GFM Network News


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

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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?’

Can your farm operation withstand ‘lean years?’

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Three resources to read before buying land

Three resources to read before buying land

The high cost of farmland doesn’t leave 
room for emotion — or miscalculation

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farm auction sale season has begun, and a provincial farm financial specialist says a lot of retiring farmers are choosing to sell their land by public auction. “With interest rates remaining low and the majority of Alberta farms continuing to have a strong balance sheet, the demand for farmland purchase in Alberta remains robust,” said […] Read more


Debtors must be aware of the options available to lenders in case of default or demand, Alberta Agriculture warns.

Read before signing the loan agreement, says expert

Reading Time: < 1 minute Agriculture is a capital-intensive business, and farmers often enter into financial agreements with lenders with the assets purchased with the loan used as security. “Unfortunately, farm business managers can fall into a pattern of simply signing documents, and not reviewing all the conditions thoroughly,” said Rick Dehod, agriculture farm financial specialist with Alberta Agriculture and […] Read more

The Agricultural Business Analyzer is an easy way to create the three key financial statements that measure the health of a business.

How’s business? There’s an app for that

Free online tool can tell you exactly how your farm is doing 
financially and create a financial plan for the coming year

Reading Time: < 1 minute An online tool for analyzing the performance of your farm business has been upgraded, along with some additional user assistance for the software. The Agricultural Business Analyzer is a set of Excel spreadsheets designed for a farm business. It helps producers prepare the three key financial documents: a balance sheet (that measures net worth), income/expense […] Read more


You can’t spot the most profitable farms from the outside. It’s what happens in the office that makes the difference.

The three common traits of profitable farms

Know your costs for every enterprise, spend money to make money, and never run short of working capital

Reading Time: 2 minutes What makes a farm profitable? “Recently, farm management expert Professor Eric A. DuVuyst of Oklahoma State University shared three traits common to all successful producers, drawing on observations and experience gained from working within five U.S. land grant universities,” said provincial farm management specialist Rick Dehod. “We definitely see these same three common traits in […] Read more

You can’t get with the (farm) plan until you create one

There’s a lot of power in sitting down as a family and writing down your short-term and long-term goals

Reading Time: 2 minutes Got a plan for 2016? If not, you can start by reviewing the goals you had for last year, says a provincial farm financial specialist. “This is an important process,” said Rick Dehod. “Reflecting on how you have done helps you set goals for the farm business in 2016 and influences what you feel is […] Read more


StatsCan says the average Alberta family spent $9,300 on food in 2013 — the third-highest expense after shelter and transportation.

The cost of living may be a lot more than you think

Cash flow is king in any business, and farmers need to factor 
in family living costs when preparing their business plans

Reading Time: 2 minutes Now that the 2015 crop is off, it is important to review cash flow projections and marketing plans. That process involves budgeting for family living expenses — a number that may shock you. “In the last five years, family living costs have increased substantially due to inflation and good farm margins,” said Rick Dehod, a […] Read more

farm financial management tips

E-learning tutorial offers basics on farm financial statements

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a new online e-learning tutorial called Understanding Farm Financial Statements and their Measurement. The tutorial offers the basics on farm financial statements, their interaction, and measurements, said farm financial specialist Rick Dehod. This e-learning series is set up so that it may be viewed in part or in its entirety. […] Read more