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Financial Conversations with Fitz #45 - Crop Options and New Programs - 12/22/2009

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Decent weekend of Iowa Winter.   Weather about as variable as the markets both for Ag and the Dow.  We are going to talk about some info on cash flowing 2010 grain and the next six months of 2009 grain.

The first thing I want to mention is that today 21st is the start of new rules for manure application.  Be sure to check DNR, Extension or FSA website for specifics.  What is your definition of snow cover ground and frozen ground?   You better be comfortable before you spread much.   We have had some late opportunities with the late harvest.  Well, how did you come out with the FSA program in 2009?   Remember the entire ACRE, SURE and whatever other acronyms we had.  Be sure to check out newsletters and information meetings being held by FSA.  Did you check out the EQUIP program with NRCS.  It has some grant money in it for improving land and environment.  With some of the things coming down the road on flood mitigation, it would be good to call your NRCS office and visit about.   Waterways are one of the items it covers.

Take a look at your cash flow for next year and this year with the Ag Decision Maker program.  You can just google AGDM.  While you are there be sure you check out the crop calculators also.  You can run each entity of corn or beans.  They have the different set ups for corn—corn or corn—beans.  I have mentioned before the importance of running your own figures.  Don’t use ISU but use your own.   The 2010 crop year will certainly be a challenge again for making a profit.  Run a couple of different options with rotations.  Many are still open since most of you didn’t get much fall work completed.   Then go to your supplier, banker and maybe landlord to discuss the 2010 crop year.  Don’t be afraid to be innovative.

While you are checking out your individual crop options you might want to do a couple of short term cash flows.  With the excel programs available it is not difficult.  Run one for the next quarter with the grain you had contracted.  Then run another to liquidate the grain from 2009.  That should take you thru July.  Remember that 79% of the best grain market falls between February and June!!!!!!  We had that this year, plus our crop time jump.

Call or stop in to see us if you have any questions in any of our three offices.  Made it out to a Christmas program at our school and church.  Saw a true Christmas miracle----The kids had a great program without any practice because of the week before blizzard.    As the good book says……through little children…   We will be having Christmas this week.  Everyone stay safe and practical this week.  Enjoy your family or whoever you are with!!!!!!  Might want to check out Heritage Park for a Beaver Creek Church service on next Monday night. 

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations.  When you work with them, you know that you will also see them sitting with you at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.