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January 30, 2019

4 Key Business Relationships to Have in Your Inner Crop Circle

How To Help Your Farm Thrive in 2019

Find out how working with trusted ag lenders, crop consultants, insurance agents and attorneys can help your farm thrive.

Running a modern agricultural operation requires a diverse range of skills, including, but not limited to crop planting and management, soil fertility maintenance, financial planning and business expertise, sales and marketing know-how, and preparing for an uncertain future.

The saying, you can do anything, but not everything, can be applied to many things, but it especially rings true on the farm and in the agricultural business world. Achieving success in farming will mean having an inner crop circle of key people who have the expertise in areas of your operation that you do not. In this article, we discuss the four business relationships that are important to have for long-term success.

1. Crop Advisers

Consider hiring a crop adviser or crop consultant to help with soil fertility, pest management, seed selection, weed management, and the implementation of technological advances that make sense for your operation. Crop advisers advise on many ways to enhance your operation’s efficiency, providing knowledge on different agricultural techniques, and scouting your fields for problems that may arise during the growing season.

Fees for a crop adviser typically differ from farm to farm, and while this extra expense may seem costly or superfluous at first (especially if you’ve been farming for a long time), remember that this is an investment that will likely increase your bottom line for years to come.

2. Insurance Agents

Although there’s no law stating that a farmer must have crop insurance, it may be a worthy investment as a risk management tool designed to help farmers recover from natural disasters, low production, and market fluctuations. In the U.S., Federal Crop Insurance offers comprehensive protection against devastating loss.

A good insurance agent will help determine the best policies and coverage plans available, to meet your specific needs and help you determine which options will best serve you.

3. Agribusiness Attorneys

Working with an attorney who specializes in agribusiness can help protect your operation, as well as provide expertise on estate and succession planning. For example, did you know that it is now possible to pass farmland to the next generation tax-free, while retaining the right to control and manage the land for the rest of your life?

Areas of expertise that attorneys can provide advice on include: asset protection, ag litigation, agribusiness formation and transactions, family-owned business entities, agriculture contracts, employment matters, environmental regulation, food safety and animal rights controversies, intellectual property rights, planning, zoning and land use, purchase and leasing, and water rights and wetland mitigation.

4. Ag Lenders

It’s no surprise that ag lenders can help you secure an agricultural land loan, but their role can be much more than that. For example, ag lenders take the time to understand your ag business and provide a spectrum of loan solutions that meet your operation’s unique needs. Whether its time to refinance your existing loan, buy more land, or upgrade technology and equipment, having a relationship with an ag lender will be beneficial when it comes time to secure a loan. Additionally, ag lenders can assess your operation’s financial outlook for the future and provide industry standards on where you stack up.

Every ag lender and their products are different, so it’s important to conduct your research and determine what your operation’s needs are to ensure you work with the right lending partner.

Having an inner crop circle of one or all of these key people provides you the expertise needed, when determining how to move forward with business decisions.

How AgAmerica Lending Can Help

AgAmerica Lending is here to help support the agriculture industry with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit. We offer financing opportunities to farmers and their families who may not have qualified for conventional financing. If you’re ready to make the first move to a stronger financial future, simply contact us today to speak with our team of experts and learn more about how we can help meet your operation’s long-term needs.

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