Dallas, South Dakota
Joe and Brad Bolton raise cattle and grow grain on their farm in Dallas, South Dakota.
Input costs are a constant, and farmers like Joe and Brad Bolton are conscious of planning for a sustainable future.
A constant negotiation
No matter the price of beef, farmers must feed their cattle.
When prices are high, the Boltons have the opportunity to generate a profit on the products they sell, despite the input costs they must pay. However, when prices drop, profit margins decrease due to the ever-present input costs such as seed, feed and fertilizer.
Like all business owners, the Boltons constantly recalibrate their business plan to accommodate market costs and input prices.
As he plans for the future, Brad has to be realistic. “Today, it sure looks like tomorrow will be worse, and so on and so forth,” he said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see how people manage that challenge.”
Farm Credit support
When things get tough, like Brad predicts they will to continue to do, the Boltons rely on Farm Credit for support.
“If you have too much debt, you're not going to be able to manage the challenges,” he said.
Thanks to their relationship with Farm Credit Services of America, the Boltons have effectively navigated the balance of seeking credit to maintain the farm business without taking on too much debt.
“Farm Credit has been really good about teaching me to not get extended to a point where I can't get back when things get tough,” Brad said. “I feel very comfortable knowing that a Farm Credit team is behind us. I think we have our ducks in a row.”