GFM Network News


These farms have lots of items, all of which are depreciating. In addition, most items will be sitting idle for most of the year and not generating any profit for the farm.

Do you really need all that machinery on your farm?

Hidden profit robbers, Part 3: Unused machinery, too much diversification could be affecting your profitability

In this series of articles, I looked at various profit robbers on the farm and how to address them. In Part 1, I examined the biggest offender — machinery depreciation — and how sneaky it is, since it’s a hidden cost that doesn’t affect your cash flow. To minimize this cost, I suggested you consider […] Read more

Can your cash flow handle new farm machinery payments?

Hidden profit robbers, Part 2: Real numbers on new and used machinery

In this series of articles, I am identifying some profit robbers I have noticed in my 16 years of farm business consulting in Alberta. In Part 1 of this series, I identified depreciation on farm machinery as a significant profit robber. Since depreciation doesn’t affect your bank balance, it is easily overlooked. High loan payments […] Read more



How to ask your lender for money when you need it

Having a business plan that tells your farm’s story increases your chance of success with lenders

In the first article in this series, I introduced several options available to farmers experiencing financial difficulties. I advised farmers to address financial issues sooner rather than later and not to lay blame on anyone or anything (like the weather). In the second article, I presented an example of using debt restructuring and asset sales […] Read more


Family sees four options to get farm finances on track

If you’re in financial trouble, address the problem without abandoning your goals

Farmers facing financial issues should address these issues as soon as they occur. In this case, Joe and Sally saw a potential problem and took steps to find a way forward. Although this example is a small farm, the issues and options are equally applicable to larger operations. A farm couple that we will call […] Read more

Facing and addressing farm financial issues

Bad harvest weather. Low prices. If things look grim, it’s time to get to work

When there are financial concerns on the farm, it’s important to address them sooner rather than later, and find a way forward. Financial issues can occur in any business. Reasons for financial distress on farms can be as varied as harvest issues, crop failures, decreased market prices, cash-flow challenges or excessive debt loads. It is […] Read more


Five reasons to make a farm business plan

Many farmers do not have a business plan. Here are five reasons to make one for your farm

Actually doing a business plan for your farm can be a real chore for many farmers since they are “hands-on” people that prefer the actual day-to-day work (which is always necessary) rather than “desk work.” However, as operations become larger, more complex and involve more people the reasons for business plans become more important. Here […] Read more



How A Young Farm Family Can Succeed

Farms are unique entities in that they combine a rural lifestyle and a business enterprise at the same location and at the same time. That has its advantages and disadvantages. Family members are always close to the business but the business and all its challenges is always right there also. Both of those parts (the […] Read more