GFM Network News

Land: to buy or not to buy

We recently had calls from two very distinct farm clients, opposite in nature, but both asking the same question. “Should I buy that land that’s in the paper for tender or let it go?” Their situation is not unique. Good crops and good prices in last five years combined with extremely low interest rates have […] Read more

Calculate your actual leverage

Leverage can provide a measure of risk on your farm. But make sure to consider the value of off-farm investments

When we work with clients, we almost always start by preparing a detailed balance sheet where we establish a fair market value of assets owned and the liabilities owed against them. This winter we met with three brothers that immigrated to Canada many years ago, Bu, Chu, and Fu. All three started farming and met with us to […] Read more

Where do I go from here — part 3

Once Iben and Shirley Workentoohard realized they didn’t want to retire and sell the farm, taking the next steps to organize their estate was much simpler

Iben and Shirley Worken-toohard called us up again last week. Iben couldn’t wait to fill us in. Shirley had agreed that they would continue farming. They’re enjoying their farming career too much to consider starting to wind down and manage their tax liability as sole proprietors. Iben and Shirley decided that they had worked too hard to establish the farm to […] Read more

Where do I go from here, Part 2

Iben and Shirley Warken-toohard got a bit of a shock last time we met with them they found out that if they both died tomorrow that the equity they planned to pass on to their children would be $500,000 less than they anticipated. It quickly became apparent that Iben’s plan to farm until he grew […] Read more

Five ways to survive a land value correction

Debuble runs a mid-sized grain farm and is fortunate enough to have his son and daughter-in-law returning to the operation. The farm will need to generate more revenue, and Landon is thinking of expanding. In the last five years crop margins have been good and local land values reflect this reality. Landon purchased his last […] Read more

Freddy gets fixed

We were out to see Fast Freddy last week and boy was he on cloud nine! His banker, George Gimeital, had offered him this great deal. George offered to finance a new combine and swather and provided Freddy with a pre-approval for the purchases. Freddy was intrigued by the idea but wanted to look closer […] Read more

Managing growth in the cow/calf business

We recently enjoyed a meeting with Sir Loin, a gentlemen beef farmer who immigrated from England in the fall of 2002. We know what you’re thinking. English, gentlemen, and beef farmer: is that possible? Okay, we admit, sometimes we embellish the truth for the purpose of a good column. Sir Loin’s position was this. He has toiled […] Read more

Repositioning after a bad year

Franklin Fungusfut called last week, concerned about the situation on his 3,000 acre grain farm. He had a rough year, with poor seeding conditions crops got in late and got off to a slow start. He only seeded 1,500 acres and most of these crops were not great. Frank called, concerned about his position headed […] Read more

Management Minute: The true power of planning

How much time do you take to plan in the winter? There are varying degrees of planning and preparation in a business, and the effectiveness of that planning is directly correlated with long term success. Let’s consider two scenarios. Peter Planzalot is a moderate to large grain farmer who doesn’t enjoy surprises. He starts planning […] Read more

Four Approaches To Valuing Sweat Equity

A common challenge that we encounter in succession planning is the concept of sweat equity and the opinions vary as widely as to the definition of it. Recently one old codger that we began working with put his opinion very bluntly. He summarized it as follows, Boys, if you can t prod it or poke […] Read more