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Showing posts from December, 2016

Southwestern Minnesota Farmland Values Decline 2.6 percent in 2016

By David Bau, Extension Educator

At the end of each year for the last twenty-two years, a survey has been conducted of farm land sales in fourteen southwestern Minnesota counties. Land values had been on a steadily increasing until 2014. The survey reports bare farm land sales to non-related parties for the first six months of each year. After reaching record high prices in 2013, the upward trend was broken as prices declined in 2014. The trend continued in 2015 and 2016.  Data collected in this survey is available at the county extension offices in Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine Counties. This year the decline across the fourteen counties averaged 2.6%. Average land values had not declined since 1996 when the average SW Minnesota land prices were $1,175 per acre in 1995 to a high in 2013 to $8,466 then declined in 2014, 2015 and again to $6,751 in 2016.

Data from these countie…

What Are the Keys to Successful Farm Business Management?

By:  Pauline Van Nurden, Extension Educator
The new year is right around the corner and with that comes a blank page to create your financial plan for the coming year. As a farmer, do you ever struggle with what needs to be included in your financial management plan? Are you looking to boost your farm financial management skills? As you look to start the new year off on the right foot, make sure you have a handle on your business;s finances. 
Balance Sheet – Do you sit down at the beginning of the year to create a balance sheet? This gives a snapshot of what you own and what’s owed against it. You’ll then determine your net worth. Creating a balance sheet at least annually is important to assess your profitability and business gains. Income Statement – Do you look at the profitability of your farm over the last year by creating an income statement? The income statement measures profitability by determining the net income of your farm. This is calculated by subtracting the farm …

Look Back to Look Ahead

by Betty Berning Extension Educator
The end of the year is rapidly approaching.  It is a special time of family, friends, and reflection.  As 2016 comes to an end, look at the year past and the year ahead.  I’d like to suggest that you ask yourself four questions:
What went well?What didn’t go well?What do I want to do differently?Where do I want to go from here?Being positive is important.    Start off by identifying areas where things went as planned.  It was a tough year.  You survived.  What did you do well?  What are you grateful for?  Maybe your family worked well together.  Perhaps the cows had great production.  In spite of the slow harvest, did you have record yields?  Look at your victories.  Spend some time analyzing them and asking “why did this happen?  What was my role in it?”  This will help you understand what behaviors or actions made a difference and what to continue in the future.  It is really important to focus on the positive during challenging times.

Moving on, thin…

Ag Tax Publication Available for Farm Families

By Gary Hachfeld, Extension Educator

With farm profit margins very slim in agriculture today, financial planning is crucial to the survival of a farm operation. That planning includes tax planning for the end of the year. A tax planning publication is now available for farm families which includes many of the new ag tax rules and related information. This information will aid farm families as they prepare for the tax season.

With the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, there were substantial changes in depreciation rules. Section 179 depreciation has been permanently established at $500,000 with a $2 million dollar overall investment limit before phase out takes place. Qualified Section 179 property includes breeding livestock, machinery, single-purpose agricultural structures and drainage tile. The qualified property can be new or used. The legislation makes permanent the rule allowing a taxpayer the ability to revoke I.R.C. Section 179 elections an…