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I’m putting 31 years of association with farm lending in the books this week. You’d think that level of experience would bring some closure, some assurance about things. Instead, it only offers more questions and uncertainty.
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We’re often asked to speak to farm producers at gatherings around the country. Amidst a dozen voices offering advice on everything from crop management to farm transition, you sometimes scratch your head and wonder, “what can I say that could really be helpful”?
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We’ve had some amazing events here at work recently – wedding parties, births, and even frightening auto accidents where staff members were injured badly. Fortunately, they are on the mend. But the amazing thing about each of those occasions (the good and the bad) is that co-workers are always close by.
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Unexpected risk is often vividly brought to mind in a moment’s notice.

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You can’t change today’s prices, but you can position your farm financially for today’s tougher environment. Here are three strategies worth considering.
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To no one’s surprise, major banks have now raised their Prime Rate by 25 b.p. to 3.25%. The increase was entirely expected since the Fed announced on Wednesday, Dec. 13, that they would up their Fed funds rate by 25 b.p. from a previous range of 0-0.25% to a new range of 0.25-0.50%. The prime rate has held very close to 300 b.p. above the fed funds rate since December, 1992, a period of 23 years. So this move, put the Prime right back on that target.

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I’m doing something akin to putting a loaded gun to my head. But it’s my firm conviction that interest rates are going to remain low over the next operating year and likely for several years to come.
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As combines begin to roll into the thick of harvest 2015, we've compiled a list of financial issues we see emerging.
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Every now and then, I go through the books of business cards I’ve kept throughout my career. Yes, I know it’s a fading practice with new age technology. Nowadays, everything goes to the i-phone and big cloud in the sky. But I like my paper, and find it comforting just to hold it and leaf through those pages.
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“Produce more to get less”. Words from Mr. Agnew Greenwell, a grizzled ol’ dairy farmer we knew from the neighborhood many years ago. Mr. Agnew scratched out a living, provided for a large family, and left a farm unencumbered of any debt, and money in the bank when he died. But he knew the evils of overproduction and felt its sting when disastrous milk prices made dumping it, more cost effective than taking it to market. It’s an age-old dilemma for producers -- new hybrids, more effective...
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