With the use of technology, responses concerning the pulse of agricultural issues were obtained at the FINPACK conference for agrilenders. The center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota had an innovative creative way to energize group dynamics on the latest hot topics.
Where are Interest Rates going?
What are the Federal Reserve actions going to be concerning interest rates? Nearly, two-thirds of the group stated a cut on 25 basis points or a quarter of percent. Fifteen percent of the group felt the Federal Reserve would employ deeper cuts of 50 basis points or more. Eighteen percent indicated that the Federal Reserve leaders would stay status quo while 3% indicated a rise in rates.
Weakest Link in Customers
Where is the Achilles heel in the agriculture customer? Twenty-eight percent indicated that it was in financial management. Nearly 60% stated the weak link was in marketing and overall risk management. One in seven felt that the customer base weakest link was in growth and transition management.
Thirty-four percent of the agrilending conference attendees were involved in farming on a part-time basis. One in eight were full-time producers, as well as being agrilenders and agricultural professionals. Of course, 56 were not actively involved in agriculture. Two emerging trends were noticed in my travels: more agrilenders are farmers and ranchers and strong agricultural times have resulted in agrilenders resigning to become full-time producers and ranchers.
Editor’s note: Dave Kohl, The Corn And Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups. He can be reached at [email protected].