Posts Tagged ‘ Agriculture ’

Harvest 2019

As an eventful and often times stressful 2019 crop season comes to an end with harvest approaching, we would encourage all farmers to consider the following:

  • Farm Safety
    • Please check to make sure all safety equipment (I.E. – safety shields, fire extinguishers, etc.) is in place and in working order.
    • Be especially careful and diligent around any moving equipment and/or parts, don’t assume anything as things happen faster than we expect.
    • Make sure to use your flashers and be aware of your surroundings.
    • Wear protective and reflective clothing. 
    • When working around/in grain bins, use all appropriate safety equipment and if at all possible have a 2nd person around in case of emergency.
  • Crop Insurance
    • Be aware of your crop insurance coverage as area yields are expected to be highly variable and the chances you will have a claim have increased.
    • If you notice that your yields are potentially near or below your insurance guarantees, contact your crop insurance agent immediately to file a claim.
    • Crop Insurance Claims need to be filed within 10 days of harvest completion.
    • Please keep load records of yields from each farm and mark your bins if you are co-mingling production from several farm units.
    • If you are co-mingling 2019 crop with 2018 crop inventory, you need to request a measurement of the 2018 crop on hand.
    • We recommend reporting your yields as quickly as possible post-harvest while the data is still readily available.
    • New for this year, RMA has extended the premium due date to be postmarked no later than Nov. 30th.  Please keep this in mind as should the bill not be postmarked by the Nov. 30th deadline, all interest will be retroactive to Oct. 1st.  
  • Farm Finances
    • Do you have a marketing plan built into your 2019 cash-flow projection and are you adhering to it? Do you know/remember your break-even commodity prices?  Should we end up with a short crop this fall, you may have opportunities for selling crop during and/or after harvest and you need to stay aware of potential opportunities the market may give you.
    • Have you signed up for the 2019 MFP program payment? The deadline to do so is Dec. 6th. Have you thought about how this payment affects your cash flow?
    • Have you signed up for either the ARC or PLC program? The deadline to do so is Mar. 15th.
    • If you utilize an operating line of credit, does your 2019 line have enough availability to cover your expected fall expenses? If there are expected 2020 prepaid expenses being purchased prior to year-end, do you have a 2020 operating line of credit in place?
    • If you are expecting to seal your grain and potentially utilize FSA’s CCC loan program, please notify and consult your operating lender prior to doing so.
  • Capital Replacement Plan
    • Do you have a capital replacement plan?
    • As producers we often evaluate and consider our equipment needs during fall harvest while spending time in the cabs. Is there a year potential year end purchase you are considering?
    • Have you considered Citizens Bank Minnesota for financing these potential needs? We offer very competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms.

2019 has been a challenging and stressful year when considering trade wars, low commodity prices, wet spring planting weather, and the unknown of what fall harvest will bring.  If you or someone you know needs or wants to talk to someone, please remember that the MN Extension’s Farm and Rural Helpline is available by contacting them at 1-833-600-2670 ext. 1.  From all of us at Citizens Bank Minnesota, we wish you a safe and prosperous harvest!

**Save the Date! Join us on January 16, 2020, from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the New Ulm Event Center for our Ag Seminar, featuring Frayne Olson, PhD – Crops Economist/Marketing Specialist and Director – Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University. To learn more about Dr. Olson, visit: https://www.agweek.com/business/agriculture/4463910-agweek-market-extra-frayne-olson-north-dakota-state-university

By: Justin Gode, Vice President/Lender

Member FDIC/Equal Housing Lender

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS: Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency • Are not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate • May Lose Value

Harvest Safety – Part 2 of 2

TRACTOR AND SUNSETAvoid Harvesting Hazards. Know the drill. Knowing how to identify hazards is only the first step. Once you identify them, you have to learn to manage them safely or avoid them altogether. Stop and think about possible hazards while you’re operating the equipment. Be alert. Ask questions. Here are a few serious harvesting hazards to avoid:
• Avoid entanglement. Every combine or baler gets a plugged intake area occasionally. This area is also known as a pull-in point, and it can grab you in an instant. To avoid entanglement:
− Operate the equipment with care and attention.
− Ensure all protective guards and shields are securely in place.
− Clear plugged equipment only after the power is turned off and the key is in your pocket.
− Don’t overestimate your ability to react – entanglement injuries happen very quickly.
− Decrease the incidence of plugged machines through regular maintenance, late-season
weed control, and by operating during optimal conditions.
− In wet field conditions, wait a few hours or an extra day, if possible, to reduce plugging.
− If you must harvest in marginal conditions, expect crops to plug the equipment and allow extra time to unplug it.

