Is It Time to Hire a Professional?

INDIANOLA, Iowa (DTN) -- Some proactive corn, soybean and livestock operators know they've outgrown their on-farm bookkeepers. Given demands for accrual accounting, monthly budget updates and "what if" scenarios should the farm economy continue to stall, they're hiring professionals.

When three large Midwest farmers couldn't afford to hire a chief financial officer individually, they decided to band together and split the cost. For a total of $150,000, they recruited a certified public accountant who had been a controller at a small manufacturer, hired a secretary, rented office space and offered a 401(k) retirement package.

What they got was someone to input all their cost accounting on each separate operation, track budget versus actual expenses/income, keep tabs on vendors, conduct feasibility studies and benchmark each...

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Are Drones Headed for Ag?

December 2, 2015

By John Harrington DTN Livestock Analyst

With recreational drones flying off the shelves, letters to Santa need to be mailed pronto. If estimates of nearly a million requests this season for the cool tech toy turn out to be accurate, the old boy stands to lose his Christmas cheer PDQ.

Personally, I "overnighted" my entire list to the North Pole several weeks before Thanksgiving, a rather long petition topped by a sweet little bird built for speed and equipped with a 4K UHD video camera. Assuming the local elves play ball and the neighbor's threat of a privacy suit is just talk, homeland security at the Harrington spread will soon be kicked to a whole new level.

Of course, as...

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