Brian Philpot Instructs and Learns as Guest Lecturer at Texas A&M

AgAmerica Lending President Brian Philpot is set to guest lecture at Texas A&M this March 9th.

Agriculture education has never been more important with the world’s population growing and the average age of America’s principal farm operators moving closer towards retirement. Sharing knowledge of agriculture and related financial topics has long been a focus of Texas A&M’s John Penson, the Agricultural Economics professor who invited AgAmerica Lending President Brian Philpot to share his knowledge as a Texas A&M guest lecturer on March 9th.

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Alabama Cattle Industry Leaders Look at the State of the Market

The Alabama cattle industry is watching falling cattle prices and a fickle market closely

The Alabama cattle industry is an important part of Alabama’s ag commodities. Second only to broilers, the beef industry in Alabama brings in nearly half a billion dollars annually. Beef producers from around the country have their eyes on the cattle industry, and Alabama cattlemen are no exception. See the state of the national beef industry from Alabama’s perspective below.Read More

Agricultural Marketing 101

To stay top of mind with today’s consumers, a digital marketing campaign is a must. The payoff for your agricultural operation comes when a campaign successfully moves more of the right people at the right time to purchase your products more often.

Digital marketing is different from mass marketing in that it specifically reaches out to your target audience – the people that actually have interest in your ag operation and/or product(s). For example, if you run an on-site farmers’ market in Florida, your campaign would be laser-focused on persons requiring farmers’ market information in Florida.

To direct consumers to your agricultural operation’s flagship website – the place loaded with all of your operation’s most important information – various digital tools come into play, including:

  • Banner Ads. Place ads on industry-relevant sites to inspire consumers to click over to your site. Choose sites that are targeting consumers who already have your products/services on their minds i.e. fresh, organic produce, on-site farmers’ markets, health conscious, clean eating, etc.
  • Search Advertising. Get strategic and advertise on search engines such as Bing and Google to proactively target people already searching for information on your products.
  • Facebook Page. Post product exclusives, captivating photos, farm updates, and links (blog posts, page updates, etc.) on a regular basis to drive traffic to your flagship website.
  • Collaboration. Get on board with other leading industry-related websites via blogging exchanges/campaigns to feature information on your products directly on their sites.
  • Video content. Run these videos before online television shows, in press releases, etc. Visuals and videos are all the rave these days.
  • Cutting Edge Digital Marketing Tools. To target millennial consumers who might be in the market to purchase your products, get creative with other tools, including other social media platforms (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc.), SEO marketing campaigns, etc.

 

Promoting your agricultural products via these various outlets is important if you want to remain visible and relevant amidst the other thousands and thousands of products out there.

The philosophy is simple. Target the right people, and target them when they’re in a buying state of mind. In other words, feed them the information that they’re already hungering for…literally.

To finance a comprehensive agricultural marketing campaign, call on our leading ag lending experts. We support all facets of agricultural business with our low-interest ag loans that often beat all other agricultural loan programs. For more information, check out our AgAmerica Lending program.

Operating Farm Loans in High Demand!

The ag lending industry is experiencing a revival in business as the demand for farm operating loans reaches an all time high, according to the June 2014 Kiplinger Agriculture Letter.

Total ranch and farm operating loans were up 23% in March ‘14 from March ‘13 as a result of farmers increasing crop acreage and expanding livestock herds and flocks as drought conditions continue to retreat. Also, ag loans for livestock feeding operations were up 13% from March of last year with other farm loan uses up 33%.

To make the fullest use of the best ag loan interest rates around, check out our variety of agriculture loan products, including conventional agricultural real estate loans through the AgAmerica Lending Program and non-conventional, fixed or floating-rate bridge loans (on agriculture, commercial or other properties) through our Transitional Lending Program. Traditional banks are often out of reach for agricultural operations that have limited collateral, less-than-stellar credit scores, and/or a need for quick funding and this is where our Transitional Lending program can help.

Contact us to streamline the loan application process. With over 100 years of combined lending experience, we have what it takes to determine the right ag loan type for your operation. With all of our loan programs, you can expect a personal, responsive service that aligns with your lending needs.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to learn more about the agricultural loan services we provide, please complete this initial contact form.

Agricultural Lending 101

Agricultural Lending: The financing of agricultural business.

Buying agricultural land or managing an agricultural operation comes with a unique set of opportunities, hurdles, and complexities. To effectively deal with all of these opportunities, hurdles, and complexities, it’s essential to have a solid team of lenders on your side – lenders that understand the ins and outs of the agricultural industry.

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AgAmerica Farm Loan Examples

Agricultural loans are the foundation of the agricultural industry.

Many beginning farmers turn to agricultural loans in order to launch their agricultural operations, while seasoned farmers rely on loans to replace equipment, expand their operations, get quick financing when disaster hits, and/or score opportunities that traditional banks just don’t have the means to finance.

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Citrus Grove Challenges

Citrus operations are facing many present-day challenges.

Some are traditional challenges including:

  • Canopy productivity management.
  • Managing crop yield for insects, drop, and weather.
  • Efficient management of grove culture.

 

Others are recent, non-traditional challenges including:

  • Coping with the demands of added operations, capital, and operating costs due to the HLB citrus “greening” epidemic.