• Don’t slip up. Most people recognize the entanglement hazard. Few realize that many more injuries are related to slips and falls around farm machines. During an average workday, you might have to mount and dismount from the combine dozens of times. The top of an average combine is 12 to 16 feet high. The operator’s platform is usually 6 to 8 feet high. Falls from these heights can cause serious injuries. If you are fatigued or careless, the likelihood of a fall dramatically increases.

Then there’s the slip factor. Ladders and platforms are often painted metal. They’re
slippery in normal conditions – treacherous when wet, muddy, icy or coated in crop
residue.

To prevent painful falls:
− Keep platforms free of tools or other objects.
− Clean ladders, steps and platforms regularly.
− Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes with non slip soles.
− Use the grab bars when mounting or dismounting.
− Find a stable position from which to refuel or perform maintenance.
− Use three points of contact when getting in or out of machinery – one hand/two feet or
two hands/ one foot.
− Don’t underestimate the impact of fatigue, stress, drugs, alcohol, or age on your stability.

The Last Word
Harvest is a productive time. The pressure may be exhilarating, but it also creates serious stress. This can only mean one thing: an increased risk of injury. To prevent injury and reap the benefits of the harvest you’re working so hard at; take responsibility for your own safety. Injuries happen when you take shortcuts in performing routine tasks, work while mentally or physically fatigued, or fail to follow safety guidelines.

Article Courtesy Of: Fairmont Farmers Mutual Insurance Company

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

2017 Spring Planting

spring planting

Well it’s that time of the year again! Spring is a very busy time – planters are out of the shed, and farmers are eager to put the seed in the ground.  They are trying to get a lot of acres planted in a short amount of time, putting long hours in.  Please remember to slow down and be safe out there.

With April 11th past us, farmers will have full crop insurance coverage and replant coverage for their 2017 corn crop, as that date is the earliest date RMA allows farmers to plant corn to receive replant coverage. (April 21st is the earliest planting date for soybeans to receive full crop insurance coverage and replant coverage.) The 2” soil temperature read 50 degrees at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, MN on April 14, 2017, which is the temperature it takes to germinate corn seed.  With the wet forecast that is predicted farmers are going to be chomping at the bit to get into the field any chance they get.  Keep in mind that it can take three weeks for corn to germinate at 50-55 degrees soil temperature and only 10-12 days at 60 degrees.  That being said, try to be patient and not mud in your crop.

July 15th is the acreage reporting deadline for crop insurance.  I know this sounds like a long time away, but with planting and then spraying, the time slips away from you.  Please remember to go to the FSA offices and certify your acres first. Then bring your FSA 578’s to your crop insurance agent to report your acres.

When you’re sitting in the planter, it gives you a lot of time to reflect on your farming operation.  Now is the time to evaluate planting, spraying, or harvesting equipment, whether it needs replacing or upgrading to be more successful.  Coming off of a wet fall reminds us where we may have drainage problems in our fields.  Well drained fields play a huge factor in your crop yields, determines the planting conditions in spring and the ease of harvesting the crop in the fall.  Every operation is different.  Take the time this summer and sit down with your lender to determine the feasibility, the debt service, and pay back of your projects/purchases.  We always work hard to put together the best loan package that fits your needs.

Nobody knows what Mother Nature will bring us this year, but here’s to a safe and productive 2017!

By: Nick Peterson, Asst. Vice President

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

‘Grey hair’ in agriculture: Opportunities in the making

farmers silhouette

It is no mistake that grey hair is becoming more and more common in the agricultural industry these days. Grey hair normally suggests a particular stereotype, but it can also be viewed as an opportunity.

The average age of the Minnesota farmer, as reported in the 2012 census, was 56.6 years of age, with 52 percent of farmers being over 55 years of age. It is most likely that, as farm numbers decrease and farm size increases, the average age of a Minnesota farmer will also increase.

