The year is opening with uncertainty for farmers and ranchers despite several important developments such as the 2018 Farm Bill and the US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement projected to be finalized once the government shutdown end. There is some concern among farm bankers as to what the rest of the year has in store.
“The biggest concern frankly as we move into 2019 is cash flows with these low commodity prices,” said Chairman of the Ag and Rural Bankers Committee for the American Bankers Association Shan Hanes. “It’s hard to make a cash flow work. It’s hard to make something break even much less profitable and so that’s a pretty big concern as we’re now moving into renewal season.”
Getting a new farm bill implemented should provide some assistance, however, Hanes spoke to the struggle in coordinating a plan as time moves forward with several questions remaining as the growing season progresses. “We have done some rebalancing in the past and we feel like we’ve got our guys in as best position as we could,” Hanes noted. “I think now we’re going to start looking at some of the hard numbers and trying to revisit rental rates, revisit some terms maybe with some suppliers and so those are hard conversations to have.”