Tough harvests: planning your next move as a producer

By Trevor Bacque 3 December 2019 2 min read

It’s no secret that farming comes with good and bad years. Still, 2019 will certainly be a year many Alberta farmers will be happy to put behind them. From dramatic weather like snow, rain, and killing frost to sagging commodity prices and challenges in getting product to market, farmers throughout the province have had their resilience put to the test.

Unfortunately for some, this year’s harvest may not end until next spring. This could lead to lower crop quality and additional cash flow impacts such as higher harvesting and drying costs, and delays in shipments and processing of crop insurance claims. When the deck seems stacked against you, it can be challenging to understand the options available to you and strategically plan your next move.

If this sounds all too familiar and you’re feeling stressed about finances, consider meeting with your financial advisor and/or relationship manager to discuss your options. The sooner you can drive the conversation and collaboratively plan for your future, the more solutions you’ll likely find are available to you. David Hirch, Managing Director, Agriculture Centre of Expertise at ATB Financial agrees.


“Absolutely, reach out to us so we can have a conversation with you and start to look at your financial situation,” says Hirch. “You’re not alone and the best thing you could do is talk with your relationship manager. The more proactive you can be the better.”

A strategic financial conversation could help you minimize the repercussions of this year’s growing season and also help you free up operating cash for 2020 inputs. The development of a farm business strategy can make all the difference between surviving a challenging year, having one good year and establishing a long-term trend of growth and success. Just because you’re an independent agriculture producer, doesn’t mean you’re alone. A good financial partner will assess your current situation and help find immediate solutions in the short term while also developing an action plan to position the business for greater success.

"At ATB, we are here to help - not just through good times, but in tough times like now,” says Jonathan Neutens, Vice President of Agriculture at ATB Financial. “We are reaching out to our customers, but want to ensure you reach out to us as well. We want to listen to your individual challenges, as it relates to cash flow in particular, and see what we can do to get through this season and get into the next.”

Knowing you’re able to draw on ATB’s expertise could help you understand and act on opportunities when they become available. And that’s what ATB is all about, providing ways for Alberta's farmers, ranchers and businesses to evolve and thrive.

If you need help getting in touch with your relationship manager, contact our Agriculture Centre of Expertise.

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Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.