As we see the average age of the Minnesota farmer climb, we also see the same situation in the industries that service and work with farmers. Do you know an ag lender or seed dealer with grey hair? Most likely the answer is yes.

The aging population in agriculture opens the door for opportunity. There are opportunities for knowledge transfer, relationship building, as well as networking. The agricultural industry as a whole is rapidly transitioning and changing. This alone opens the door for many opportunities between generations.

The hot topic when it comes to the aging population in agriculture is “Transition Planning.” This topic has been coming up more and more, not only on farms, but also in every other agricultural service industry. When it comes to transition planning, it normally doesn’t happen overnight-and it can have some growing pains. It is most likely that the transition includes a Baby Boomer (age 55-71) and a Gen X’er (age 35-55) or Millennial (age 18-35).

We can see the transitions happening right in New Ulm and all of southern Minnesota. Most businesses and farming operations have an older generation and, potentially, a younger generation working side by side. This is not a new dynamic; this has been the case with every generation in every decade. The difference today is that the generations seem so much more separated in the way they go about business and adapting to technology.

The “Grey Hair” Baby Boomer generation has the opportunity to learn from the younger generation, be it in technological efficiencies or an openness to try something new. The younger generations have so much to learn from the older generation, as well. The transfer of knowledge about “The 80’s,” budgeting, negotiations, best practices, and anything in between can create an environment for opportunity and growth.

When it comes to agricultural lending, farming, and many other agricultural related industries, it is hard to teach a new person everything they will need to know in a matter of a few months. It can take years. Early planning and patience is essential for a smooth transition.

An example where transition planning is opening opportunities is right here at Citizens Bank Minnesota. All four of the bank’s branches-New Ulm, Lafayette, La Salle, and Lakeville-have been looking ahead and noticed there is a lot of “Grey Hair” between the clients and the lenders. In each of the branches, there are lenders that have been working alongside the same clients for many, many years.

Citizens saw this as an opportunity and-within the past seven years-has added at least one younger lender to each of the branches to begin the transition and transfer of knowledge. The relationships that exist between the “Grey Hair” lender and most of their clients often run deep and go back many years. Citizens recognized this and started bringing in the younger lenders to build their own relationships with these clients and their second generation years before the retirements were planned. This has been a successful strategy. It gives the farming clients comfort and knowledge that their lending relationship will continue and prosper.

Citizens is very excited about the opportunities in agriculture and is dedicated to the farming community.

By: Rose Wendinger, Assistant Vice President

“‘Grey hair’ in agriculture: Opportunities in the making” published in The Journal
31 Mar 2017: B3

Citizens Bank Minnesota hosts Ag Seminar

Citizens Bank Minnesota hosted an Ag Seminar at the Best Western Plus, in New Ulm, on the morning of January 12, 2017. With over 200 participants, the topic of the event was “Positioning for Success”. Senior Vice President Tim Hoscheit welcomed the participants and thanked everyone for coming, speaking briefly about Citizens Bank Minnesota and its commitment to agriculture. Next, Vice President Kevin Yager introduced the Keynote Speaker, Dr. David Kohl.

Dr. Kohl, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, captivated the audience with Global and National outlooks and statistics. He addressed global economic trends and what to watch for in the major trade countries. Dr. Kohl also addressed the national concern with the agricultural economy. He noted that some of the adjustments the top half of producers are making include cutting rent and input costs by $50/acre along with implementing marketing and risk management programs along with diversifying income streams. Health care and insurance cost concerns were discussed as a major expense for most farm families along with the general need to monitor all family living expenses. Dr. Kohl spoke on the trend of millennials in the workplace and farming operations. The need to implement innovation and technology for the sake of efficiencies was discussed as well as the need for “knowledge transfer”. With as many as 21% of American farms not having a next generation to carry out business, the need for transition planning is great. Dr. Kohl suggested getting the next generation active in the business planning early on, working with the 4 cornerstones of success: Planning, Strategizing, Monitoring, and Executing.

Vice President Duane Laffrenzen introduced the next speaker, David Scheibel, from Minnesota West Ag Services. David is a grain marketing consultant offering brokerage and accounting services. With the USDA January reports coming in just minutes before David spoke, he was able to give a brief analysis of the results and the projected outcomes for the 2017 crop year. He spoke on trends, costs and breakevens, as well as risk management options for the upcoming marketing year.
The 2017 Ag Seminar was a great success!

