GFM Network News


Sollio outlines pandemic recovery plan for food sector

Support sought for automation, digitization, telecommunications

Ottawa — One of Canada’s largest agri-food companies has laid out a five-point industry recovery plan for federal politicians to consider. During a meeting Tuesday of the Commons standing committee on finance, the president of Quebec-based Sollio Co-operative Group shared plans to limit consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agrifood supply chain. Sollio employs […] Read more

“We get into the habit of doing things because it’s the way it’s always been done, and with the industry changing so much, we can’t afford to do that anymore.” – Connie Adam

When times get tough, toughing it out may not be the answer

Some farmers are way more profitable than others — so do what they do, says farm finance expert

These are difficult days for farmers — but also a time to look at what you can do differently. “If you’re not a top performer, you’re likely not consistently profitable, you’re going to be susceptible to those market fluctuations, and you’re probably unable to consistently invest in your business,” said Connie Adam, associate partner at […] Read more


Are you prepared to deal with tougher times on your farm?

Know your current ratio, honestly estimate your gross revenue, and be ready to talk to your lender, says adviser

Managing your financial risk is a little like skinny-dipping — you’ve got to protect your assets, and that’s hard to do when you’re not covered. “When the tide goes out, everybody can see who’s swimming naked,” said MNP agricultural tax specialist Rob Strilchuk (quoting Warren Buffett). “We had a lot of good years, but when […] Read more

How a business plan helps get ‘cash flow rolling’

It’s easy to get sidetracked when starting a new venture so you need a plan 
to follow the money, says adviser

A written business plan is key to the long-term success of any business, especially a new venture. “Putting the plan to paper will show you how much startup cash you’ll need in order to generate income,” said new venture specialist Jan Warren. “If you don’t know the startup costs of your venture, you can easily […] Read more



With interest rates on the rise, is it time to lock in?

Variable rates have been a winner for decades, but a fixed rate is an option worth considering

Is it time to lock into a fixed long-term mortgage? “Since 1975, the majority of the time the variable interest rate has been the better option and has saved producers money,” said provincial farm financial specialist Rick Dehod. However, the Bank of Canada recently increased its prime rate by a quarter of a percentage point […] Read more


Can your farm operation withstand ‘lean years?’

Debt-fuelled expansion during good times can put a farm at risk when times get tough

Solvency is one of the key measures when it comes to gauging financial management of a farm. “Financial risk can be broken down into three main financial management parameters — solvency, liquidity, and profitability,” said provincial farm finance specialist Rick Dehod. “Once the measure within each of these three financial parameters has been assessed, the […] Read more

Financial ratios cut through a sea of numbers to tell you how your business is doing.

Online tool gives snapshot of farm’s fiscal health

Analyzer uses eight numbers from the year-end balance sheet to 
quickly produce 11 key financial ratios linked to industry benchmarks

To help producers be aware of the ratios for their farm businesses, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a decision-making tool called the ABA Simple Farm Ratio Analyzer. Start with your year-end net worth statement (the balance sheet for 2016), which is also your opening net worth statement for 2017, said farm finance specialist Rick Dehod. […] Read more


Six habits of highly resilient farmers

In 2010 David Gray, a development officer with the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), did a small study of four farms that were consistently more profitable and better at dealing with climate change. He found six common characteristics within these resilient farms.

Producers need to stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, says Merle Good.

Farm debt at record highs — but top lender not worried

While FCC says most farmers can handle their debt load, 
financial expert Merle Good says some are ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’

Farm debt has hit a record high, bringing back some unpleasant memories of the 1980s debt crisis. But we’re not there yet, said farm business expert Merle Good. “In 1980, we had huge inflation and huge interest rates,” said Good, a longtime tax specialist with the provincial government who now runs a private consulting business.[...]
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