Insights

Ag Conversations

The ag landscape is always changing, and you need reliable information you can depend on. Designed with you in mind, Ag Conversations covers topics important to you and your business — everything from how to successfully navigate the current tax environment to updates on court rulings and policy issues. Let your voice be heard. Join the conversation!


One-year anniversary of Ag Conversations
Sep 20, 2019

By Bradley Cook

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year since we launched Ag Conversations. And the past year in the world of agriculture has been a busy one. Looking back, here’s a small sample of what we’ve seen:

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The tax incentives available to producers who export
Aug 23, 2019

By Dustin Wiesner

While driving to the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Summer Trade Show event a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded how much our local farm communities rely on international markets to sell their products. 

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Blockchain in agriculture: Why tracing a mango to its source in 2.2 seconds matters!
Aug 19, 2019

By Girish M. Ramachandra

Ag producers are deeply committed to providing the world with safe, quality food. It comes as no surprise that there has been a consistent rise in the number of conversations about using blockchain technology in agriculture and the food supply chain.

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Reflecting on a century of change and looking toward the future
Jul 25, 2019

By Bradley Cook

In the Northwest, this year marks the 100-year anniversary of when Wipfli started helping ag producers. Hugh Galusha, Sr. started his firm (which became Galusha Higgins & Galusha) in 1919 in Helena, Montana, serving the tax and accounting needs of the area’s farmers and ranchers.

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Technology and Innovation in Agriculture: Starting the Conversation
Jun 25, 2019

By Dustin Wiesner

It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be starting. The annual event, hosted this year from July 23-25 on the Walter Grain Farm in Johnson Creek, is something the agriculture community in Wisconsin and surrounding states look forward to. Each year there is a different family farm that hosts the event, which moves around the state to spread the economic impact as well as highlight different sub industries within agriculture in Wisconsin.

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Optimizing Your Ag Accounting System Starts With Selecting the Right One
Jun 12, 2019

By Kailey El Meddah

The ag economy could certainly use an upswing. Unfortunately, the current downcycle is lasting longer than the average historical patterns. In the past, the market has been consistent with a three-year pattern, where we experience three years of prosperity followed by three years of a down market. We are currently in an 11-year cycle, of which we experienced seven years of prosperity followed by the current four plus years of a down market.

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Farm Tax Deductions and Other Changes: 2018 Tax Season Observations
Jun 06, 2019

By Curt Barnekoff

Ag producers in many states could use some relief from wet weather conditions delaying spring planting. Many of you are fighting the clock and calendar, and my thoughts are with you. You deserve a break — and maybe even some market stability.

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Cash or Accrual Accounting Method: Which Is Best for Ag Producers?
May 08, 2019

By Todd Kostman

For most farm and ranch owners, bookkeeping probably doesn’t top the list of their favorite chores. However, the financial health of your business depends on good financial records. Having your financials in proper order allows you to make better business decisions. Your accountant also appreciates accurate and complete records for tax planning and preparation as well as strategic planning purposes, and so does your lender.

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Six Tips for Working With Your Ag Lender
Apr 23, 2019

By Jeffrey W. Davey

For farm and ranch owners, your lender is an indispensable partner for your business and critical to the success of your operation. The key to successfully working with your lender is to realize it is an important relationship where mutual trust is necessary. But sometimes it’s not easy to know how to move forward, so we’ve put together six tips on how to build or maintain an optimal relationship with your lender:

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Cybersecurity Threats in Ag — a Growing Concern
Apr 11, 2019

By Robert D. Cedergren

Today’s agriculture practices are not the same as when I was a kid growing up on a large dairy farm in Minnesota. Sure, we had automation in our milking parlor and for some of our machinery, but we definitely were not dependent on the internet to operate our farm.

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What’s My Farm or Ranch Really Worth?
Mar 27, 2019

By Thomas E. Copley

What’s your farm or ranch really worth? If you’re an owner, chances are you’ve asked yourself that question a time or two, probably wondered about it for a few moments and then moved on to the next task on your list. However, it’s worth taking the time to answer this question, as there are a number of reasons to know and understand the value of your business, whether yours is a working farm or ranch, or any type business associated with agriculture.

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Could You Qualify for the R&D Tax Credit and Not Know It?
Mar 14, 2019

By Christina Schultz

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit has been around since 1981, and for many years it was a temporary measure that was renewed for a year or two at a time. In 2015 the tax code was enhanced and the credit became permanent. For many people, the term “R&D” conjures thoughts of lab coats and beakers. The good news is, you don’t need to wear a lab coat to qualify. It’s available to entities of all different sizes and in many different industries — including agriculture. The credit provides dollar-for-dollar reduction and creates an immediate deduction for tax purposes, providing additional cash flow.

