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October 2018

Dear Norm,

Harvest Sunset 3
 The sunset of harvest and "software saving time."

 We hope you're having a safe and productive harvest season. Here's what's new:

  • "Software Saving Time" Sunsets on November 30.
  • Highlights from the Farm Financial Standards Annual Conference.
  • FBS users in The Wall Street Journal and Pork Powerhouses.
  • Finding Your "Lost" Data.                                                                                                                                                                                                             SDG

"Software Saving Time" Sunsets on November 30 

As you're preparing to turn back your clocks for the end of  daylight saving time also prepare for the end of "software saving time" on Friday, November 30 as FBS initiates a 30% across-the-board price increase, our first this century.

November Calendar

However, you can still lock in "pre-Millennial" prices by calling 800.437.7638 or emailing by November 30th. 

Integrating Ag Technology Data with Financial and Managerial Accounting

The following is a summary of a presentation entitled "Financial and Management Accounting Software--Developments, Implementation Challenges, and Integration Issues" made in July 2018  to the Farm Financial Standards Council Annual Conference in Champaign, Illinois.

Over the next few issues of FarmSmart we’ll attempt to answer these questions:

  • What do we do that’s unique?
  • Who do we work for?
  • What are the current technical tools of the trade?
  • How we can support and leverage the Standards?
  • What are the challenges to adoption?
  • What are the opportunities for agricultural producers?

What We Do That’s Unique

FBS's mission statement is Integrated Information Systems (what we do) for Agriculture’s Top Managers (who we work for).

Let’s begin with who we “work for.”  FBS users are among the most progressive, demanding and complex farming operations in North America.  You'll find examples of them nearly every month in the "FBS Users In the News" stories.  These operations are managing diverse enterprises, and all are constantly growing in scale and accounting sophistication. Many are nationally-recognized leaders in their fields and some have be selected for awards such as Farm Journal Top Producer of the Year.

What’s the big deal about integration?

If you’re like many growing, progressive producers your scale and complexity are working against you because this vital information is housed in separate “silos” consisting of unconnected accounting and production software supplemented by countless spreadsheets.


Integrated Silos


These information silos exist to accomplish specific information goals:

  • Cash accounting for taxes.
  • Accrual accounting to accurately measure true profitability.
  • Production records for insurance compliance and to evaluate best management practices.
  • Inventory control to verify what’s available to sell and what’s been used.
  • Cost/management accounting to determine your farm’s internal costs and margins.
  • Budgeting to financially project your operation into the future.
  • Benchmarking to standardize and compare your performance  with industry leaders.
  • And ownership accounting to automate and consolidate your complex business relationships.
Although each of these information silos share the same source data they appear to be incompatible in their timing and precision.  For example:
  • Cash and accrual accounting rely on different transactions in the same time period

  • Crop and livestock production cycles rarely correspond to calendar years.

  • Financial accrual adjustments don't tie out to field and group production/management level detail.

    Next month we’ll look at the current “technical tools of the trade” that address these problems.  Meanwhile we invite you to watch our introductory "Farm Software Success Through FBS" video

FBS Users in the News 

In the September 28, 2018 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Iowa farmer  and Iowa Pork Producers Vice President of Producer Services, Mike Paustian, responded to the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program in the feature article, Farmers Say Aid Won’t Cover Tariff Damage (Watch the great combine drone video!)

Mr. Paustian said he appreciates what he sees as a goodwill gesture from the Trump administration. But he said he worries the trade fights will close doors to American pork and other farm goods while the world’s appetite for meat is growing.

“’This payment isn’t going to save anybody’s life,’ Mr. Paustian said. ‘It’ll soften the blow a little bit.’”

Pork Powerhouses

Congratulations to these FBS clients who made Successful Farming Magazine’s 2018 Pork Powerhouse list:

  • The Carthage System
  • Schwartz Farms
  • Wakefield Pork
  • Eichelberger Farms
  • Fine Swine
  • Hord Livestock Company
  • J.C. Howard Farms
  • Heimerl Farms
John Howard  

Also read this link to Successful Farming’s interview with J.C. Howard Farm’s owner John Howard and learn how this North Carolina operation has grown from a traditional tobacco farm to a diverse operation that’s not only a Pork Powerhouse but also has expanded into row crops and John Deere dealerships. 

“Lately, the Deep Run native may be most well-known as Vivian Howard’s dad. Vivian is the Peabody Award-winning cocreator of the PBS TV show A Chef’s Life, and author of the New York Times bestseller Deep Run Roots.”


Q&A: Finding Your "Lost" Data

Sarah Dixon, FBS Sales and Support Coordinator

Q.  I can't find my data!  I think the system must have deleted it.  What do I do now?

A.   This is a very common call we get on the support line, usually a few times every week.  The first thing to remember is that FBS will never delete your data.  (Even if you accidentally click the Delete Company button the system will warn you first before permanently erasing the data file.) 

Most likely the issue is that you are not pointing to the correct folder where your data is saved. 

When you open FBS the first screen that comes up is the Select Company screen. 

Select Company Screen

This screen displays the data path in the right window.  If you know where your data was previously saved you can quickly repair this by clicking on the correct directory.  If you aren’t sure where your data path is then this is an ideal time to note what's displayed in the right window when you launch FBS.  Normally we recommend that your data be saved in a folder called "Data” which is stored under the program folder.  Depending on when your FBS software was first installed that folder could be named "FBSWIN11," "FBSWIN" or "FBSWIN81."  On a stand-alone computer the data drive is most likely C but could be any drive letter or path if FBS is installed on a network. 

MACH 2.0 2017
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