2019 FINPACK Lenders Conference

2019 FINPACK Lenders Conference in Minneapolis, MN - December 11 and 12, 2019

Registration is now open for the 2019 FINPACK Lenders Conference. The conference will take place at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, MN on December 11 and 12, 2019. Cost is $345 per person. Pre-registration is required by November 29, 2019.

To register, go to z.umn.edu/2019FPLendersConf

or

Register Now

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Prevented Plant Cash Flow Projections

Challenging production years lead to abnormally high levels of prevented plant acres.  When this occurs, many revisit cash flow projections completed earlier in the year to consider the impact of prevented plant acres, including the addition of cover crop plantings.  The following provides recommendations and considerations when working through cash flow projection updates for prevented plantings.

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The Impact of 5%

Each year as you work with customers you encourage them to set goals.  Undoubtedly, some of these goals revolve around financial management.  Within your credit analysis review, you are looking at the past financial performance of the individual farm or business operation.  In this process, you likely look at their individual trend performance and may also benchmark this against their peers.  Hopefully, the customer has also taken the time to evaluate their financial position and talks to you as their lender about the business goals they’ve set.  These may be things like, “Reduce fertilizer costs”, “Improve marketing”, “Improve yields”, “Improve profit margins”, etc. 

Have you ever considered with your customers the impact these relatively small changes actually have on the business?  I suggest challenging businesses to work to improve their margin management by 5%.  It may seem like a simple task, improving gross income and decreasing operating expenses by 5%.  But, this 5% improvement can have a significant impact on a business in any given year.  And then, think of the impact over the customer’s career!

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2018 FINBIN Report on MN Farm Finances

Minnesota farmers continued to struggle with low prices and low profitability. Median net income was $26,055 in 2018, down 8%. After adjusting for inflation, Minnesota farms earned the lowest median farm income of the 23 years included in FINBIN. The economic pain was widespread; median incomes were $31,000 or lower for all of Minnesota’s major commodity farms; crop, dairy, pork and beef producers. Not every operation struggled though. Across all farms, the farms earning the highest net incomes, those in the top 20%, earned an average of $184,000. Those in the lower 20% lost almost ($72,000).  View the 2018 FINBIN Report on Minnesota Farm Finances to learn more about the financial health of the state’s agriculture industry.

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Projections Training

FINPACK Online Training

We want all users to have a positive experience using the FINPACK tools.  Therefore, several training options are available to assist with learning the ropes of the new FINPACK Projection tool.

One of the training options for FINPACK is online training.  Each FINPACK tool has a learning module in FINPACK Online Training.  As you migrate to the 3-in-1 cash flow projection (FINFLO), know training is available and accessible for your use. These training modules have been updated to specifically address using the FINPACK Projections tool (FINFLO).

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Family Living Expenses Add Up

Family Living Expenses

When putting together customer cash flow projections for the coming year what amount of family living expense is appropriate?  Family living expense is unique to every household, but averages can be used as a starting point.  The FINBIN farm financial database is a great resource to assist with this question.  (The FINBIN database summarizes actual farm data from thousands of agricultural producers who use FINPACK for their farm business analysis.  The data in FINBIN is contributed by farm management education programs across the country.)

So, let’s take a look at the numbers.  Over 750 farm families keep track of detailed family living expenses in the database.  In 2017, a family of 3 spent $63,648 on cash family living expenses.  This amount includes expenses like food, health insurance, medical care, clothing, household supplies, utilities, and recreation to name a few.  Family living expenses obviously vary depending on family size, stage of life, spending habits, and benefits provided by non-farm employment.  When income taxes paid and personal capital purchases are added, an additional $21,508 was consumed in 2017, bringing total cash family living costs to $85,156 for that same family of 3. 

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Converting Legacy Projections

The Legacy Projection tools in FINPACK will be retired at the end of 2019. This includes the Annual Cash Flow Plan and the Monthly Cash Flow Plan. As you work on renewals in 2019, the FINPACK Team suggests you test out the new Cash Flow Projection tool found in Projections. Yes, there are a few changes to cash flow projections in the new tool, but by and large, we think you will appreciate many of the updates.    

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FINPACK Long Range Planning

FINPACK Long Range Planning

As you work with agricultural customers this winter, do you find yourself running multiple cash flow scenarios?  Are some farms wanting to compare major changes to their operation with their current situation?  Are farm customers then looking to you for advice and feasibility of these plans?  Instead of running multiple cash flow projections based on different scenarios, use FINPACK’s Long Range Planning tool FINLRB.  The Long Range Planning tool (FINLRB) is available as one of the FINPACK Projection tools for agricultural files. This projection tool allows you to compare multiple alternatives for a farm or ranch operation at one time.

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FINPACK Balance Sheet Worksheet

FINPACK Balance Sheet WorksheetGathering customer data for year-end analysis and credit renewal can be difficult.  FINPACK tries to assist with the process by providing a Balance Sheet Input Worksheet with the customer’s most recent balance sheet data for updating.  This tool is provided to the customer as a means to get current, updated balance sheet information for the current year.  This worksheet is one FINPACK tool to assist with customer renewals.

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Handling Trades on the Balance Sheet – Revisited

Trading machinery and equipment is common for all types of businesses.  FINPACK allows for streamlined data entry of capital purchases, sales, and trades within its different tools.  By entering extra detail on the FINPACK balance sheet, the details of these capital transactions can be brought into other FINPACK analysis tools, like Schedule F Cash to Accrual, Earned Net Worth Analysis, or Financial Analysis (FINAN).

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