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Upcoming Free Seminar Aims to Offer Preventative Maintenance as well as Real Time Help with Current Farm Economy.
           As many are aware, there will be upcoming seminars on January 22 and 23 that center around the challenges with the current farm economy.The 22nd will be at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Indiana, at 6 pm, while on the 23rd the location will be the Robin’s Nest Event Center, Battle Creek, Michigan, at 6 pm.Those wishing to attend should call and RSVP at 260-351-4440.

I am thankful to the several professionals who have been gracious enough to give their time by pitching in to make this event come together.The title of the seminar is “Navigating the Farm through Difficult Financial Times”.Someone recently told me that they wished I had more of an upbeat topic to present.I told this individual that, sure, we all wish times were better and there were more feel good topics to speak on.However, as with any business, farming is cyclical, and during down times, worthwhi…

MIdwest Professionals to Host Free Seminar to Assist Farmers

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Midwest Professionals to Host Free Seminar to Assist Farmers
           Please consider joining us for an upcoming seminar that will focus on current issues farmers are facing due to the downturn in the agricultural sector.  We are hopeful these topics will give farmers valuable information that can assist them during these difficult times. 
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Liability Insurance May Not Save Your Farm, but an LLC Can

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Using multiple LLC's can drastically increase the liability protection for a farm.  This article discusses the layout of doing so. 

First though:  I generally hate disclaimers, but I find it necessary to state a few.First, this article is for general information only and is written for the benefit of fellow farmers to consider in structuring their farms.Second, state laws vary, and this article is not state specific.Third, if you feel the need to comment on whether you disagree or that I’m wrong, please first go to:https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ppp/ppp-91.pdf.It is an excellent publication from Purdue that is in line with what I am writing about in this article and gives some real life examples.
In the last article, I wrote about how liability insurance is a necessity, but with the trends in jury verdicts, it may not be enough to save the farm.In other words, you could get a judgment against your farm for more than the policy limits of the insurance.  Structuring the f…

Recent Jury Verdicts Confirm Your Liability Insurance Likely Not Enough to Save Your Farm

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If there is one thing I wish I could get clients to understand is the fact that even if your farm has liability insurance, you are likely under insured with your current liability coverage. Essentially, if you have a million dollars of coverage, or several million, the coverage is peanuts now days.How big a bag of peanuts? Well, here in Indiana we recently had a whopping 35 million dollar verdict against a defendant for causing an accident that left the plaintiff a quadriplegic.Similar verdicts have been handed down across the country as of late.   You can read about it here:  https://www.theindianalawyer.com/articles/45836-recent-35m-verdict-is-among-largest-indiana-jury-personal-injury-awards As one attorney stated “jurors are increasingly less offended by requests for million-dollar-plus verdicts”Whoa.Wasn’t it not too long ago society was up in arms about a woman in Texas getting several million for being burned by hot coffee?It sure was.But, as another attorney stated, “the shock …
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YOUNG FARMERS SHOULD MANDATE TRANSITION PLAN AND AVOID NFL

This week I am told there are 50,000+ FFA members in Indianapolis for their yearly convention.I find it fitting to write this article about younger farmers who are the next generation and what happens when the older generation fails to put together a farm transition plan.Without a transition plan, I believe there is a 90% chance the next generation goes to the NFL, which stands for Not Farming Long.(yes, I coined this and take credit for it)Before I discuss this further, let’s look at a few things. 1.First, no one ever keeps score in farming.What I mean is that when a son or daughter returns to the farm, no one keeps track of their hours, their input, their monetary contribution, or so forth.As the years go by, no one is able to remember what all the young farmer contributed to the operation, especially the nonfarm siblings. Then, at distribution time, the dreaded “fair is equal” mentality of the older generation kicks in becaus…
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LEAVING ADEQUATE "REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE" FOR CROP INSURANCE CLAIM



This fall we have snow on crops in North Dakota, wet in the mid west, a hurricane down south, flooding along the eastern seaboard....all this will keep crop adjusters busy.  Perhaps too busy, in that it may be difficult for farmers to get adjusters on scene in a timely manner. 
This means farmers may be back trying to harvest what they can before an adjuster can get there.  In these circumstances, it could be critical you leave an adequate "representative sample" of the crop, depending on the circumstances.  Essentially, a representative sample is an amount of the crop left in the field that adequately represents what the condition of the field was as a whole.   It allows the crop insurance company to derive a yield for the entire field based off of strips left by the farmer.
What the heck is that, you may ask?  Good question.   The exact definition is contained in the crop insurance handbooks and/or …

Avoiding a Denial of Crop Insurance Claims

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Crop insurance plays an ever increasing role in modern farming.  However, like any safety net, crop insurance can be wrought with holes.Over the years I’ve seen producers have their claims denied for many different reasons.Often times these reasons are really no fault of the producer.Simply stated, the federal crop insurance rules are very complex and can be unforgiving. Generally, when a producer believes they have a claim, they call up their agent.The agent then submits a claim and at some point an adjuster is assigned to the case.The adjuster comes out to the farm and evaluates the crop, measures bins, and so forth.Although the adjuster should be well versed in the procedures, sometimes such is not the case.We had a case a few years ago where the producer had frost kill the corn before it reached maturity.The producer wanted to have the corn salvaged for silage.The adjuster informed the producer that strips would have to be left in the field for further analysis.So, …