Cash is King During Economic Uncertainty

Understanding how working capital can cushion your operation during a volatile economy.

COVID-19 in the past month has uprooted millions of people across the nation affecting the way they live their lives and provide for their families. As the nation’s economy shakes with closures of non-essential businesses, lack of consumer spending and school closures playing a significant role in this, planning for the future of your farm operation when interest rates are low has never been more important.

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Coronavirus Relief Bill: A Resource Guide for U.S. Farmers and Agricultural Producers

Emergency Relief Brings Funding to Critical Infrastructures

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—phase three of the coronavirus stimulus package—was passed last week, resulting in a $2.3 trillion bill. This historic relief bill was approved unanimously by the Senate (96-0) to alleviate the economic pressures businesses and individuals are experiencing as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Security Implications and Cyber Risk with Smart Agriculture

What you Need to Know About the Future of Farm Technology and Cybersecurity.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has affected the daily lives of people around the world. Measures to contain the virus such as social distancing and quarantining at home, has forced many businesses to be more reliant on technology than normal to keep their businesses afloat and functioning effectively. With this increased digital dependence, comes an increased risk of potential data breaches.Read More

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Celebrating National Ag Day

Find ways to support the American Farmer this National Ag Day.

March 24th is National Ag Day, and according to the Agriculture Council of America, it’s a time “to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.” Recognizing the importance of our nation’s farmers is critical now more than ever, especially during this time of uncertainty and anxiety as we face the global spread of the novel coronavirus. While the ongoing pandemic has flooded most media platforms, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the continued dedication of our farmers and ranchers who continue to sacrifice their own safety to provide food for our nation.Read More

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Senate Approves Farm Bill

The agricultural industry has received promising news via the Senate. The Farm Bill has passed with flying colors and with it brings several amazing reforms and programs to enhance crop research and pest and disease research, improve market promotion, boost nutrition, and support funding for specialty crops (fruits and vegetables), and more. This support has really restored confidence for those in the industry.

Reform features, as cited by Growing Produce, include:

  • Specialty Crop Block Grants funded at $70 million per year
  • Specialty Crop Research Initiative funded at $25 million (fiscal year 2014); $30 million (fiscal year 2015-16); $65 million (fiscal year 2017); $50 million (fiscal year 2018)
  • Coordinated Plant Management Program funded at $60 million (fiscal year 2014-17) and $65 million (fiscal year 2018)
  • Market Access Program and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops fully funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program fully funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels
  • Section 32 specialty crop purchases funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels
  • Department of Defense Fresh program fully funded at $50 million per year consistent with 2008 levels

 

Now, comes the process of waiting on the full House to also approve these acts and reforms.

Farmers have been working relentlessly to get the Farm Bill heard loud and clear, going so far as to compose a letter signed by approximately 200 supporters, including ag lending and banking groups and processing and production groups.

An excerpt of this letter briefly highlights the significance of this agricultural reform for the industry:

“The farm bill promotes an economically healthy U.S. agriculture sector. Its policies serve a variety of purposes including meeting the food, fuel and fiber needs of consumers worldwide; providing a farm and natural resource safety net; improving our balance of trade through trade promotion programs; promoting rural development; and creating needed jobs here at home.”

It all sounds solid, yet there does exist strong opposition to the Farm Bill. Hopefully, this opposition will only fuel a sound debate that intelligently explores the potential of this bill. Fortunately, it seems as though the majority is in favor. Due to a strong majority, the bill is expected to pass quickly and effortlessly. Legislation starts next week, so stay tuned! Fingers crossed for more promising news for the agricultural community!

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