Most Recent Blog Posts

Jan 27, 2015

Advice for teens who want to farm

At a recent event, David Kohl offered advice to teenagers who want to farm or be in the agriculture business. Focusing on different types of....More
Jan 20, 2015

Decision making with negative margins, part 2: Returning to positive margins

Let’s examine five-steps for returning to positive margins in your agriculture business, in no particular order. Some of these steps can be used to....More
Jan 13, 2015

Decision making with negative margins, part 1

The reality is setting in that some producers, particularly those in the grain sector, will experience negative margins in 2015, which is something....More
Jan 06, 2015

2015 Kickoff

Everyone has had their fill of football bowl games, and now we are into the college and professional football playoffs, which usually provide some....More
Dec 23, 2014

2014 in the rearview mirror: ag economy, technology, farm management

The year 2014 has truly been a time of transition for the agricultural industry and rural areas. While challenging, there will be more opportunities....More
Dec 16, 2014

Strategies for managing profit in agriculture during a down cycle

The reality has set in that grain prices, cash flow and profit margins will be modest at best. Whether this part of the cycle correction will be one....More
Dec 09, 2014

Agriculture financial management: Working capital burn rate

If your working capital burn rate is less than one year, it would be considered high risk. Above 3.5 years is indicative of a strong second line of....More
Dec 02, 2014

What happens when repayment fails?

Throughout the country many lenders and producers dealing with the grain industry may face situations when repayment is not possible this winter and....More
Nov 25, 2014

Repayment risk in a variable economic environment

Lessons from the past find that the stress point in business financials is repayment capacity given debt service commitments. Repayment capacity and....More
Nov 18, 2014

5 Characteristics of profitable farmers

The grain industry is taking a body blow punch as prices have moderated over the year. If the lower prices continue into 2015 and beyond, there will....More
Nov 11, 2014

Economic straight talk: The grain industry

The great commodity super cycle has burned out. It lasted for a decade, two and one-half times longer than any previous super cycle boom time over....More
Nov 04, 2014

Formal education in agriculture doesn't mean success

Too often young people attend a university for the degree rather than the education, which can be a waste of money and time. As a professor, I am not....More
Oct 28, 2014

Tips for farmer-lender meetings, communication

Recently, a farmer asked a panel I was a member of, “How often should farmers and lenders communicate during the year, particularly during the....More
Oct 21, 2014

Financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses

In many of my speeches I emphasize that better is better before bigger is better; that is, get efficient before you embark on growth. What is a good....More
Oct 14, 2014

What's the coverage ratio for your farm?

One of the key financial ratios that agricultural lenders use to determine repayment ability is the term debt and lease coverage ratio. It measures....More
What's Road Warrior?

Dave Kohl is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He can be reached at sullylab@vt.edu.

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