Plan now for the 2018 crop year

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Whether you're rolling in the field or still trying to get started on harvest, hopefully you've already begun thinking about next year's plan. You might wonder why you'd start planning '18 when this year's crop isn't even in the bin yet. The reason is that if you start now—or maybe even if you'd started planning over the summer—that preparation can let you start making decisions now that will set you up for a better 2018.

If you're anxious about the financial success of the upcoming crop year, putting off planning til later is not going to help. It's best to dig in and see where you stand now so that you can get ahead of it. Once you know where your operation stands going into the new year, you'll either be happy to find out you're actually in a better place than you'd imagined—or you'll find out for sure that it's not very pretty at all. Either way, you'll know for sure—and it'll give you plenty of time to begin making decisions now to steer the outcome toward your favor.

Darren Frye, President and CEO of Water Street Solutions, has prepared a checklist of six things to think about this fall to begin wrapping your mind around a plan for '18. You can read all about it on his latest Finance First post at FarmFutures.com.