Category: Mind Your Farm Business

MYFB — Ep 17: Where Is Your Farm At Risk?

When thinking about risks to your farm, what comes to mind? Weather and market risks are usually at the top of the list, but there are many other areas where a farm business may be exposed. These risks are often unrecognized because nobody’s taken the time to go through an exercise of assessing risks and determining… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 16: The Importance of Working Capital

Working capital is the king of financial metrics, especially during the bottom of a market cycle. A farm can have large swaths of land and other equity on its balance sheet, but if it doesn’t have cash or liquid assets to make monthly payments, the business will soon be in trouble. “A wheelbarrow full of… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 15: Joint Ventures, Mergers & Farm Marriages

In the past, farms looking to grow simply bought more land, but that’s not as easy as it used to be. Rising land prices are forcing producers to be creative in finding opportunities for growth, which in some cases leads to joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions — the topic of this episode of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast. “The… Read more »

MYFB Ep. 14 — The Business Scorecard

In what areas does your farm business excel? What are you poor at? And how can you respond to make improvements? Self-assessment and continuous improvement are what separates high-performance farms from the average. Rob Hannam, President and Client Director of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, joins us for episode 14 of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 13: Small Changes Lead to Big Wins

Forget the silver bullet, whether it’s some nonexistent piece of machinery or the latest snake oil crop input. In reality, the key to boosting a farm’s bottom line is incremental improvements that add up. Kristjan Hebert (@kristjanhebert) is a farmer from Fairlight, Saskatchewan and a proponent of the “five percent rule” — a philosophy advanced by Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M that stresses… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 11: Bootstrapping Your Balance Sheet

In case anybody needs reminding, agriculture is a cyclical business. It’s important to pad the balance sheet during good years to ensure a farm or business remains healthy during tougher times, as parts of the ag industry are experiencing right now. In this “Mind Your Farm Business” episode, we focus on using a balance sheet… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 10: Farm Financial Ratios to Focus On

Financial ratios serve three main purposes: they provide a quick assessment of a business’s financial health, they’re a tool for diagnosing financial problems if they exist, and they serve as a measurement for assessing whether problems are being solved. “They show you where you’ve been, they show you where you have a problem and they… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 9: Preparing for the Day Interest Rates Rise

In an era of low interest rates, it’s easy to become complacent about the cost of borrowing money, but the day will come when rates rise again. How would your farm handle a one percent increase in rates? What about a three percent rise? Or five percent? Those levels would still be well within the… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 8: Accrual Accounting as a Tool for Measuring Profitability

What comes to mind when you hear the term “accrual accounting?” Perhaps you flashback to filing your taxes last year when your accountant suggested switching to accrual accounting, but you’re weren’t sure what it meant and why it would be worth the hassle. Maybe your mind immediately goes elsewhere — what’s for supper tonight? Well, as dry as it may sound,… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 7: How Do you Manage Currency Risk?

Is there an ideal exchange rate for Canada’s agriculture industry? That depends, of course, on what you’re selling or what you’re buying, and it’s rare to win on both sides of that equation. What’s more, farmers have no control over currency changes, so how can farmers best prepare for managing currency risk? That’s the topic… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 6: Incorporating the Farm for Today’s Benefit and for the Long Term

There are sound reasons to incorporate the farm — significant financial reasons, operation benefits and very real long-term business planning implications. But if incorporating is so beneficial, why aren’t most farms carrying the Inc. behind the business name? In this episode of Mind Your Farm Business, Shaun Haney asks veteran farm management advisor Merle Good… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 5: Leverage the Value of Experience Through a Peer Advisory Group

Coffee shop talk is often revered and repeated, but is it completely honest? What if, instead of comparing your farm and farm practices across the fence row, you instead sat down with farmers from one hundred kilometers away and compared notes? What could you learn? That’s the concept behind formal peer advisory groups, explains Dr… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 4: Three Strategies to Manage Margin Compression

How does that old saying go? Crop prices take the stairs up but the elevator down. It could be said that crop input prices do the exact opposite. Price trends of both variable and fixed inputs seem to march to their own drum. Variable input prices are slow to back off highs; fixed costs can… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 3: Balancing Farm Risks, Rewards and Opportunity

There are seven common types of risks to your farm business. There’s price risk, weather risk, production risk and more, but have you thought about opportunity disguised as risk? If you’re comfortable playing the odds on big projects or plays, how do you find balance in other parts of your farm business? How do you… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 2: Do you Manage by Instinct or Analytics?

Mind Your Farm Business (MYFB) is a 12-part audio series exploring a wide-range of farm business management topics. Featuring thought-provoking leading experts in an engaging format, MYFB is brought to you by RBC Royal Bank. You can find the full series by tapping here. How many times have you let your gut make a big… Read more »