Dec 07, 2020

Pre-Plan? Yes, really.

In a year where plans have fallen apart more than they’ve come together, it might seem too soon to pre-plan for the 2021 growing season. But, buying early and making plans ahead of time “helps both farmers and Federated,” said Tim Stelter, manager of the Osceola, WI, Federated location.

Thinking about the upcoming season immediately on the heels of harvest “helps provide a road map to get supply locked in, to have a better chance of having [what’s needed] in the spring,” he said. And, he added, “It’s definitely more convenient” to plan during slow times.

Farmers – and Federated – are not exempt from the “Covid effect,” said Stelter, but generally speaking the effects have been in areas behind the scene (for example, new health and safety procedures at the terminals). But, with the unpredictability of global supply chains and markets, the ongoing pandemic is “another reason to take care of supply beforehand,” said Stelter.

Price may be the biggest motivator for early planning, since December usually offers the best prices going into spring. There can be “incremental or a jump” in prices, according to Stelter, but “prices normally creep up” through the winter. “It’s a supply and demand thing,” he said. By spring demand is high, and prices may be as well.

“Lock in the right seed, the right traits now … it’s always better to order seed early and get the best selection and pricing. Fertilizer prices are at their best now, too.

Pre-buy? You bet.

The best interest rates on financed purchases are available now, according to Kelly Meyer, Federated’s business service specialist. Combine the lower prices with lower interest rates and get a winning combination.

Meyer also noted that Cooperative Finance Association (CFA) is offering a better interest rate if applications are turned in by Jan. 1, 2021 – “to encourage people to get things done early.”

Plus, there can be tax benefits for pre-buys completed by the end of the year.

Meyer highlighted one significant change in financing programs from CFA for 2021: The maturity date is now January 15, 2022 (instead of March).

For full details on the financing programs from CFA, John Deere, and Rabo, follow this link and click on the specific options listed in the November e-news article.

Stelter and Meyer echoed one word of caution: Prebuy with a trusted establishment – such as Federated Coops – to ensure your money and spring supplies are in good hands.

And, let your Federated Agronomist know how you want to meet/chat in view of Covid19. “We will accommodate your concerns,” said Stelter.

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