Detailed Record Keeping Key in Precision Farming and Finance

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Reinder Prins | Precision Ag | 10/24/2018

When farmers think about precision agriculture most will automatically think about the geospatially based sub-field agronomic management side of “precision agriculture”. With increasingly compressed margins due to higher input costs, low commodity prices, and challenging weather conditions, linking sound financial decisions with field management is more of a necessity. Growers will have to start thinking about every acre of their operation: how can I get the most out of this? And how can I decrease costs and increase income?

As both the 2018 season come to an end, growers, agronomists, and financial advisors are starting to analyze this year’s results and prepare budgets and plans for next season. Similar to how whole-farm profitability now gets divided into (sub-) field profitability in order to determine the profitability of fields or specific zones within fields, it pays for growers to enlist expert help in analyzing other specific key parts of their operation as well. In the past growers may have been tempted to take many costs simply for granted — divide them on a per acre base and deduct these from their gross profits per acre to calculate a net profit per acre. Today, more specific focus is put on the cost-side of a farming operation and how these costs can be kept down.

Some producers cut costs and create tax savings by using pre-payments that are done before December 31. With little time or extra working capital to spare, it is more important than ever to use state-of-the-art field planning tools to determine how much product they will need next year. The key to success lies in the capability of growers to create accurate forecasts and budgets that can then be used to determine which level of pre-pays would be most financially advantageous.

Read the full article.