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Unlocking Long-Term Success: Strategies to Maximize Farm Profit

  • Tag : Grain

In recent years, a question many have asked is “is farming profitable?” The answer is a resounding yes. The agricultural economy has witnessed remarkable profits in recent years, with net income per acre in the Midwest exceeding typical annual figures thanks to favorable yields and strong prices. According to data from Compeer’s benchmark study, many of our clients have reported net income per acre figures surpassing $300.

These record-breaking profits have placed numerous producers in favorable working capital positions. As a reminder, working capital is your current assets minus any outstanding current liabilities. The increased farm profits have resulted in more cash on hand and larger grain stores at year-end, providing a strong foundation for effective farm management.

To make the most of your working capital, it’s essential to plan for the next 5-10 years and capitalize on the recent record profits to secure future success. Consider your goals for your operation. Are you looking to acquire more land, replace equipment or expand your operation? Evaluate your options and leverage your working capital effectively to make strategic decisions that benefit your farm management plan.

Here are some strategies to optimize your working capital:

  1. Prioritize Paying Down Your Operating Loan

    Your primary focus should be to reduce your debt. If you have surplus cash, allocate it toward paying down your operating loan as soon as possible. With high interest rates, it’s important to minimize interest expenses. Electronic transfer options make it easy to shift funds from your operating loan back to your checking account. You can find out more about Compeer’s online banking here
  1. Develop an Equipment Replacement and Purchase Plan

    Costs are rising and finding suitable equipment is becoming more challenging. Create a plan outlining the equipment you need to purchase or replace in the coming year and the next five years. While future farm profitability may impact this plan, having a clear roadmap helps you stay focused on your goals. 
  1. Utilize Working Capital for Farmland Purchases

    Consider using your working capital funds as down payments for future farm acquisitions. This can be a particularly strategic use of capital for profitable small farms looking to expand. Given the current interest rate environment, consult with your financial officer to determine the appropriate amount to put down on real estate purchases. As land values continue to rise, this approach can help you reduce interest expenses and manage long-term debt effectively. 
  1. Year-End Planning

    Make the most of your working capital for year-end tax planning and purchasing prepaid inputs. Check out these articles on that focus on pre-pays and other tax planning tips for additional guidance.
  1. Explore Cash Management Options

    Explore options like Farm Cash Management and Funds Held to earn interest on your idle funds when you’re not using them.

In recent years, farming profits have been exceptional and exciting for many. Use this success as a springboard for future planning. Proactive planning and informed decisions based on sound farm management principles will position your operation for long-term success

Track Your Profitability by Downloading Our Grain Margin Manager Tool

Check out our other grain articles and resources.


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