Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Can your farm's finances weather a storm?

From news reports

Date Modified: 03/06/2014 4:31 PM

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CRESCO, Iowa — After several years of financial gains in agriculture, we face an uncertain future. Does your farm operation sit on a solid base, prepared to weather a storm? Or are you floating along unaware you are in a position of high tide?

Deep Water or High Tide, a day-long program from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, has been created to address agricultural finances in today's changing world. Program developers and presenters for the program include Kelvin Leibold, Tim Eggers, and Kristen Schulte, and Ann Johanns, ISU Extension farm management specialists.

"The USDA marketing year average for corn in 2012 was $6.89, predictions going forward are showing a price closer to $4.50." says Leibold. "Soybeans show a similar story, going from $14.40 in 2012 to $12.15."

When high prices leave, will your boat be left stranded on the shore?

"Participants should plan to attend to assess their financial health, or send your clientele to raise their awareness of financial analysis as it applies to their farm operation,"Eggers said.

Deep Water or High Tide?

Learn how changes to interest rates and other input costs can affect your net farm income. How can you manage these changes to balance lower prices and rising costs in the future?

Spend a day playing the game of farm finances. Win prizes and gain greater knowledge of farm finances! Practice simulations to build a financial picture from a case study. The day will allow you to learn with other participants from team leaders on the basics of having a solid financial foundation. All sites begin at 9:30 a.m. and wrap-up at 3:30 p.m. Registration is $25 at all locations. To register, contact the County Extension Office for the preferred location listed below.

Cresco, Northeast Iowa Community College

Monday, Feb. 24

Contact: Howard County Extension and Outreach Office, 563-547-3001

Iowa Falls, ECC Agriculture & Renewable Energy Center

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Contact: Hardin County Extension and Outreach Office, 641-648-4850

Moving Beyond the Basics is aprogram that takes learning to a deeper level with a multi-session program focusing on financial literacy. This program is modeled after the nationwide Annie's Project for Farm and Ranch Women.

"This program will allow women the opportunity to evaluating record keeping systems and test-drive accounting software in a classroom setting," Schulte said.

Knowing the resources available for analyzing your financial position will make you better able to ride periods of low prices and farm income. Programs will be offered at various locations. These programs have been developed through a grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

In northern Iowa, the programs will be offered at:

Chickasaw County Extension and Outreach Office, New Hampton

Tuesday Evenings (Jan. 28 to Feb. 18), 6 to 9 p.m.

Contact: Danielle Day, 641-394-2174 or Kristen Schulte, 563-547-3001

Hardin County Extension and Outreach Office, Iowa Falls

Wednesday Evenings (March 5 to March 26), 6 to 9 p.m.

Contact: Kelvin Leibold, 641-648-4850

Visit the Ag Decision Maker website for further details,