Fiscal-friendly considerations to bring your budget back to life.
Keeping a high profit is vital to an operation’s success, but with rising input costs and budgets, a grower’s control of their bottom line is inching further and further away. Rejuvenate your operation’s profits with these suggestions:
- Stack your risk management strategies. Implementing multiple risk management tools at once may seem like overkill, but it is important that your investment be protected from the unknown. Consider taking advantage of more formal options like crop insurance, whole farm revenue protection programs and hedging. Also consider your amount of working capital, diversification, and relying on a team of trusted experts to help keep your farm sustainable.2
- Keep your low-interest debt. Jim Knuth, senior vice president of business development at Farm Credit Services of America, says, “If you took out a loan in recent years at a low, fixed-rate, now is not the time to pay it off. Remember new debt will come at a higher cost.”3
- Invest in on-farm input storage. Although there are several state regulations, on-farm storage can help you take advantage of price declines, increase your independence and allow you greater flexibility for applications. Make sure you fully understand the liability to this type of storage before jumping in.1
- Be creative with where you can save dollars. Consider unique ways to cut costs that might be new to you and your farm. For example, a report from USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project suggests farmers can save 3.6 gallons of fuel per acre by transitioning to continuous no-till. That translates to $17 per acre saved annually.4
- Prioritize farm equipment maintenance. If there is an issue with your combine, for example, and there is no harm to it sitting unfixed, wait a couple of months to make the repair. Maintain your equipment, while staying informed of part availability for the fix.
- Be part of the conversation. Find a board of directors or group of people making decisions on behalf of you, and join the conversation. Bring new ideas and help not only your farm thrive, but also those just like you.
- When in doubt, get it out. What farmer doesn’t have equipment sitting for either a rainy day or a “what if” reason? Consider selling it and adding to your storage space while also adding dollars to your pocket.
Take your fiscal focus inside the farmhouse with these budget restorative hacks:
- Unmask hidden memberships. Close to a third of consumers underestimate how much they spend on subscriptions by $100 to $199 each month, a new study shows.5 If you’re someone who struggles to remember all your subscriptions—gym, television, mobile apps, music—consider using a program or mobile app to help track them, and make the membership cuts that need to be made.
- Homemade is best. It may be time to start making your own food you typically buy pre-made. The average price for a frozen pizza is around $4, compared to $1.10 to make it at home.6 But it doesn’t have to stop at food! People everywhere make their own cleaning products, laundry detergent, bug spray—the list goes on.
- Keep your fridge full. Well, at least two-thirds full. Your fridge will do its best to cool the air that flows between food products. The more food, the less air to cool.7 <<
- Michaelsen, 2013. Agweb. On-Farm Fertilizer Storage Considerations. agweb.com/news/machinery/100-ideas/farm-fertilizer-storage-considerations
- Kohl 2, 2015. Farm Progress. Best Risk-Management Tools for Agriculture Operations. farmprogress.com/management/best-risk-management-tools-for-agriculture-operations
- Walter, 2022. Successful Farming. Prepare for the Pinch of 2023. agriculture.com/farm-management/business-planning/prepare-for-the-pinch-of-2023
- Creech, 2022. USDA. Save Money on Fuel with No-Till Farming. farmers.gov/blog/save-money-on-fuel-with-no-till-farming
- O’Brien, 2022. CNBC. Consumers Spend an Average $133 More Each Month on Subscriptions Than They Realize, Study Shows. cnbc.com/2022/06/02/consumers-spend-133-more-monthly-on-subscriptions-than-they-realize
- MyPizzaCorner. Why is Pizza so Expensive? mypizzacorner.com/pizza-talk/why-is-pizza-so-expensive
- CarbonTrack. Top 10 Tips to Reduce the Cost of Running Your Fridge & Freezer. carbontrack.com.au/blog/reduce-fridge-running-cost