Gearing up for planting season

By Emily Zuver 

For farmers, planting season is a time filled with anticipation, where every move is critical, and every decision must be made with careful consideration. The success of the planting season, and by extension, the harvest season, hinges on meticulous preparation. This month, I join the rotation of writing this monthly article with my colleague, Brian Ravencraft.

Let’s talk about what you can be doing now to prepare for planting season and the financial aspects of 2024. Before the seeds touch the soil, the groundwork must be perfect. Start by assessing your farm. Are there any areas that need special attention?

For planting, farmers are busy in the shops getting all of the necessary equipment ready for planting, making final seed and input decisions and preparing for field prep. Winter is a great time to upgrade technology and address infrastructure issues like fencing, outbuildings and drainage as well. It is also a great time to plant the seeds for a fertile financial future. The planting season isn’t just about the upcoming crop; it’s also the foundation of financial planning for the year ahead. Here are some financial aspects of your operation to consider as planting season draws near.

1. Tracking expenses

Track your spending from the previous season and prepare a budget for the upcoming one. This includes equipment maintenance, fuel, labor costs, and seed purchases. Enlist the help of your accountant for this on-going exercise.

2. Assessing loans and leases

If financing is necessary, calculate the amount required and explore different funding options such as loans or leases. Consider the cost of debt and align repayment timelines with your expected profits. Ask your accountant for assistant with this process.

3. Tax planning

Use this opportunity to gather all the necessary financial data for your taxes. Keep records updated and enlist the help of a tax professional to ensure you’re aware of all eligible deductions and credits.

Gearing up for planting season isn’t just about preparing the land, it’s about readiness in every aspect — mindset, finance, infrastructure, and technology. Take the time to assess your needs, plan meticulously, and understand that adaptability can be as important as preparation. If I can be of help to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Emily Zuver is the Senior Assistant Accountant for Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. 

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