Blog   UMB: Insights

How to Prepare for Ag Challenges in 2017

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For those in the ag business, it’s no secret that 2015 and 2016 were challenging years. And 2017 is looking like it might follow suit. In an industry known for its optimism, you could be hard-pressed to find anyone overly positive about what lies ahead this year.

Producers, in particular, are going to face more challenges in 2017 given the current commodity prices and over supply of crops. In light of those challenges, here are a few steps they can take to prepare for 2017 and beyond.

1. Know Your Numbers: As lenders work with you to project what the next year will look like, it will help to be prepared with key data points, including:

  • Planting intentions – Know your acres, crop type and fertilizer application plans
  • Working capital needs – Know what is changing and ways to improve working capital
  • Break-even analysis – Know your input costs, conservative bushel projections and sales triggers
  • Expense management – Know what specific changes are being made in your operation to endure lower prices and what further trimming can be done
  • Balance sheet basics – Have a good understanding of your current amount of working capital, overall debt-to-equity ratio and value of unencumbered real estate
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2. Be a Tough Negotiator: With the significant price changes in the grain complex, those who sell to farmers are having a harder time making the next sale. This means you have an opportunity to attain better prices when you spend money.

  • Cash rents – In general, landowners will need to make some concessions on cash rents. Be willing to negotiate but not afraid to walk away if the math doesn’t work for you at renewal time.
  • Equipment – There are definitely deals to be had on used iron, but only do what makes sense for your operation. Also, aggressive lease terms are being offered and in many cases may lower cost, or improve cash flow, throughout your operation.
  • Basic purchases – Those who sell you crop insurance, seed, fertilizer, chemical, parts, equipment and more will need to know that farmers are carefully weighing each purchase. Loyalty to such suppliers is wonderful but it is also okay to encourage competition for your spending dollars.

3. Sell Items that Aren’t Contributing: The truth is there are some things that just need to go. Whether it is a poor piece of land that isn’t producing, a tractor that might not be essential or a trailer that is collecting dust, take stock of what you have and determine what needs to go.

During this period in which some producers will have limited working capital and struggle to service debt, it is imperative to critically examine your assets. Working capital and liquidity have become – and will continue to be – critically important in the coming years. Any asset sale that bolsters your liquidity position will improve your ability to endure the current commodity prices and thriving as we look forward to better days.


Lance Albin is vice president, agribusiness commercial lending officer at UMB Bank and has more than nine years of experience in agriculture financing. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Fort Hays State University. UMB Bank is one of the Top 25 Farm Lenders in the United States serving farmers/ranchers, producers, processors, manufacturers and dealers throughout the Midwest and Mississippi Delta regions.



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St. Louis Snapshot: Q&A with Peter Blumeyer

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In the early months of the year, bankers are looking ahead and considering challenges the industry might face as well as where the industry could be going. The Risk Management Association recently hosted a Bank Presidents’ Fireside Chat to gain insight and industry perspectives for 2017. Following are a few of the comments shared by UMB Bank St. Louis President Peter Blumeyer, who served as one of the panelists.

What is your outlook for the year?

As we begin 2017, the banking industry is very competitive. We believe C&I, manufacturing and distribution will be the most competitive industries for lending this year. We have set high goals and will work very hard to compete in this market. We will also keep a keen eye on the talent in the market. We want to ensure we hire people who can compete in this industry while providing them a fruitful career.

How has UMB Bank dealt with the extended period of extremely low interest rates?

We continue to operate in a sustained low interest rate environment that has impacted our net interest margin and continues to challenge our industry. However, we have actively positioned UMB to benefit as rates begin to rise. As a result, whenever the Federal Reserve does drive the short end of the rate curve higher, the nimble position of our earning assets is expected to produce a lift in interest income. We have a solid balance sheet and take pride in our extraordinary credit quality and are well positioned for when interest rates begin to move up.

Are there any new trends developing, positive or negative, in lending?

One negative trend we are experiencing is aggression. As mentioned above, the market is very competitive as every bank looks for new deals and areas to grow. We are seeing customers hone in on the aggressive competitive nature. They might ask for more money with a lower rate or try and compare different term sheets. This can work in their favor as they search for the best rate, but it’s also a risky situation. If a customer tries to piecemeal a deal, it might not be very attainable for the banker to create.

