Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, November 02, 2018, Page 8, Image 8

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

November 2, 2018
Idaho potato quality looking good so far
Capital Press
Carol Ryan Dumas/Capital Press
Stacie Ballard, left, talks with Nicole Walker during a break in the Women in Agriculture Conference
at Twin Falls, Idaho, on Oct. 27.
Women’s conference
focuses on farm cash flow
Capital Press
Keeping accurate and time-
ly financial records is a key
characteristic of successful
farms, and using a cash flow
spreadsheet is a helpful tool
in farm financial management,
according to speakers at this
year’s Women in Agricul-
ture conference sponsored by
Washington State University
The conference took place
Saturday in 35 locations
across the Northwest and
Alaska, combining simultane-
ous broadcasts and onsite ses-
sions to pump up the financial
success of women in agricul-
“Farm financial manage-
ment really doesn’t mean
anything without keeping
records,” Robin Reid, an ex-
tension farm economist with
Kansas State University, said.
Some people just throw
receipts in a shoebox to take
to an accountant to file their
taxes. Instead, they need to de-
velop a habit of keeping up to
date, she said.
That means routine record
keeping, reconciling records
with bank statements, having
appropriate accounts for the
farm business and personal
activities and having sufficient
details to understand and ana-
lyze their business.
“Record keeping takes
time and effort. Once a year
won’t get it done effectively,”
she said.
While a balance sheet
shows net worth and an in-
come statement shows prof-
itability, a cash flow spread-
sheet evaluates feasibility. It’s
the recording of actual dollars
coming in and going out of the
business, and it can be used to
project inflows and outflows
on a monthly basis, she said.
The importance is in being
prepared for what’s coming
throughout the year, and the
projections are valuable in
managing the business, she
“Cash flow gives you a pic-
ture of your yearly budgeted
expenses and income. It eval-
uates feasibility and indicates
if, when and how much you
will need to borrow,” she said.
Having cash flow projec-
tions can help producers adapt
as changes occur during the
year. Farm managers can also
use it to compare actual ex-
penses and income with pro-
jections and monitor discrep-
ancies, she said.
Good farm records are crit-
ical to build cash flow projec-
tions. For someone who has
never done it, a good place to
start is with the line items on
the Internal Revenue Service’s
Schedule F form. But it is im-
portant to add in family living
expenses, she said.
A lot of times, struggling
farms are just spending too
much on family living expens-
es, she said.
LaVell Winsor, extension
farm analyst at Kansas State
University, agreed, saying liv-
ing expenses often catch farm
families off guard.
“This is a place we see
folks getting into trouble with
cash flow,” she said.
She recommends making
a family budget and sticking
to it.
Cash flow is a working
document that can be used to
anticipate shortages, and fam-
ily living is one place to de-
crease expenses, she said.
Other ways to cover a
shortfall could be savings, bor-
rowing from another business
the farm owns, microloans
through the Farm Service
Agency or a bank or selling
unused or underutilized assets,
she said.
Another method is using a
credit card, although it’s not
preferred and often comes
with a high interest rate, she
In addition to keeping
good records, she recom-
mends meeting with an
accountant regularly and
keeping key people such as
lenders in the loop for over-
all financial health.
Despite some wildfire
smoke and rain and frost at
the beginning and end of the
growing season, this year’s
potato crop quality is good
overall, growers and pack-
er-shippers say.
Good midseason growing
conditions, uninterrupted by
rains that can slow progress,
left potatoes in good shape to
weather subsequent challeng-
es. Smoke and frost caused
some damage, depending on
location and variety.
“They are just starting out
of storage, but so far things
look pretty good,” said Kev-
in Stanger, president of Wada
Farms in Pingree, in south-
east Idaho. Size looks good
overall; some lots are bigger
or smaller, “but overall it
looks like a nice, broad size
Handlers want to see po-
tatoes with a good color, no
major defects, and no signs
of disease or rot. He said a
“good, even-keel summer”
helped potato quality.
This year was an improve-
ment over the rainier 2017,
except for some reports of
freezing to the north when
potatoes were still in the
ground, Stanger said.
