Managing the family business, as well as the family and business relationships can feel like navigating through a storm. If this describes how you feel at times, you’re not alone. The stressors like weather, lack of sleep, breakdowns, employee issues, etc. pile on to the existing and often underlying business or family issues.

Over the past year or so, the game has changed a bit, the floor seems to keep shifting and managing risk on the farm through these interesting times is more challenging than it has been in the past, and for some producers perhaps their entire farming career. Farmers can take various risk management steps to protect their business from major risks.

Risk Management Strategies:

  1. A farm financial assessment that is thorough, detailed and based on accurate and timely data provides the information required to identify financial risks.

  2. Having a farm market value net worth statement and personal net worth statement that is updated annually is key to knowing where things are at.

  3. Ensuring financial statements, corporate and personal income tax and day to day record keeping is current, and available for management decision making and creditor requirements, will reduce the risk of making uninformed decisions or credit decisions that don’t meet your needs.

  4. Calculating your sources and uses of cash. Analyzing your short-term commitments, and measuring that against your options to service those commitments, will help you identify areas of strength, as well as areas that may need to be amended.

  5. Have at least 50% of the projected operating expenses covered by your own working capital at the beginning of the productive season. Having a strong working capital position allows greater flexibility with commodity marketing, improves the ability to meet cash flow commitments on time and reduces interest costs and risk.

  6. Knowing your monthly cash flow situation at least 12 to 18 months in advance provides you with the information you need to deal with timing issues well in advance of them occurring.

  7. Knowing what your living expenses are and how they affect your bottom line is key to managing cash flow.

  8. Knowing your cost of production is key to being able to identify opportunities to make appropriate changes, reduce costs and improve profit margins.

  9. Creating a marketing plan that is based on acceptable, favourable and survival price targets and is designed to meet your cash flow needs will keep you on track and reduce the risk of making emotional decisions based on price or timing. Use your monthly cash flow and the cost of production calculations to design a marketing plan that is specific to your timing commitments and profitability goals.

  10. Improve profitability, overall financial health, and relationships with creditors while reducing risk, by paying close attention to your credit portfolio. Use the right revolving credit options for maximum flexibility and minimum cost, while being mindful of the term debt portfolio details, future debt service relief and leverage positions. Knowing what your credit situation is, and what your options are, will help you make informed decisions and reduce financial risk.

  11. Keep relationships strong with your creditors by establishing and maintaining clear and consistent communication. If you expect a change in your financial situation, due to poor crops, delayed harvest, delayed delivery, a change in your seeded acres, etc., talk to your primary creditors about it early, so they can help you set up the best credit solution for your situation.

  12. Insurance and government programs are an excellent way to reduce financial and market risk. Crop insurance, hail insurance, revenue insurance, production cost insurance, AgrInvest and AgriStability are all options available to help you manage the risk of crop failure, rising costs, reduced commodity prices, marketing issues and other financial shortfalls.

Lack of financial knowledge can erode confidence and have a negative impact on management decisions and relationships, causing increased stress levels and challenges to your mental health and overall wellness. My clients have found that taking a pro-active approach and having a solid understanding of their overall financial situation enables them to make decisions and manage their business with confidence and peace of mind, while significantly improving their relationships with creditors and reducing stress for themselves and their families.


Good afternoon,

Managing the family business, as well as the family and business relationships can feel like navigating through a storm. If this describes how you feel at times, you’re not alone. The stressors like weather, lack of sleep, breakdowns, employee issues, etc. pile on to the existing and often underlying business or family issues.

Over the past year or so, the game has changed a bit, the floor seems to keep shifting where managing risk on the farm through these interesting times is more challenging that it has been in the past, and for some producers perhaps their entire farming career. Farmers can take various risk management steps to protect their business from major risks.

Risk Management Strategies: To read the 12 risk management strategies and the rest of the article, click here.

Government Covid-19 Assistance:

Canada Business Emergency Account: New updates on May 19, now allow for sole-proprietors as well as corporations to qualify for this $40,000 loan, where 25% is forgivable if 75% is repaid by December 21, 2022 .Canada Business Emergency Account

Canada Employment Wage Subsidy: As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 24 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to August 29, 2020. The CEWS application is available through your CRA MyBusiness Account.

Temporary Payroll Remittance Relief: The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to CRA. Temporary Payroll Remittance Relief

Phone Coaching: In addition to consulting, meeting facilitation, and family communication coaching, FMI offers phone, or virtual meeting, financial coaching packages. Contact me to start a discovery discussion about how I can help you navigate with confidence and peace of mind.

Peer Group: We are accepting applications for peer group participants. The next peer group meeting is scheduled for July 22 and 23 in Saskatoon. For more information about how belonging to a group of your peers can help you manage your business and relationships more successfully, or to apply to be added to an established group, please contact me.

