Farmers say they count on financing for success

Farmers say they count on financing for success.New survey points toward more crop input financing in the future

More than 80 percent of farmers say the availability of crop input financing impacts the success of their business. That’s based on a John Deere Financial survey of 267 farm operators from across the United States that examines how they use financing offers from input suppliers. Of those surveyed, almost 90 percent have used this type of financing on their operations.

The survey also suggests farmers will rely on more crop input financing in the future. For the 2014 crop year, 53 percent of those surveyed expect to use the same amount of financing as in previous years. This year 14 percent of farmers expect to use more financing than in past years, but when looking ahead five years the percentage using more financing jumps to 21 percent.

"To take advantage of growth opportunities, one must be able to source financing," said one of the farmers surveyed. Others cited cash flow pressure, lower grain prices and higher operating loan interest rates as reasons why they expect to use more crop input financing in the future.

"The survey results align with what we have seen in the marketplace," said Jayma Sandquist, vice president of marketing, U.S. and Canada, for John Deere Financial. "More and more farmers are taking advantage of options to spread out payments or get favorable interest rates when planning their crop input purchases."

The farmers surveyed use financing for a wide variety of inputs. Of those surveyed, 81 percent have financed crop protection products such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, while 58 percent said they financed equipment parts and service. Other inputs financed include seed (53 percent), fertilizer (46 percent), fuel (18 percent) and feed (13 percent). See chart below for details.

What agricultural inputs have you financed in the past?

What agricultural inputs have you financed in the past?
Source: John Deere Financial Input Financing Survey, 2014 (Percentages total more than 100% due to multiple responses.)

"I finance my fertilizer on my initial hay crop. This holds my finances steady until I sell my calf crop in May," one respondent said.

Special financing offers influence farmers' purchase decisions, the survey reveals. More than half of those surveyed said that financing offers would drive them to purchase more products. Only 32 percent of growers said financing had no impact on their crop input decisions.

Farmers said an attractive interest rate is the number 1 criteria for selecting agricultural input financing. Nearly half (48 percent) cited interest rate as the most important attribute, followed by flexible payment terms and fast and easy access to credit, each of which was mentioned as the top criteria by 14 percent of the growers surveyed.

For more information on crop input financing offers available in your area, visit