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GrowingOn Meetings Will Help You Get Ready For 2015

GrowingOn Meetings Will Help You Get Ready For 2015

Experts will discuss 2014 Farm Bill decision, marketing choices, crop insurance, interest rates and land prices

Farm Credit Services of America and the South Dakota Corn Growers Association are hosting seven GrowingOn meetings in South Dakota in December to help you for the 2015 growing season.

Steven Johnson, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is the main speaker. He will provide information on the decisions you face under the new Farm Bill and how to select the options best suited to their operations. He will share estimated crop prices and costs, as well as marketing and crop insurance strategies they can leverage to help manage revenue.

A farmer plants corn in south central South Dakota in this file photo. Meetings next week will help you make some important decisions that may affect your profitability in 2015.

"If the price trends of $3.50 corn and $9.50 soybeans continue, expenses will need to be scrutinized," says Johnson. "Marketing and risk management strategies are going to be more important than ever. Most grain farmers are well capitalized and will weather the challenging environment in 2015, and livestock producers are in a stronger position now. Another positive outlook for 2015 is the new Farm Bill. It provides a robust crop insurance program that protects yields and revenue. But with a five-year enrollment, careful consideration will need to be given to the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage election."

FCSAmerica crop insurance specialists will talk about the key crop insurance changes in 2015. This includes a discussion of a new crop insurance product, the Supplemental Coverage Option. SCO adds area-based protection to the familiar Revenue Protection or Yield Protection crop insurance policies. However, only producers who sign up for the federal PLC program are eligible for SCO.  Other changes include improved beginning farmers and ranchers benefits and there's a different way to calculate actual production history. Producers also should consider two other areas of discussion with their crop insurance agent – breaking native sod and conservation compliance.

"The new Farm Bill clearly makes crop insurance an increasingly important component of the federal safety net for crop farms," says Rhonda Smith, vice president-crop insurance for FCSAmerica in eastern South Dakota. Smith advises producers to contact their crop insurance agents early this year. "With so many changes to consider and reconcile, and so much documentation to gather and submit, this is not the year to leave such an important decision for the last minute."

Bill Davis, chief credit officer for FCSAmerica, will share steps for minimizing the operational risks of rising interest rates; and Mark Jensen, FCSAmerica chief risk officer, will discuss land values and the risks present in today's farmland market.

The 2 ½ hour program will be held Tuesday, Dec. 2 in Aberdeen and Watertown; Wednesday, Dec. 3 in Huron; Thursday, Dec. 4 in Mitchell; Friday, Dec. 5 in Yankton; and Tuesday, Dec. 9 in Brookings and Sioux Falls. Pre-registration is required. Specific times, locations and registration details can be found at growingon.com or by calling your local FCSAmerica office or 1-800-884-FARM.

Source: Farm Credit Services of America

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