Slump puts a premium on farm business skills

Slump puts a premium on farm business skills

The prolonged downturn in agriculture has placed a bigger premium on Iowa farmers’ business and marketing skills, according to ag lenders and an economist who monitors trends in farm finances.

Farmers who have continually worked to improve their business skills, honed their marketing acumen and diversified their income streams are putting themselves in position to withstand the current turbulent economics of agriculture, the lenders said. That is helping them survive the continuing financial pressure and solidify their operations as they close 2019 and plan for the 2020 growing season, they said. 

“What we really see is that the pain of the past five years in this economic cycle is really not evenly distributed, as it was in the 1980s when no one was making money,” said Jim Knuth, senior vice president for Farm Credit Services of...

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