Navigating a Challenging Farm Economy

A meeting on August 2nd, 2019 in Kalamazoo County will focus on helping farmers identify tools that can help them weather through the economic and production impacts faced this season.

A farmer using his tractor to plant crops
Farmer planting corn in SW Michigan

The 2019 crop season has certainly been one for the record books as farms faced a significant amount of stress from extreme rainfall and delayed planting.  Foreign trade concerns and the impacts to commodity markets have continued to add to these stresses.  Farms in southwest Michigan have experienced these events firsthand as they struggled with the decision to take preventative planting or finish putting in a late crop. 

Now as those decisions have been made and the planters are beginning to be put away for the year, the focus turns to the rest of the growing season.  These same producers are starting to ask other questions as they now face a new set of stresses. 

  • Do we dare market with the crops we have planted?
  • Does crop insurance still offer any protection for the crops we planted late?
  • Will we have enough to cover our expenses or make our debt payments?

Michigan State University Extension will be hosting a meeting entitled “Tools to Navigate a Challenging Farm Economy” to provide farmers with some answers and food for thought to address these pressing concerns.  The meeting will be held on Friday, August 2nd from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM at Greenstone Farm Credit Services, 225 W. Lyons Street, Schoolcraft, MI 49087.  Among the topics addressed will be:

  • FSA Updates (Sharon Hoch, USDA Farm Service Agency)
  • Crop Insurance Considerations in a Challenging Year (David Colville, Colville Insurance Agency)
  • Finding Financial Success in Uncertain Times (Jon LaPorte, MSU Extension)
  • Farm Financing – Know Your Options & Their Uses (Sara Trattles, Greenstone Farm Credit Services)
  • Weathering the Storm (Holly Tiret and Jon LaPorte, MSU Extension)

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required as seating is limited.  Please register online by July 31st at to reserve your seat.  Lunch will be provided and is sponsored by Greenstone Farm Credit Services. 

Contact Jon LaPorte ( or 269-445-4438) or Eric Anderson ( or 269-467-5510) for more information.

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