Farmers face financial uncertainty almost each year, with unexpected changes in the markets and unpredictable weather events.

Last year, farmers across the Midwest dealt with record rainfall and flooding. This year, they’re dealing with low commodity prices that have crept even lower amid the market disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One resource available to help producers gain a clearer understanding of their farm financial situation is the Farm Financial Planning Program at Iowa State University Extension.

Six financial planning associates are available to offer one-on-one financial counseling to those who request assistance, according to an Extension news release. The associates conduct a computerized analysis of the farm using FINPACK software, and make recommendations about specific ISU Extension specialists who may be able to help the operation improve.

“There is so much beyond producers’ control so with the help of the associates, the producer might be able to look at some options they’ve never considered before,” said Ann Johanns, program specialist in economics at ISU Extension.

The answer isn’t always what a producer wants to hear, but Johanns said the associates give an honest assessment about the path forward.

Farmers can locate a Farm Financial Planning Program associate in their area by contacting their ISU Extension county office or by visiting the Farm Financial Planning Program website at