Managing the cash flow needed to yield a successful crop can be challenging. Gains are greatest when agronomic and economic benefits of input purchases are considered and revisited throughout the crop year.

Tips to Leverage Your Cash Flow and Invest Where It Matters
Tips to Leverage Your Cash Flow and Invest Where It Matters

Q&A with John Maman | Nutrien Financial

How can growers maximize their profits in this market?

Managing profitability looks different for every grower. It’s important to understand the nuances of your situation, including agronomic variables like soil health and disease pressure, but also economic variables, which will be different for every operation. Once you've pinpointed your challenges and opportunities, you can start to assess your financial options and determine what will make the biggest impact on profitability.  

It’s ideal to look at your agronomic plan alongside an economic plan, to bolster both. Variables change throughout the growing season. It’s great to have the right crop inputs, but if you’re paying for those products without terms, or cash flow to match your financial needs, you’re missing a large opportunity. 

Profitability is also directly connected to the flexibility of your business plan. Growers need an adaptable economic plan that can shift with the agronomic plan. This is where financial expertise can help. Getting insight from a professional who will deliver a greater sense of care around payment dates and peak cash flow periods can make a big difference.

 

What are some of the benefits of input lending?

Managing the cash flow needed to yield a successful crop can be challenging. Gains are greatest when agronomic and economic benefits of input purchases are considered and revisited throughout the crop year. It is imperative to work with someone who has the experience needed to assess the intricacies of different financing options, and when to flex your economic plan. Lower interest payments, reduced fees, discounts associated with bundling product purchases, payment due dates that are aligned with your cash flow, and savings to increase working capital, are all benefits to gain, which may then be re-invested for greater productivity.

 

How can growers be more resilient against external pressures, especially in this uncertain market?

It’s important to focus on your total farming acres, knowing where to maximize cash flow. Working capital is king right now because we’re experiencing so much market volatility: Pressure on international markets and rapidly rising interest rates, the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years, all weigh heavily on our customers’ minds. Growers need support and information to be able to maximize their cash and make the right decisions at the right time. This can help improve working capital to leverage more opportunities in a tough market. 

Working with experts can also help improve the cost to carry on inputs and attain better rates, including many 0% programs. Being able to respond to external pressures with the help of someone who understands your financial position will help growers identify terms that benefit specific crop needs, and uncover new financing options that you might not be aware of, like unsecured financing instruments. 

 

What can growers do to gain more peace of mind and financial security?

Growers are used to contingency planning - it’s just part of the job when your livelihood is connected to so many things beyond your control. But there are many things growers can be doing to cushion themselves against external market pressures: 

  1. Make sure your financial plan is in lockstep with your crop plan. Working with both crop consultants and financial experts gives growers the best individual products with terms that are also mindful of the bottom line. 

  2. Build a customized financial plan that considers the nuances of your operation. Review the plan often and make sure it’s working for you. Be open to change throughout the crop year.

  3. Bundle seed, crop nutrition and protection products to gain purchasing and potential supply chain efficiencies

  4. Work with trusted advisors and partners who can lend expertise and help you make decisions with clarity and confidence. This applies to the agronomic plan, but also to the financial side of the operation too. 

 

What should growers be looking out for as they plan for the 2023 season? 

As is the case for a lot of industries, the ag industry is looking for innovative solutions and technologies that can ease the burdens growers experience. Growers also need to consider automated solutions to manage and increase credit lines, which will provide more efficient working capital to pursue growth opportunities in a challenging market.


 

 

About John Maman
John Maman is Director of Sales and Marketing for Nutrien Financial, the financing arm of Nutrien Ag Solutions. He oversees field sales and marketing for Nutrien’s North American retail operation and leads a team of proven financial experts who partner with growers to create financial solutions that increase profitability and maximize every opportunity for success.

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AgriTechTomorrow

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