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Economic Trends in Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities
Mar 04, 2019

By Jeffrey W. Davey

Agriculture is an industry impacted by many factors, including weather, production cycles, economic cycles, technology, government programs and trade policies. Earlier in this decade, Net Farm Income was more than $120 billion according to the USDA. Since then, due in large part to robust production volumes, the prices of several commodities have decreased significantly the past five years.

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A Formula for Transition Success: Assess, Collaborate and Implement
Feb 07, 2019

By Curt Barnekoff, Jeffrey W. Siler, Dana A. Springer

To assist you in creating and implementing your transition plan, Wipfli’s Business Transition Group (BTG) brings together a team of professionals with experience in succession and business transition planning, corporate planning and entity structure, estate planning and a depth of knowledge of the ag industry.

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Is Your Farm or Ranch Your Business — or Your Lifestyle?
Jan 28, 2019

By Curt Barnekoff, Jeffrey W. Siler, Dana A. Springer

Every farm or ranch will transition eventually, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. This blog is the first in a two-part series that will start the conversation about what you can do to make sure your transition is a successful one for both you and the next generation of operators.

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More Opportunities for Conversation
Jan 24, 2019

By Bradley Cook

Over the past several months, members of our ag practice have been attending and presenting at ag trade shows in the Northwest and Midwest. I find myself referring to the period between November and February as “convention season,” but I’d like to call it “conversation season.” It’s a busy time for me, but I always enjoy the time I get to spend with clients and friends in the industry and learn about what’s on your mind.

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Tips for Preparing Your Tax Information
Jan 09, 2019

By Kyle Perry

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December of 2017 was heralded as a tax simplification. While that may be true for an individual who earns a paycheck and little else, the reality is, for an agricultural business owner, the TCJA made things more complex. Having an experienced CPA preparing your taxes is more important than ever.

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Year-End Tax Strategies to Consider
Dec 11, 2018

By Jeffrey W. Siler

Now that crops are harvested, livestock are tended to and equipment is being addressed, it may seem a little late in the year to be looking at our financial strength and year-end tax planning. However, it may not be too late. Many new changes took place with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and many items are still available to us, particularly in the ag industry. These laws can assist you in obtaining your near and long-term goals. The following are items to consider as we near the end of the year.

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Should Farmers Pay Quarterly Estimated Tax or File by March 1st?
Dec 04, 2018

By Darcy D. Reum

You may have heard that farm tax returns are due by March 1, but you also may have heard that farmers are required to pay quarterly estimates. So which guideline do you need to follow?

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What You Need to Know About Health Insurance During Open Enrollment
Nov 29, 2018

By Darcy D. Reum

We are now in open enrollment season for health insurance for 2019, and many who work in the agriculture industry are wondering if there are any solutions for affordable health insurance. While the Affordable Care Act is still in effect, there is some reprieve from the penalties associated with not having insurance at all.

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How Farmers and Ranchers Can Begin Retirement and Business Transition Planning
Nov 14, 2018

By Todd Kostman

Retirement plans are a crucial component of any business transition plan. Saving today in a retirement plan allows for flexibility in when and how you transition your farm or ranch. What type of retirement plan you choose to invest in now can have a substantial impact as well.

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Ag Producers: Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of Year-End Tax Planning
Nov 01, 2018

By Amy Iverson, Jamie Hovey

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed in December 2017, has created many opportunities for ag producers. It has lowered rates for each of the seven individual tax brackets, created a flat 21% tax rate for C corporations and increased the personal standard deduction as well as the Section 179 deduction limit and bonus depreciation limit.

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Keeping a Pulse on Policy
Oct 11, 2018

By Curt Barnekoff

As we continue to keep a pulse on United States tariff and trade policies, it seems like new headlines sweep across the news cycle daily. In fact, I’m almost certain that more significant developments will arise between now and the day this article is published! The latest announcements indicated the U.S. has implemented its new tariff on Chinese products, and China responded almost immediately by imposing additional tariffs on U.S. goods. On a different note, the U.S. and South Korea recently signed an updated trade deal to which the American beef market is reacting positively.

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Why Farm and Ranch Owners Should Pay Attention to the New Section 199A Guidance
Sep 30, 2018

By Dustin Wiesner

The IRS recently issued new proposed regulations under Section 199A to clarify gray areas and change an unintended tax advantage for farmers who sell to cooperatives, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

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Welcome to Ag Conversations
Sep 16, 2018

By Bradley Cook

On behalf of Wipfli’s agribusiness team, I am proud to announce the launch of a new and exciting platform for sharing knowledge, perspectives and education with you: our blog, Ag Conversations! As its name suggests, we want this blog to be focused on you and the topics you care about most. The purpose of this platform is not just for us to talk about what’s happening in the industry — we’re here to listen.

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