Advice About Working Capital

by Kim Lang March 23, 2010

Here's another installment from the recent discussion at Commodity Classic.  This took place on March 6th in Anaheim, California in a session sponsored by Water Street Solutions.  Our goal here is education on the financial factors around farming.  In this segment, Mike Jacobson, Chairman, President and CEO of NebraskaLand National Bank talks about the key role of working capital in your farming operation. 

Click here to watch the video. 

In terms of where your working capital should be, we suggest that as a minimum, you have 20% of working capital to gross revenue.  We push our clients toward the 40% mark on this equation.  If you're looking for a partner to help you run these kinds of numbers on your farming operation and understand targets to help you grow your business, call us at 866-249-2528.

The Biggest Factor for Farmer Profitability for 2010

by Kim Lang March 16, 2010

A panel discussion at this year's Commodity Classic focused on the financial elements of farming - and what parts growers can control.  We will be sharing pieces of the panel discussion over the coming weeks.  Here's the first installment.  The question was:  What will make the biggest difference in farmer profitability this year?

Panelists:  Arlan Suderman, Market Analyst, Farm Futures; Darren Frye, President & CEO, Water Street Solutions; Tim Copeland, VP of Marketing, Great American Insurance; and Mike Jacobson, Chairman, President & CEO of NebraskaLand National Bank

Click here to watch the video.  The discussion took place on March 6, 2010.

Commodity Classic Session a Success

by Water Street Solutions March 8, 2010

 commodity classic 2010 027 (WinCE) Commodity Classic panel (WinCE) (2)

Water Street Solutions and Farm Progress Companies sponsored the Closing Learning Center Session Saturday at the 2010 Commodity Classic is Anaheim, CA.  The 2-hour panel discussion was a great opportunity for growers to learn things they do have control over on the financial end of their operation.  A summary of the contents of the session is posted today on Farm Progress web sites, and you can read it by clicking here.  In the coming weeks, video from this session will be shared here.

Come and See Us at Commodity Classic in Anaheim

by Kim Lang February 18, 2010

If you're coming to the Commodity Classic, you'll want to make sure to mark this session on your program.  At 1:30 on Saturday, March 6th, there's a panel discussion titled Controlling What You Can Control.  Arlan Suderman from Farm Futures Magazine told me that farmers come out in droves to attend an outlook seminar.  And he knows, because he gives them.  It's fun to talk about the factors impacting the markets.  But after a while it gets frustrating, because what can you really do about those factors?  Nothing.  During this session the focus will be on things where you can impact your profitability, simply by learning and tracking and knowing what numbers to watch and what to do with them once you've found them. 

Max Armstrong Photo 2009 128 ArlanSuderman 128 Mike Jacobson 128 Tim Copeland 128 Darren Frye 128

       Max Armstrong                 Arlan Suderman                 Mike Jacobson                Tim Copeland                       Darren Frye

Max Armstrong (you've heard of him, right?) is hosting the session.  Our experts include:  Arlan Suderman, Market Analyst for Farm Futures Magazine; Mike Jacobson, Chairman, President and CEO of NebraskaLand National Bank; Tim Copeland, VP of Marketing at Great American Insurance and Darren Frye, CEO of Water Street Solutions. 

I'm sure you'll go home from this session energized about what you've learned and how it can help you take the financial reins of your operation.  If you can't be there with us, you'll be able to find information from the session on this web site.

Iowa State's Johnson Suggesting ACRE Program for Soybeans in 2010

by Kim Lang February 12, 2010

Steve Johnson (Custom) It's not too late to enroll in the 2010 ACRE program, and Steve Johnson, Farm Management Specialist with Iowa State University says his strategy for the ACRE program would be to focus on farms where you want to plant soybeans.

To hear Steve Johnson comments, click here

For the text of the comments, click here:  ACRE Program comments

Again, the enrollment deadline for the 2010 ACRE program is June 1st.  The grower's signature is required, along with the landowner's signature.  Johnson stresses that the ACRE program replaces the counter-cyclical government program, it does not replace crop insurance.  He says it's very complementary with crop insurance.  Johnson suggests that if we hadn't had a counter-seasonal rally in corn in October, November and December of 2009, there would have been Illinois, Iowa and Missouri farms generating $20 to $40 an acre in ACRE payments.

What's Behind a Marketing Recommendation?

by Water Street Solutions November 23, 2009

Ag Bankers 2009 058 (WinCE) Grain and livestock marketing can seem a whole lot like gambling if you don't know what you're doing.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Darren Frye talks to KRVN's Ken Rahjes about how we build marketing plans at Water Street Solutions and what a person needs to learn to manage risk and build profits.  Whats Behind a Marketing Recommendation - Frye AUDIO

For the text of the interview, click here: Whats Behind a Marketing Recommendation

Darren Frye Speaks to ABA Ag Bankers Meeting in San Antonio

by Water Street Solutions November 17, 2009

Pulling the Pieces Together:  Making a Difference for Farmer Profitability was the title of his presentation as Darren Frye addressed a workshop session at the American Bankers Association Ag Bankers Conference in San Antonio this morning. 

Ag Bankers 2009 053 (Small)Darren addressed a packed room and kept them engaged as bankers seek to bring all possible resources to their ag customers.  He walked the group through why it's important to start with a financial analysis, best crop insurance strategies depending on the operation, and how to leverage marketing with financials and crop insurance for the best success.

Water Street Solutions likes to involve the banker in the work we do with our clients to make sure we're all on the same page and doing the best job for profitability.

Risk Management Agency Advises Producers on Wet Harvest Conditions

by Kim Lang November 2, 2009

Click here for new information from the RMA regarding this year's delayed harvest.

Financial Personal Training for Farmers

by Kim Lang October 9, 2009

Here's an article that ran a little while back in the Illinois AgriNews.  I wanted to share it with you, because it does a good job of explaining how our business works.

Illinois AgriNews Jul 31 2009 B.pdf (34.92 kb)

Diplodia? White Mold? Aflatoxin? If You're Covered -- What Now?

by Kim Lang October 7, 2009

Growers are seeing some challenges this year with White Mold in soybeans and Diplodia in corn.  Some years it's Aflatoxin.  Other times crops can be plagued with an early freeze.  What do these four problems have in common?  Lower revenue for the grower from a damaged crop, and a potential crop insurance claim.  So what should you do?

  • Protect the crop from further damage by providing sufficient care
  • Contact your crop insurance agency and have them get in touch with the company that insures you within 72 hours of when you first discovered the damage.  This is critical.  You need to give notice, by unit, for each insured crop
  • Leave representative samples, if required
  • If it's frost damage to immature crops, notify your agent immediately.  Appraisals on these crops will be deferred 7-10 days but the notice of loss needs to be submitted ASAP

Quality Adjustment Factors (QAF) apply to discounts for:

  • Grade
  • Low test weight
  • Excessive kernel damage
  • Sample grade factors (musty/sour odor)

In the case of Diplodia, it doesn't produce harmful toxins, but an immediate claim is important.  Adjusters will use grain tickets or take bin samples to process claims.  There are discount factors (DF) that apply to substances like Aflatoxin, which are dangerous to consume.  If you suspect any mycotoxins - NOTIFY YOUR CROP INSURANCE AGENT IMMEDIATELY.  Samples need to be taken by an adjuster PRIOR to on-farm or commercial storage.  In this case, samples cannot be pulled from the bin or grain bags. 

About Water Street Solutions

Water Street Solutions helps farmers with profitability, using a business model that you won't find anywhere else. Experts in ag finance, crop insurance, commodity marketing and legacy planning work together on a plan tailored for your farm.

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