GFM Network News

From bad to worse, to better again

How one farm couple and their financial advisor restructured significant debt to dig them out of dire financial circumstances

Reading Time: 6 minutes Art Lange, left, walks the field edge and says that in an ideal world, every farm would make money every year and every farm manager would always make the best financial decisions. But it’s not a perfect world. Well-kept financial records help. So do staying on top of production costs and following a budget, but […] Read more

China, drought, debt shake Canadian farm finances

Reading Time: 3 minutes Winnipeg/Ottawa | Reuters — For years, the financial stability of Canadian farmers was the envy of their U.S. counterparts, but rising costs, drought and a dispute with China have weakened their bottom lines. Net incomes plunged last year, and that setback was followed in March by China’s halting purchases of canola, Canada’s biggest crop. Now […] Read more

Trump says more farm aid coming amid China trade war

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about US$15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers whose products may be targeted with tariffs by China amid a deepening trade war. “We’re going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made […] Read more

Trump administration eyes more aid to farmers if necessary

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — The Trump administration is ready to provide more federal aid to farmers if required, a White House adviser said on Monday, after rolling out up to US$12 billion since last year to offset agricultural losses from the trade dispute with China. “We have allocated $12 billion, some such, to farm assistance. […] Read more

U.S. grains: Soybeans inch up on China purchases

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures inched upward on Thursday on news that Chinese state-owned firms bought at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans, while wheat futures dropped to their lowest levels in more than a year on pressure from a strengthening dollar, traders said. Chinese state-owned firms bought the U.S. soybeans for shipment […] Read more

Ag balance sheet points to stable farm economy

Reading Time: 3 minutes CNS Canada — Canadian farmers saw their farm equity climb almost seven per cent last year compared to the year before — and Farm Credit Canada’s principal agricultural economist said that falls in line with FCC’s analysis. Data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday showed 2017 farm equity climbed to $535.3 billion, up $34.6 billion […] Read more

Farm bankruptcies down, but not out – just different

Reading Time: 2 minutes Winnipeg | CNS Canada – Fewer farms means fewer bankruptcies but with that simple equation comes the realization that the size and tone of those bankruptcies in North America is growing. “They are larger, the amount of debt is greater, the fact that we’re not seeing a higher number doesn’t mean there isn’t considerable distress […] Read more

There are tools that we have that I don’t think we’re maximizing,” says the FCC’s J.P. Gervais. “We need to up our game.”

Farm debt in perspective

Yes, $90 billion in farm debt is a lot, but most farmers should be able to weather most storms if they up their focus on their risk exposure

Reading Time: 9 minutes When Gwen Paddock began her finance career some three decades ago, farmers were looking for a chequing account, an operating loan and maybe some short-term financing for equipment and land. Not so today. “Farms are getting bigger with more moving parts,” says RBC’s national director of agriculture. “Now, farmers and farm operators are looking for […] Read more

Farmers’ debt seen hitting fresh record high

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — Canadian farmers’ debt will likely reach another record high this year, while land appreciation slows and incomes flatten, but the industry is still in strong financial shape, the country’s biggest agriculture lender, Farm Credit Canada, forecast on Tuesday. FCC, the federal Crown ag lending agency, sounded a note of caution for farmers, who […] Read more

Rapidly rising prices
have made land seem like a safe investment. In truth, it’s more speculative than that.

Farm debt ratio in Canada could create an agricultural ‘bust’

Will history repeat itself, with a sell-off fuelled by farm debt?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Are we heading into another bust in agriculture, as happened in the late 1920s and in the 1980s? This is the fear of some farmers, and of some agricultural economists too. George Brinkman, professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, believes Canadian farmers are seriously over-leveraged and that there simply is not enough farm income […] Read more