A positive trend is the market is healing. We are slowly coming back from the recession, which is very exciting. Companies have access to the money they need to grow their business and perform their capital expenditures. This is even better for our economy as more growth is added to St. Louis. It is encouraging to see, and at UMB, we are excited to support this growth.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Inside UMB: Focusing on Abilities

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As a part of our “Inside UMB” series, we’ll be sharing stories about our people, culture and all the things, big and small, that make us who we are.

This story focuses on “Associate Spirit.” One of UMB’s key shared values, we rely heavily on our people and their collective attitude and skills to differentiate us as a company.

Following is a Q&A session with Director of Talent Acquisition Mary Beth Majors that gives an inside look at how our diversity practices are helping us hire top talent.

When did you first meet Jennifer?
I met Jennifer Hertha over the phone in 2007 when recruiting her for a teller position with UMB. Impressed by Jennifer’s phone interview, I invited her to interview in person. When she arrived, I noticed that due to her being in a wheelchair, she had some form of disability.
Admittedly, I was hesitant at first because I wanted to ensure she was treated like any other candidate, but was also afraid of saying the wrong thing. However, what struck me most about Jennifer was that she was determined and didn’t let her disability impact her confidence in fulfilling her responsibilities. Jennifer interviewed wonderfully and was hired for the position.

Jennifer Hertha_Mary Beth Majors_UMB_diverse hiring

How has Jennifer contributed to the organization?
Jennifer didn’t waste any time in showing us what she was capable of. She consistently impressed her managers, received multiple promotions, and is now one of my top performers on the Talent Acquisition team.

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How has she uniquely added to the team?
Working with Jennifer has been such a good thing for me personally. While UMB has always had a focus on having diverse workforce, she has challenged me to take an even closer look at our hiring practices. Now, Jennifer and I advocate together for people with disabilities in the community and work to help other companies evaluate their own hiring efforts‡.

Jennifer Hertha_UMB_Diversity

How does UMB view diversity?
At UMB, diversity is examined not just through gender, race, ethnicity, etc., but also through the breadth of experiences, ideas and beliefs that our associates bring to the table. Diversity and inclusion is not merely a statement on a website; it means that all are encouraged to contribute fresh ideas and to embrace differences.

When each of our associates feels like a valued member of UMB, we are doing our job. Our philosophy is to hire great—and different—talent and to give people the tools to succeed and utilize their strengths.

Recently, we shared some of these efforts with the Kansas City Star, including being at the forefront of supporting a new job board to match candidates with disabilities with employers‡.

Learn more about UMB’s culture and career opportunities.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB Insights: Jim Boyle Dairy

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Jim’s passion is cows. He says the happier the cow, the tastier the milk. His family dairy in Arizona is one example of why we’re passionate about agribusiness.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Financial technology (fintech) startups

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Fintech (financial technology) startups are a growing trend, but what challenges do these companies face? Find out from our business banking region manager, Dave Bauer, who is working with several of these entrepreneurs.

Don’t miss the other videos in our UMB: Insights series.

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Dave Bauer is a Vice President / Region Manager for UMB Business Banking. He is responsible for leading the Business Banking teams in the St. Louis and Oklahoma City regions. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB: Insights – Financial Advice for Millennials

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Do young people really need a financial advisor? Phil shares why you DO need one as you move into adulthood. His advice is to:

  • Work with a financial advisor.
  • Establish a plan and put it in place.
  • Work toward achieving it!

Learn more in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

 

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Mr. Phillip Klevorn is a Regional Manager for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for Private Wealth Management in the St. Louis Region. He joined UMB in 2015 and has 22 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB: Insights – Common Questions for Wealth Advisors

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UMB Industry Insights

We’re continuing our UMB: Insights series by talking to a few of our wealth advisors about questions they hear all the time from their clients.

  • Am I going to be able to live in retirement the way I live today?
  • What kind of healthcare can I afford?
  • How can I maximize that and minimize taxes? How do I pass that on to the next generation tax-efficiently?

If you find yourself asking any of these questions, it’s probably time to meet with a wealth advisor.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – When to Engage a Wealth Advisor

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UMB Industry Insights

Belinda explains why you should start talking to a wealth advisor. They can help you see the big picture, set your priorities and customize your plans accordingly.

Learn more in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Culture

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What makes UMB stand out from other organizations? Our leadership shares what they believe makes us special in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Public Finance

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UMB Industry Insights

UMB has a long and successful history with underwriting municipal bonds for cities, counties, public hospitals and universities. One of the keys is to foster relationships with attorneys, bond counsels, underwriters and the customers. Learn more in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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