As tighter margins continue into 2017, farmers must look at their balance sheets and determine how to make their farming operation work, experts said at the Farming for the Future conference last week in Ames. The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) hosted the event.

Alejandro Plastina, Extension economist at Iowa State University, said the major concern is cash flow and liquidity.

He offered nine strategies to manage margins:

1. Protect your working capital. He said farmers should look at revising their scale of operation and fixed costs over the next two or three years.

"Have you made a big purchase recently that’s no longer needed for...