the past several years, Wisconsin farmers have faced a growing number of challenges that translate to high stress levels. As John Shutske, Extension agricultural safety specialist at UW-Madison, puts it, “We’ve had a long-term downturn in crop and milk prices which has hit our dairy sector particularly hard.” The low prices that have continued […]
Regular family money meetings can help divide the stress of the financial burden into more manageable challenges.
Business succession planning doesn’t just doesn’t happen. Producers must intentionally focus on the planning and work with a team of professionals such as a tax specialist, attorney, financial planner, and lender. Family businesses in particular, should first recognize that family and business systems focus on different goals. A family farm inherently mixes family and business […]
Regardless of the time of year, it is important for farm operators to spend some time in their office completing their least favorite activity – paperwork. Most farmers enjoy getting their hands dirty, from digging in the soil, repairing machinery, or working with livestock. They will reluctantly compile the necessary information for income tax preparation, credit borrowing, and crop reporting.