Farm Incomes Take Another Dip in 2017

Farm Income Takes a Dip in 2017

Minnesota farmers experienced their fifth consecutive year of low profitability in 2017. The median farm earned $28,551, down slightly from just over $36,000 in 2016.  Declines in farm income were largely driven by low profits and losses for cash crop farms, while livestock farms, in general, had a better year.  With average investment of over $2 million, farms earned a 2.2% return on investment. Across all farm types, almost one-third of farms lost net worth in 2017.

Those are among key findings in the annual farm income analysis conducted by University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State in collaboration with the FINPACK Team and the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM). The analysis used data from 2,164 participants in the Minnesota State Farm Business Management programs and 104 members of the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association. Participating producers represent approximately 10 percent of commercial farmers in Minnesota.  CFFM’s work with projects like this provide the benchmarking metrics used in FINPACK.

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Using FINPACK Lite to Collect Customer Balance Sheets

To complete a credit analysis on a current or prospective borrower, an accurate balance sheet is crucial.  Actually getting balance sheet information from a customer is even more crucial.  Having a streamlined way to get balance sheets saves both the bank and the borrower time.  FINPACK Lite, a free balance sheet only version of FINPACK available to bank customers, makes collecting balance sheets easier.  As a Lender with FINPACK, you have the rights to distribute FINPACK Lite to your customers.

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Handling Trades on the Balance Sheet

Trading machinery and equipment is common for all types of businesses.  The Fall 2017 FINPACK update allows more streamlined data entry of capital purchases, sales, and trades within FINPACK.  By entering extra detail on the FINPACK balance sheet, you can bring the details of these capital transactions into other FINPACK analysis tools, like Schedule F Cash to Accrual and Earned Net Worth Analysis.

On the balance sheet, data entry fields have been added to allow for the entry of purchase price, year sold, and sale price for machinery and equipment; titled vehicles; buildings and improvements; and land.  Purchases or sales of capital assets has very straightforward data entry.  Data entry for a trade should include:

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