The cost of operating credit may represent the largest annual expenditure for many Buena Vista County farmers. Yet few spend sufficient time investigating whether a particular lender or credit product is the right choice for their business.
"Producers should spend at least as much time analyzing lenders and financing products as they spend analyzing crop-protection products," said Paul Peiffer, the Buena Vista County finance pro for John Deere Credit.
Before selecting a lender for operating financing, Peiffer recommends farmers seek answers to a number of questions, such as:
* What portion of the lender's portfolio is devoted to agricultural operating loans? Is the loan officer involved solely in agricultural lending?
* How many years has the loan officer provided agricultural operating credit, and for what types of producers - crop, livestock or both?
* Does the lender have expertise in risk management strategies that can impact the size and rates of agricultural operating loans?
* What is the institution's track record in working with customers victimized by disasters?
* Does the institution have sufficient agricultural lending authority to provide all the financing a customer needs? Can it increase the amount of financing it can provide an expanding operation?
John Deere Credit finance pros such as Peiffer are some of the most experienced ag financing experts in the country. They are backed by John Deere, the most trusted name in agriculture.
Read the rest of this article in the 1/04 Pilot Tribune.