Posts Tagged ‘ Farming ’

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

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

Spring Planting

tractor planting

Spring is here, at least by the calendar. As I look outside, we are getting snow and the cold temperatures just don’t seem to want to leave us. We know, however, that it will change and we will be in the fields shortly. This is a very busy time of year as we get our start on planting this year’s crop. We all know that timing can be everything when it comes to optimum conditions.

Now that we have reviewed our crop insurance and have our best plan in place, we work hard to get machinery ready to get to the fields timely and plant in best ground conditions to give the crop its best start possible.

Just a couple reminders on key dates to remember: the earliest planting date for corn is April 11th and soybeans is April 21st. If you decide to plant ahead of these specified dates, you do lose replant benefits on those acres. Once the crop is planted and you certify your acres with FSA, those acres and planting dates need to be submitted for your crop insurance acreage report.

Spring tillage and planting time is always a great time to review future needs in your farming operation. Now is the time to analyze everything from low areas requiring additional tile, to tillage and planting equipment that need updating, enhancing or replacing. We see how, time and again, a good drainage system gives you certain efficiencies that pay rewards. Good planting conditions in the spring, being able to handle the large rainfall at one time and proper drainage at harvest time after a fall rain is key to the larger yields to be obtained. Tillage and planting equipment also have efficiencies that need to be considered. Trips over the field, proper seed bed and plant spacing all have impact on profit dollars. As always, every operation has to work with their lender for what is feasible for your size farming operation, debt load and a pay back analysis needs to be done. As always, we have your best interest in mind as we talk these things through and develop a loan package, if needed.

We look forward to a great 2013 crop year and wish the best for our farmers. Even though it is a busy, fast paced time of year, please remember to get your needed rest and stay safe.

By: Tim Hoscheit, Vice-President

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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
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