Todd Cornelison, who
owns packer-shipper High
Country Potato in Rexburg
and is a new member of the
Idaho Potato Commission,
said field frost in the first half
of October likely impact-
ed a small portion of Rus-
set Burbank potatoes still in
the ground in the area at the
time, probably less than 15
The risk is that the frost
penetrates the end of the po-
tato closest to the ground’s
surface, causes the interi-
or to break down, and lat-
er “weeps” moisture onto
neighboring potatoes in stor-
Brad Carlson/Capital Press
Just-harvested potatoes, largely for processing, in the Doug Gross
Farms shed in Wilder, Idaho, on Oct. 11. Growers say this year’s
crop is of good quality.
age, he said.
Burbanks unaffected by
frost look good, Cornelison
said. High Country Potato
was yet to handle any as of
Oct. 29, “but everybody I’ve
talked to says the quality is
very good, and also that the
size profile is a little small.
That might be due to some of
the smoke.”
Burbanks, he said, “just
tend to be more affected by
adverse weather conditions.
Burbanks are very tempera-
mental.” The variety is asso-
ciated with a higher percent-
age of interior solids than
Russet Norkotah potatoes.
Norkotahs, harvested be-
fore Burbanks, appear to
be unaffected by summer
smoke, Cornelison said.
“We start out each year
with Norkotah, and they have
shown the highest quality we
have seen in 10 years, in both
size profile and quality,” he
said. Yields have been in line
with long-term averages.
Last year, Idaho potato
quality looked fairly well ear-
ly on, “but harvest conditions
were challenging enough that
we might have beaten them
up a little getting them out,”
Cornelison said. “We didn’t
have that this year.
“Overall, I am excited
to run this crop,” he said.
“We’ve got a good-quality
Each year brings pota-
to-quality challenges in one
growing area or another, said
Idaho Potato Commission
Chairman Randy Hardy, a
grower in the Oakley area
of south-central Idaho, and
chairman of the Sun Valley
Potato Growers fresh-pack
“Overall, we have a pretty
good-quality crop,” he said.
“My own went just about as
well as any I’ve had.”
Yields per acre in south
central Idaho, Hardy’s re-
gion, probably were a little
better than those seen to the
east and north, he said.
“We did not have the
weather issues in the spring
that they had,” he said. “They
went in easier,” he said of po-
tato plantings, “and without
the rain, they were able to get
off to a faster start.”
Hardy’s farm, and some of
his neighbors’, tended to see
higher yields and larger sizes
in Norkotah.
Smoke may have slight-
ly reduced Burbank size and
yield, he said. “We didn’t see
them grow in August like we
typically would, and like we
were seeing in Norkotahs.”
Idaho Farm Bureau Annual meeting set Dec. 4-6
The Idaho Farm Bureau
Federation plans its 79th an-
nual meeting Dec. 4-6 at the
Riverside Hotel, 2900 W.
Chinden Blvd., Boise.
The Dec. 4 schedule, fol-
lowing registration that starts
at 9 a.m., includes a general
session luncheon featuring
President Bryan Searle and
CEO-Executive Vice Presi-
dent Rick Keller, and work-
shops and the IFBF Leader-
ship Conference starting at
1 p.m. Topics include IFBF
legislative policy, seed crop
technology, farm succession
planning, the new Farm Bu-
reau marketing partnership
with J.C. Management and
accessing satellite images of
field analytics.
Panelists will discuss
transportation issues and the
Young Farmers and Ranchers
Awards Banquet is scheduled
at 7 p.m.
Dec. 5 workshop topics
and events, from 7 a.m. to 7
p.m., include an update on
crop insurance; understand-
ing exports, trade and tariffs;
a House of Delegates session;
District Women’s Caucuses;
a Women’s Committee busi-
ness meeting; an awards lun-
cheon including the county
showcase, Women’s Awards
and the Farm Safety Minute;
a workshop by Saint Alphon-
sus Regional Medical Center
and the 7 p.m. Farm Bureau
Annual Banquet featuring the
President’s Cup Award.
The IFBF annual meeting
concludes Dec. 6 with the
County Presidents Breakfast
at 7 a.m., followed by director
elections, a House of Delegates
session, state board of direc-
tors’ and spouses’ luncheons,
and a state board meeting.
Full registration costs $186
per person before Nov. 15 and
$211 thereafter. Information:
Cara Dyer, 208-239-4235 or