Planting season is right around the corner. Have you met with your lender yet? Natasha Cox, Regional Vice President with Farm Credit Mid-America says now is the time.
“Now through April is when the majority of operating loans and annual financial updates and conversations will happen with farmers and ranchers across the US with their lenders. Right now, those financial statements are being finished up and prepared and conversations are beginning to be had.”
Despite the challenges that have been facing farmers in recent years, Cox says FCMA is still very bullish on the future of agriculture.
“Being in a commodity-based business, we know that net profit margins are going to be squeezed continually, and based on consumption around the world and a lot of things that we can’t control. Overall, I would say that our portfolio has performed better than expected at Farm Credit Mid-America and that’s encouragement. It just says that farmers are resilient, they had some liquidity going into this downturn. Yes, we’re seeing that liquidity erode. We’re seeing solvency pressures being put on there. And, of course, capacity is at less than one-to-one. But, overall, there are farmers making money out there.”
While some are making money, she knows that many aren’t, including new farmers.
“That’s where things like the US government comes in to help young and beginning farmers. We have a strong 2018 farm bill that was put into place.”
Cox is happy that government employees are back to work to start interpreting that farm bill and implementing it. Cox added, “We need to get the 2017 tax reform interpreted. You know, we’ve got a lot of things on our plate right now and all of us working collectively together we can we can continue to weather this storm.”
You can learn more about Farm Credit Mid-America and their offerings by visiting e-farmcredit.com.