Tips to Prepare for a Better Year
Article By: Jenny Jereczek, Director of Ag Banking for SFB
Many have welcomed 2020 with open arms and are glad to see 2019 in the rearview mirror. 2019 certainly had it challenges! We had significant cold and snow in February and March leading to building collapses, a cool wet spring resulting in late planting, and a record year for prevent plant acres. Fall harvest did not come without its own challenges from wet fields to wet crops. Throw in global trade disputes and continual changes in technology, it is no wonder that many farmers were left feeling overwhelmed.
The New Year brings opportunities to learn and grow from all of the experiences of 2019. Taking the time to review your challenges experienced in 2019 and planning for 2020 can help reduce stress and help us feel more prepared. Here are a few ideas:
1. Develop viable plans and options for the future.
- Preparing projections and cash flows will allow you to scenario-plan and anticipate possible curve-balls.
- Monitoring actual performance with the plan also can allow for proactive steps vs being reactionary.
- Creating a plan can aid in looking for ways to be efficient and competitive.
2. Mitigate risks when possible.
- Utilizing insurance is one way to mitigate the risk of loss. An example would be DRP for milk and MPCI for crops.
- Marketing/contracting prices - know your operation's cost of production and look to limit the downside risk.
3. Stay current with industry trends and take advantage of educational opportunities.
- Consider how precision tools may increase your ability to be efficient, reduce costs, and reduce your operation's impact on the environment.
- Consider advances in cow comfort and nutrition and how these changes could impact your bottom line.
- Be willing to try new methods. Not every new process, piece of technology or trend will work for every operation. However, continuing to do the same old thing because it is what we have always done could be the demise of your operation. Having an open mind and being willing to consider new methods is important.