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Young farmers bring professionalism to the job

Young farmers at the Farmers for the Future Conference in Chesterfield, Missouri, Tuesday heard from several speakers who emphasize the importance of good financial records.

Kerry Knuth, who grows 1,900 acres of corn and soybeans near Mead, Nebraska, is one young farmer who's already doing just that.

Knuth described his managerial accounting system to more than 100 other producers. After about a year of using it, Knuth knows the profitability of each farm that he rents.

And he can quickly print out financial ratios for his business.

"If the banker calls, I can walk in and tell him right where we're at," he said.

Knuth also custom farms about 1,100 acres.

"The income looks great, but is it making money?" he asked.

He's trying to answer that question by tracking the labor and parts needed to the machinery used in his custom business.

Knuth said that his system of accounting "provides managers with information to make decisions."

He said that the software cost about $3,000 and that consulting help for setting up the system put the total bill at about $10,000.

Young farmers at the Farmers for the Future Conference in Chesterfield, Missouri, Tuesday heard from several speakers who emphasize the importance of good financial records.

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