Three Questions You Should Ask Your Banker

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It’s a tough year. While farm bankruptcies might not be soaring as the Wall Street Journal suggested in a recent article, they are on the rise in certain areas.

“[There have been] some in heavy dairy areas but not in crop production as much,” says Alan Hoskins, CEO and President of American Farm Mortgage. Still, he notes there will be opportunities for farmers to improve their operations and potentially find profit despite the downturn.

Your banker can be one of the most important relationships on your farm. This advisor can help guide you through difficult decisions and help you find opportunities for profitability—but you have to ask the right questions first. Hoskins says farmers need to ask their bankers these three questions:

  • What are other farmers doing that is helping them find success?
  • What are the operation’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What seminars or other meetings should farmers attend to learn more and get better?

Knowing this information can help you identify opportunities, he says. Those opportunities can pave a way for profitability, even in tough years like 2019.

In addition, this information can help you make a plan for success this season.

“The biggest risk I see in 2019 is not having a strategic selling plan and missing profit opportunities when they present themselves,” Hoskins says. “A great opportunity is partnering with a good firm to create marking opportunities.”