Agriculture News

Regular farm meetings strengthen communication

Published on 10.17.2019 by Craig Lester

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Farm management experts often stress the importance of communication in the creation and maintenance of a successful farm business team.

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The financial realities of farm retirement

Published on 10.17.2019 by Matt McIntosh

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How much money does a Canadian farmer need to retire? According to farm finance and transition experts, it depends primarily on the intended lifestyle and a personal definition of financial security.

Getting a hard number, however, means developing a plan that aligns retirement goals with business and savings realities.

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Use ratios to analyze farm finances

Published on 10.17.2019 by Richard Kamchen

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Farmers seeking to delve deeper into the business side of their operations might want to take advantage of analysis tools like financial ratios.

Expressed as percentages or as a comparison, financial ratios compare two or more elements of financial data, explains John Molenhuis, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ business analysis cost production specialist.

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Perfecting the art of personal interactions

Published on 08.22.2019 by Richard Kamchen

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Filling your farm team's gaps in soft skills like communication, teamwork, etiquette and attitude can be more of a challenge than addressing wanting areas of traditional farm work.

Michael J. Hughes, founder and CEO of NfR Consulting Group, explains interpersonal skills are the mechanics of interaction with others.

“It’s a combination of intention, attitude and behaviour,” Hughes says. “Because how you communicate and how you behave is an extension of what your intentions are and what your attitude is.”

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Protect your operation – put it in writing

Published on 08.22.2019 by Matt McIntosh

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Discussing prenuptial agreements and other legal formalities might cause some to squirm, but advisers say they’re a good way to help protect the longevity of a farm business.

According to farm financial experts, prenuptial, co-habitation or shareholder agreements, and many other legal arrangements are steps that are worth considering to secure wealth. This particularly applies when new family members or partners are entering the farm business.

Understanding the businesses’ finances, though, is critical to setting up effective safeguards.

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A positive horticulture outlook picks up in second half of 2019

Published on 08.21.2019 by Martha Roberts

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FCC Ag Economics is doing a mid-year check-in on our January 2019 Outlooks. Throughout July and August we’ve been updating our expectations about profitability across seven Canadian ag sectors (dairy, broilers, red meat, food processing, horticulture, agribusiness and grains, oilseeds and pulses). We’ll describe what’s happened in 2019 to date, and what you should monitor in the next six months.

Our January forecasts for blueberries, cranberries and maple syrup margins are tracking well. Higher labour costs and burdensome supplies will continue to challenge the blueberry and cranberry sectors, but sector responses to those challenges could brighten the remainder of the 2019 outlook. Maple production in 2019 should boost producers’ profits.

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Farm vision benefits employer and employees

Published on 08.15.2019 by Trudy Kelly Forsythe

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A farm vision should be motivating, inspiring and help align everyone to one common goal. An added benefit is its impact on employees.

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3 ways to balance retirement with farm ownership change

Published on 08.15.2019 by Matt McIntosh

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Farms are expensive. For families in transition, ensuring the next generation has enough capital to buy the farm while leaving the previous generation with enough to retire can be challenging.

However, actions taken now can help prevent greater burdens for both parties later.

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Outlook for Canada’s crop sectors challenged, but should hold steady for 2019

Published on 08.14.2019 by Martha Roberts

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FCC Ag Economics is doing a mid-year check-in on our January 2019 Outlooks. Throughout July and August, we’ll update our expectations about profitability across seven Canadian ag sectors (dairy, broilers, red meat, food processing, agribusiness, horticulture and grains, oilseeds and pulses). We’ll describe what’s happened in 2019 to-date and what you should monitor in the next six months.

The outlook continues to improve for several Canadian crop sectors. There’s no change from our mixed January profitability forecast for grains: spring wheat continues to trend at roughly break-even or just above, while winter wheat margins will be pressured throughout the rest of the year. Corn margins are expected to be positive. Profitability of canola, soybeans and lentils should also remain near break-even.

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Effective farm leadership starts with strong interpersonal skills

Published on 08.08.2019 by Richard Kamchen

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The agriculture community is increasingly recognizing human resources as a valuable management tool, making interpersonal skills and their evaluation a hot topic.

“What you’re finding on farms now is more people are paying attention to human resources,” says farm family transition coach and producer Elaine Froese.

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