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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

The Management Calendar

Farm Business Management Update, August - September 2007

By Gordon Groover (, Extension Economist, Farm Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Well, I know it is dry when the grass over our septic tank is dead.  The top of the tank is about a foot below the soil surface–only the second time in 20 years this has happened.  To see the severity of drought across the U.S.  take a look at the following web site  Farmers should keep abreast of the news as more and more areas are designated disaster areas.   
Farm business managers, consider the following sources of information and activities to put on your management calendars for August-September. 

Always pay close attention to cash flow needs as you generate cash reserves during fall harvest and get ready for real estate and personal property taxes this winter.  Almost all computerized recordkeeping software, e.g., Quicken® or Microsoft Money® and accounting software, e.g.  QuickBooks® or FarmWorks, create cash flow reports that assist in managing cash available for debt service, family living, and cash expenses.  Compare this year’s cash flow to the budgeted amount and highlight deviations.  If you did not develop a budget for this year, compare your inflows and outflow to last year’s August totals.  Make sure you have a series of possible plans to address any projected cash short falls.  Projected surplus should be added to your retirement program, e.g., IRA’s, 401-K’s, or used to pay down debt.

The time to make tax management decisions is quickly approaching.  Make sure that you have set aside a few days in October to summarize all farm and family financial records and make an appointment now with your accountant to work on end-of-year tax management strategies.

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