Presentations and Learning Events: I will be presenting or facilitating at the following events. If you would like me to speak at your industry or organization’s event, let me know and we can talk about how my speaking topics may fit with your group’s agenda. Event updates are posted at filipchuckmanagement.com, so feel free to check there for the latest updates.

Yorkton– CAFA Parkland Chapter Meetings - Fourth Wednesday of September to November, 2020 and January to June, 2021

Virden– Feb 18, 2021 - Managing Through the Storm Seminar

Yorkton– Feb 25, 2021 - Managing Through the Storm Seminar

Mental Health: It has been a very challenging year or so for many farm families and it is only natural that you or someone you know may be feeling additional stress. It takes strength and courage to recognize the increased signs of stress and ask for help or support someone who is in need of assistance. 24/7 crisis counselling is available at the numbers below.

SK Farm Stress Line & Rural Support: 1-800-667-4442

MB Farm & Rural Support Services: 1-866-367-3276

Would you like more help expanding your financial knowledge, increasing your confidence and improving your family and business relationships? Contact me to learn about my farm financial and strategic planning, intensive debt management and farm family business coaching!

If you know someone who would like to have my emails, send me their contact information, or have them reply to this e-mail. There is no obligation or cost and they can unsubscribe if they wish. The greatest compliment that I can receive from my clients is their trust and to introduce others who I may be able to help. So Thanks!

I routinely post information that I find interesting and valuable, for my followers on Twitter @DFilipchuck and LinkedIn. Follow or connect with me on those sites to see what "makes the cut". To read my published articles and newsletters visit me at filipchuckmanagement.com.

Wishing you and your family a successful growing season with good health and wellness.

This article was part of a CAFA feature that can be found in the March 17 Edition of Country Guide.

Managing the family business, as well as the family and business relationships can feel like navigating stormy waters through the rocks. If this describes how you feel at times, you’re not alone. The usual harvest time stressors like weather, lack of sleep, breakdowns, employee issues, etc. pile on to the existing and often underlying business or family issues.


Lack of financial knowledge can erode confidence and have a negative impact on management decisions and relationships, causing increased stress levels and challenges to your mental health and overall wellness.


A quick way to take a pulse check and a get an indication about the working capital and cash flow situation is by calculating your sources and uses of cash. Analyzing your short-term credit requirements and measuring that against your options to service those requirements, will help you identify areas of strength, as well as areas they may need to be amended, to ensure you will have adequate timing of cash flow over the next 12 to 18 months.


Be mindful of the type of credit available and if this will sufficiently meet your needs without sacrificing profit. Consider your actual working capital and the timing of marketability. If there is a delay in your ability to deliver, or you choose to store your inventory longer in search of a stronger market, do you have sufficient cash resources, or available credit to manage this successfully?


A useful tool to help you answer this question, provide financial clarity, and help you navigate, is the monthly cash flow analysis. This is a worksheet outlining all the cash inflows and outflows per month.


Knowing your cash flow situation at least 12 to 18 months in advance provides you with the information you need to assess your cash situation and deal with timing issues well in advance of them occurring. It also allows you to align new or existing loan payments, create a marketing plan that aligns with your commitments, or plan to strategically deal with surplus cash flow or potential shortfalls.


Analyzing your cash flow and working capital situation should be done in conjunction with your credit portfolio review and prior to any additional cash withdrawals, down payments, new loan payments, etc. Start with a whole farm historical and forecast analysis of cash inflows and outflows and then drill down into the month by month analysis. The previous year’s cash flow from your accounting program will be helpful in creating your cash flow projection.


Identifying an area of concern is the first step in working towards a solution. Although there are many similarities, every farm situation is unique and a strategy that considers the goals and vision of the farm and the family members, in addition to other financial indicators, will yield the best results and solution for your business. Taking a pro-active approach to ensuring you have sufficient cash flow will reduce the risk of cash flow shortfalls and help to strengthen relationships with creditors and suppliers.


My clients have found that having a solid understanding of their overall financial situation enables them to make decisions and manage their business with confidence and peace of mind, while significantly improving their relationships with creditors and reducing stress for themselves and their families.



As a Farm Management Consultant, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Certified Agriculture Farm Advisor (CAFA), and a Farm Debt Mediation Financial Expert, I provide leading edge management consulting services, tools and resources to farm families and individuals. I specialize in farming, family communication, financial planning, intensive debt management, meeting facilitation, strategic business and transition planning.

I routinely post information that I find interesting and valuable, for my followers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow or connect with me on those sites to see what "makes the cut".

© 2020 Filipchuck Management Inc.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn