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  • How $12,000 Becomes $6,000 or less

    As corn prices continue to range near multi-year lows and the expectations for increases in interest rates start to perk up (taper anyone), the value of farmland may start to reverse their strong decade or longer advance.  For example, assume we have a farmland owner in Northern Iowa who has 190+ bushel acre corn ground.  Last year, his […]


  • CPR for Section 179

    The University of Illinois publishes a daily blog called the FarmDocDaily.  This posting deals with information related to their Illinois farmers and sometimes it covers tax subjects important to farmers.  Today, they covered Section 179 and provided a very interesting table related to amount of Section 179 deduction as a % of total depreciation expense on annual […]


  • Don’t Forget Your Retirement Plan

    I was talking with a new farm client the other day about his estate plan and what struck me the most was not how much farm land value he had accumulated but rather the amount he had tucked away into his retirement plans. This amount was over 6 figures and he had only been contributing […]


  • How Does Delayed Planting Affect Your Margins?

    My friend Chris Barron and I were discussing how delayed planting of corn this spring may affect farmer’s net profit margins.  A reduction in yield and/or price can have a dramatic affect on overall profit margins since most of a farmer’s costs are what we call fixed.  Cash rent, the seed that is in ground, the […]


  • When It Pays to Increase Your Earnings

    We get this question from farmers approaching retirement age a lot: “I have had very low income for most of my career and should I try to maximize my income as I approach retirement to increase my social security benefits” Chris Hesse, who is one of my partners at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP had provided me with […]


  • Talk Brewing of Extending the Payroll Tax Cut

    The Employee FICA tax rate for 2011 and 2012 had been cut from the normal 6.2% to 4.2%.  This provision was set to expire at the end of this year and then revert back to the normal rate beginning January 1, 2013. Allowing this cut to expire in 2013 seemed like a reasonable position several […]


  • How Would You Like 16,958 Landlords?!

    While perusing the Admission Document (similar to our initial public offering document and yes; CPAs do like to read these documents for fun) for Continental Farmers Group, PLC, I noticed that the company farms about 52,000 acres (20,840 hectares) in Western Ukraine.  These 52,000 acres are covered by almost 17,000 individual leases (about 3 acres per […]


  • A Switch in Farm Loan Levels

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City just published their National Trends in Farm Lending for the second quarter of this year. Due to the increase in input costs, operating loan levels have increased dramatically from the second quarter of 2010, up nearly 36%.  The number of livestock loans dropped slightly from the year before, […]


  • The Three Levels of Farm Accounting

    I am going to hazard a guess that at least 90% of our farmers are in what I call the first level of farm accounting.  This is the old tried and true favorite – Cash basis of accounting.  Most farmers report farm net income on their tax return using this method of accounting.  Income is […]


  • Tools to Help You Make a Decision on What to Plant

    With the late harvest in Ohio and other areas affected by all of the heavy rain and bad planting weather, many farmers face crucial decisions on what crops to plant.  Should they take a risk on planting corn, switch to soybeans or collect insurance on prevented-planting acreage. You can check out these tools to help […]


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