Achieving profitability requires efficient financial management, sound production strategies and adaptability to changes

As the harvest season approaches, it’s important for farmers to not only consider their production strategies but also their financial management techniques. Achieving profitability in farming involves more than just growing the right crops; it also includes effective debt management, risk management, leveraging government programs and smart decision-making regarding equipment. Here are some strategies to help you increase profitability this harvest season. 

Debt Management & Profitability 

A significant debt load can hamper your farm’s profitability; hence effective debt management is critical. Renegotiating interest rates, consolidating debts or developing a structured payment plan can help reduce your financial burden. Remember, taxes may be a one-time payment, but the interest on your debt accumulates over time. So, focus on paying down your debt and controlling your interest payments to free up cash for reinvesting in your farm. 

Navigating the Weather & Market Volatility 

Understanding and responding to weather patterns is a crucial aspect of farming, as it significantly impacts crop yield and, subsequently, market prices of commodities. This year, Kansas has been experiencing unusual but favorable weather, which has provided an excellent start for fall crops. Temperatures in Kansas have been milder than usual, coupled with adequate rainfall, a dream for any farmer. This optimal balance has fostered robust growth, especially for corn, putting farmers on the path to an exceptional harvest season. 

However, it’s important to remember that weather patterns can change quickly. If a heatwave were to hit the region, the promising outlook could shift dramatically. Corn is susceptible to high temperatures during its pollination period, and a heatwave could negatively impact the yield. However, while this would be detrimental for crop volumes, it could lead to an increase in corn prices due to lower supply. 

Simultaneously, the cattle sector is experiencing considerable margins, likely owing to the reduction of beef production in the US. This situation provides a golden opportunity for farmers to potentially gain additional income. 

On the grains front, wheat yields in Kansas have been surprising farmers, turning out better than initially expected. Despite fluctuations in the market, wheat prices remain strong, contributing to a favorable financial outlook for those with wheat as part of their crop rotation. 

The importance of continuously monitoring weather and market trends cannot be understated. These elements are highly interconnected and can open up opportunities for profitability as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy. Keeping a keen eye on the shifting patterns, being ready to adjust strategies and taking advantage of favorable conditions are key to weathering the storm of agricultural volatility. 

Optimizing Your Selling Strategy 

How and when you sell your crops can significantly impact your profitability. Future contracts, for instance, can secure prices ahead of the harvest season. Exploring direct-to-consumer selling or building relationships with local businesses can also yield higher profits. 

You could also consider options such as puts and calls to lock in a price today for delivery in the future. But it’s essential to have a clear profit goal and to take advantage of market conditions that align with it instead of trying to time the market. Engaging advisors like risk managers and CPAs who understand the market can be highly beneficial. 

Leveraging Government Programs & Tax Credits 

Government programs, subsidies and tax credits can significantly impact your bottom line. Staying updated on the latest programs applicable to your farm is crucial. Employ the expertise of a CPA with knowledge of agriculture-specific tax regulations to ensure you’re fully utilizing these opportunities. 

Considering Leasing vs. Buying 

For many farms, machinery represents one of the biggest expenses. Rather than purchasing new equipment, consider the financial benefits of leasing. This approach can provide access to the latest technology, reduce upfront costs, improve cash flow and potentially increase profitability, particularly when debt becomes expensive. 

Reconcile Your Budget at Year-End 

Many farmers use budgets but often fail to reconcile them at the year’s end. Once the harvest is complete, analyzing your budget vs. actual spending can yield valuable insights. Your labor costs may have exceeded expectations or a certain tractor needed more maintenance than planned. These findings can prompt changes that increase your margins and boost your farm’s long-term profitability. 


Achieving profitability in farming is a complex task requiring a balanced approach toward production and financial management strategies. Remember, the road to profitability is not a straight path but a continuous journey of making informed decisions, adapting to circumstances and learning from past experiences. So as you step into this harvest season, arm yourself with these strategies, stay vigilant and drive your farming operations toward increased profitability. Contact an Adams Brown advisor to discuss how you can leverage the advantages and data you already have to help your farm operations thrive.