In our March issue, North Carolina State University ag economist Geoff Benson offered tips on stretching cash flow. Here are a few more:
Sell nonfarm assets.
"Land that isn't productive from a farming standpoint may have value to a real estate developer or someone looking to own land in the country,” Benson says.
Marketing timber and selling the luxuries—a boat, snowmobile, vacation home, horse—are other avenues for bringing in additional cash.
Postpone nonessential maintenance.
"Don't scale back on anything that immediately impacts the bottom line, like milking parlor maintenance or repair,” Benson says.
Seek off-farm employment.
Many farm family members already work off the farm, but those who don't should not let the sorry shape of the U.S. job market deter them from seeking off-farm employment to help pay bills. "Someone in your family might have skills that are in demand in a local business or industry,” Benson says.
Re-examine family living expenses.
Sit down as a family, scrutinize what you're spending and establish new priorities. "Maybe the kids will have to discontinue some after-school
activities or give up their cell phones,” Benson says. "When you're not making as much as you were before, tough decisions have to be made.”