By: RoseAnn Wendinger, Assistant Vice President

What do you call it when it rains Turkeys? Foul Weather!

This year has delivered many days of “foul weather”, but hopefully not the turkey type, unless it’s on your Thanksgiving table later this month.
So far in 2016, we have seen over 36” of rain since April 1st. This is nearly 10” more than the annual average. Not only has Southern Minnesota been stressed by excessive amounts of rainfall, we are trudging through a very stressful time in the agricultural industry.
Many farmers have been riding what has felt like a roller coaster this year. With planting, replanting, hail, resistant weeds, commodity pricing, and excess rain, it sure has been an eventful season. Even after all the storms, most of Minnesota is still left with what is being reported as a “record crop”, which is simply remarkable!
As this farming season gets wrapped up, most producers are already looking ahead to the next one. The dinner table talk shifts from the old to the new, and producers start making some very important decisions which could impact their future.
A few of the decisions being made this time of year are about seed selection and early pay discounts, the impact of fall fertilizer vs. spring fertilizer, grain marketing and carry options, and what seems to be the “Big One” this year – land rent negotiations.
As the year comes to an end, there are many things that need to happen and it may seem like a stressful whirlwind. Producers and farm families alike all have times when they may feel hopeless and the numbers just don’t seem to work. This is where your networks and relationships are essential. Open communication with your input suppliers, your bankers, support systems, and friends will prove to be beneficial.
Growing up on a small dairy farm, it seemed like my father was constantly working with his bankers and Farm Business Manager to figure out what decisions were best. I learned back then that having a strong network and relationships were very necessary, especially in the agricultural industry.
These kinds of networks and relationships can also help discover efficiencies that could benefit your farm. With the technology and complexities in the industry, it’s hard to know everything and what could possibly be missing. Your neighbors, your friends, or someone in your network might have an idea how to help.
Each farmer in Minnesota operates just a bit differently, but most have the same objective: to plant and harvest a plentiful crop along with feeding their families. This sounds simple enough, but it’s easier said than done, especially in recent years. Inflation in input pricing, decreases in commodity prices, as well as family living expectations are just a few of the things that complicate the simple objective.
Although talking farming is usually a natural thing for most producers, there could be some uncomfortable conversations that will need to happen. There are a few things that producers and farm families can do ahead of time to prepare for the coming year and hopefully avoid some of those uncomfortable situations.
Farm families need to talk about cost control, budgeting, and presenting a realistic cash flow projection for the coming year. What will it take financially to get the crop in the field and carry you through until the grain is sold? What are your goals throughout the year as a family and what will it take financially to achieve those goals. Are the goals even achievable under the current situations or will there need to be an adjustment to all expenses, including family living?
Another focus point could be on your Working Capital position. Will you be able to meet all of your financial obligations for the coming year or do you need to restructure your debt?
These are just a few of the questions that producers are most likely already thinking about. Calculate everything out on paper, see how it looks, and consider changes that might need to be made. Open communication with your banker this time of year is essential and could be a game changer.

By: Rose Wendinger, Asst. Vice President

Article published in the November 2016 issue of River Valley Woman magazine

2016 Spring Planting Reminders

spring plantingIt is official….Spring is really here and soon most farmers will be working hard to get their crops in.  As a reminder, early planting may help to maximize yield potential for corn and soybeans; however, planting too early can be detrimental to the crop.  Soil temperature and weather conditions should dictate when optimal planting should take place.

While checking temperatures and weather conditions, make sure to keep the following dates in mind:

Corn = Early Plant Date is April 11, 2016, Final Plant Date May 31, 2016                                 Soybeans = Early Plant Date is April 21, 2016, Final Plant Date, June 10, 2016

The above dates pertain to Southern Minnesota.  Always double-check with your MPCI agent to confirm.

Another important date to keep in mind is Acreage Reporting date of July 15, 2016.  Many times we get busy after planting and this date slips our minds; however, if after you finish planting you go right to the FSA office and certify your acres, drop off a copy of your 578’s and maps to your MPCI agent, you will be finished and on to the next project.

Happy Planting and we wish you a Safe Spring!

By:  Brian J. Shropshire,
Vice President

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