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    June 7th, 2016


    Farm Debt is Growing

    The Kansas City Fed just released a report indicating that farm debt is accumulating at a faster pace.  Farmers with carryover debt increased from 18% of loans to 29% of loans in the first quarter of 2016.  Also, 18% of total loans made in the first quarter involved restructuring existing debt to meet short-term liquidity […]

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    June 6th, 2016


    Will You Need to Pay Overtime for Your Farm Employees?

    Most farmers assume that they are not required to pay overtime for any farm work performed by their employees.  Although this is correct, we need to make sure that farmers understand what work is exempt under the Agricultural Work exemption and what work might be exempt under other provisions.  This blog post is not designed […]

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    June 3rd, 2016


    LLC Does Not Provide Legal Protection (if you mess up)

    Many farmers have created limited liability companies (LLC) to hold equipment, especially semi tractors and trailers.  The assumption is that by putting these assets into a LLC, the farmer is shielded from any legal liability in case of an accident.  The answer, like most questions I get, is it depends. If the farmer runs the […]

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    May 27th, 2016


    A Trade of Equipment on an Operating Lease can be Costly

    With tougher times in the farm industry, equipment companies and banks have been promoting operating leases to farmers.  In many cases, the farmer will “trade-in” equipment in return for not having to pay any of the operating lease payments or making a large down payment on the lease.  If the trade of equipment was for […]

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    May 25th, 2016


    How Will New Lease Accounting Rules Affect You?

    If you borrow money from a bank for farm operations, you will likely have loan covenants that call for certain net worth to debt ratios.  Recently released accounting standards regarding lease accounting may require your bank to change these covenants.  Knowing how these new rules will affect your farm is important so that you can plan […]

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    May 24th, 2016


    Obama Administration Expands Overtime Pay Eligibilty

    Many of you may have been following the new expanded overtime eligibility rules saga associated with the proposed Department of Labor regulations (DOL). We finally have some clarity and it appears the new overtime rules may extend to an estimated 4.2 million workers. The rule increases the salary threshold that salaried workers are entitled to […]

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    May 20th, 2016


    Farmland Values Continue to Drop

    The Chicago Federal Reserve just released their First Quarter 2016 Ag Letter showing that farmland values continue to trend lower.  The district covers most of the I states in the corn belt and show the following year-over-year changes in farmland values: Illinois – Minus 5% Indiana – Minus 2% Iowa – Minus 5% Michigan – […]

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    May 19th, 2016


    Make Sure to Lock In Low Rate Family Loans

    The IRS just released the minimum interest rates for June 2016 and they continue to be at record lows.  These tables represent the minimum interest rate that you need to charge on loans, etc.  If you elect to not charge any interest, the tax laws require you to “impute” interest based upon these minimum rates. […]

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    May 18th, 2016


    Crop Insurance Payouts Lower in 2015

    Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois just posted an article in FarmDoc Daily on an analysis of crop insurance damage payments in 2015.  In 2015, the entire loss ratio for the industry was only .65 (1 is breakeven).  This ratio is much lower than the .97 ratio from 2010 to 2015 and also much […]

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    May 13th, 2016


    When Should You Pay Your Spouse and Kids?

    My father was 47 when I was born (I am the oldest of three kids) and he elected to start receiving social security at age 62 (when I was 15).  When a person elects to take social security benefits before full retirement age, there is a limit on how much you can earn before you […]

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