 

Citrus greening, a devastating disease that threatens to destroy the commercial citrus industry, poses a major threat to all citrus operations. Combined with the traditional threats to the industry, including market price fluctuations, weather, and governmental regulation, many citrus operations are in a tough spot.

While solutions exist to control traditional citrus threats, including citrus canker and CTV, controlling HLB is still a work in progress. So far, solutions are scarce. For many operations, the citrus greening epidemic has been detrimental, resulting in a severe loss of production. If operations are not managed properly, a loss of production hurts their economic viability.

There are options, however, to deal with these challenges. Citrus growers may opt to:

  1. Leave the industry and repurpose and/or sell the land for other agricultural or real estate uses.
  2. Be patient and wait for HLB research to develop a cure.
  3. Develop a proactive strategic plan – a “game plan” – for survival, including:
    • Continuing a Reset/Solid Set program to maintain grove canopy production,
    • aggressive initiatives for HLB therapy to prolong grove life,
    • efficient management of “normal” grove culture, and
    • a rigorous detailed program to track results and grove performance.

 

If you’re going to take the third approach and implement an effective HLB defense strategy, you’re going to need capital assets to support land, equipment, infrastructure, and planting costs.

To finance a successful citrus industry operation, call on the ag lending expertise of Bankers South. When it’s time to buy/plant more citrus trees or expand your groves, our AgAmerica agriculture loans are a great choice. These special ag loans feature low interest rates, which often beat all other agricultural loan programs. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind ag loan program!

Georgia Ag: Census Shows Fewer Farmers, Bigger Farms

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s recently released 2012 ag census, the number of farms in Georgia is fewer, but the operations that remain are big and booming.

The census, taken every 5 years, is released to shed light on the state of American agriculture. Tracking the number of farmers, farmer demographics, farms, farmland, and value of ag products, this government conducted survey provides a revealing agricultural snapshot.

The preliminary findings suggest that American agriculture, as a whole, has experienced a promising boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total ag products reaching record highs despite the shrinking number of farms and farmers. Though the national trend shows that business is booming (for larger farms), fewer actual farmers (owning mid-sized farms) are remaining in business. Georgia follows this trend.

Farms in Georgia bring in $70 billion to the state’s economy. Top commodities include broiler chickens, peanuts, cotton and eggs. The market value for crops, livestock and poultry all increased greatly from 2007-2012. In fact, Georgia farms saw an almost 50 percent increase in average market value since 2007.

Though Georgia farms decreased in number by 12 percent, the average acreage of a farm — 228, about half the national average — increased by 8 percent. The mean acreage — 70 acres — also increased.

Other Georgia Ag Census Preliminary Data:

  • 6,400 female-owned farms operate in Georgia, down 15 percent;
  • The average farmer age is 60, 2 years older than in 2007;
  • More Hispanics and less African Americans are farming for a living;
  • Approx. 500,000 acres in Georgia were taken out of agricultural production since 2007.

 

Overall, the findings look fortunate for large-sized farms, but unlucky for mid-sized ag operations.

Time to start, enhance, or expand your Georgia ag operation? Call on Bankers South! We are the ONLY ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica farm loans. What makes these ag loans so special? For starters, interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Plus, they support all facets of farming, from hobby farms to large-sized cotton operations. Want to learn more about our ag loans and land loans in Georgia? Visit www.bankerssouth.com.

2012 Census Shows Florida Ag Going Strong

Despite all the farming obstacles faced by Florida, including citrus greening and the fall of the housing market on nurseries, its agriculture continues to boom. The United States Department of Agriculture just released its 2012 report, confirming that Florida’s agriculture is going and growing strong.

The census, taken every 5 years, is released to shed light on the state of American agriculture. Tracking the number of farmers, farmer demographics, farms, farmland, and value of ag products, this government conducted survey provides a revealing agricultural snapshot.

The preliminary findings suggest that American agriculture, as a whole, has experienced a promising boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total ag products reaching record highs (though the number of farms is down). While the country saw a decline of farm numbers, Florida and other states saw the opposite.

The survey reveals that Florida agriculture remains an economic engine and job creator, with an increase in farmers, farms, farmland, and minority-operated farms since the last census back in 2007. The census shows that the number of farms in Florida has remained fairly steady (approx. 47,000) with the average age of farmers moving upward.

USDA 2012 Ag Census Findings in Florida:

  • 9,548,342 acres of land in farms, up from 9,231,570 in 2007;
  • 47,740 farm operations, up from 47,463 in 2007;
  • $161,368 is the average sales per farm, down from $164,027 in 2007;
  • 200 acres is the average farm size, up from 195 in 2007; and
  • $7.70 billion in value of products sold, down from $7.78 billion in 2007.

 

Overall, the findings look promising for Florida. Let’s hope this trend of expansion continues! In order for it to do so, however, Florida needs to start recruiting younger farmers to get in on the ag action.

Time to start, enhance, or expand your Florida ag operation? Call on Bankers South! We are the ONLY ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica farm loans. What makes these ag loans so special? For starters, interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Plus, they support all facets of farming, from smaller farms to vast citrus operations. Want to learn more about these ag loan types? Visit www.bankerssouth.com.