Retailers: Dealing With A Credit Crunch

As the nation’s financial system ground to a halt in 2008, most banks and lending institutions were still willing to extend credit to the ag market due to record commodity prices and increased yields. But according to Dave Sparks, regional manager for the commercial agribusiness group for CoBank, that was so last year.

“We are in a huge transition stage right now,” said Sparks, speaking at the annual Mid America CropLife Association meeting. “Nothing is the same as it was one year ago.”

Jeff Eggleston, general manager for Hintzsche Fertilizer, agrees. “We have not made any adjustments in the things we’ve done due to the financial crisis in the U.S.,” Eggleston says. “I guess my concern is how does this lack of available credit affect our customers on gaining operating lines of credit and us extending credit to them.”

Most industry insiders have this same concern, that banks and lending institutions will be extremely reluctant to do business with agriculture. “The average margin for retailers is so dependent on a number of factors that aren’t constant from year to year,” says Dan Kennedy, general manager for Ritter Crop Services. “There are going to be a lot of banks that won’t want to the risk of the uncertainty of growers spending and commodity prices staying high.”

Still, there is a note of hope. According to Ken Feaster, vice president for First National Bank of Omaha, ag credit will be hard to get in 2010, but not impossible. “Companies will need three things to get the credit,” says Feaster. “Liquidity, capital/equity, and a credible business plan.” He adds that seekers of ag credit should expect “100 more questions” from their lending institutions than in the past.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Retailers: Dealing With A Credit Crunch

  1. It is important for Banks to determine whether retailers are in a crunch because of market conditions or bad business practices. Extending credit to weak entities could put banks in the same position they were when they loaned to prospective homeowners who didn’t really qualify.

    Retailers need to understand the need for prudent management practices. Retailers will also need to review their current credit relationships with growers and make certain that they aren’t putting their operation at risk by extending financing to poorly managed operations. A strong portfolio of customers should help to justify credit and a weak customer base along with a cash-poor balance sheet will undoubtedly cause problems for some retail operations.

  2. It is important for Banks to determine whether retailers are in a crunch because of market conditions or bad business practices. Extending credit to weak entities could put banks in the same position they were when they loaned to prospective homeowners who didn’t really qualify.

    Retailers need to understand the need for prudent management practices. Retailers will also need to review their current credit relationships with growers and make certain that they aren’t putting their operation at risk by extending financing to poorly managed operations. A strong portfolio of customers should help to justify credit and a weak customer base along with a cash-poor balance sheet will undoubtedly cause problems for some retail operations.

CropLife 100 Stories

Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affected By Drought
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Wilbur-Ellis Sedgwick Grand opening 2015
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Sedgwick Location
September 9, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
CropLife 100GROWMARK To Build New Fertilizer Facility In Ayr, Ontario
August 31, 2016
GROWMARK announced plans Wednesday to build a new state-of-the-art fertilizer facility in Ayr, Ontario. It will be managed by FS Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
CropLife 100CHS Completes $10 Million Renovation Of St. Paul Agronomy Fertilizer Terminal
August 29, 2016
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has completed a $10 million Read More
Trending Articles
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Latest News
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsNY Times: Bayer-Monsanto a Bad Deal for Farmers
September 15, 2016
Via NY Times: Don Halcomb, a 63-year-old farmer in Adairville, KY, is expecting his profit to vanish this year, largely Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Merger Creates New Global Ag Giant
September 14, 2016
During the whole of 2016, many of the companies that do business in the agricultural industry have concluded the best Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More