Dec 16, 2014
blog

2014 Agriculture review, part 1: Planting and growing conditions

2014 will be remembered as the second crop year in a row with weather extremes and highly variable crop conditions in many areas of Minnesota and Iowa. A mid-September frost across a wide area of south-central Minnesota and north-central Iowa resulted in an early end to a growing season, which already featured later than normal maturing crops. The end result was some very disappointing corn and soybean yields in many areas of Minnesota and northern Iowa....More
Dec 16, 2014
blog

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, two, or even five years or more in duration, farmers and their lenders will have to manage through these economic white waters....More
Dec 15, 2014
blog

Why I believe corn, soybean prices will move higher

When you get major "headline-risk" like we are seeing in the energy markets, coupled with lower than normal trade volume, all bets are off in regard to traditional fundamental rhyme and reason....More
Dec. 11, 2014
poll

Did your land rental rates change for 2015? 9

As commodity prices have dropped, we'd like to know if your ag land rental rates are doing the same for 2015. Did the rate for your rented land decrease for the coming year? Did it stay the same? Or, did it actually increase? Have you not decided on a rental rate yet? Take our latest poll and let us know. And feel free to leave a comment about rental rate trends in your area.     ...More
Dec 9, 2014
blog

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 defense and of course, between one and 3.5 years would be considered acceptable, but not stellar. To say the least, this winter and next year will be a balancing act as farmers juggle quickly converting liquid assets to cash to keep their businesses in operation....More
Dec 9, 2014
blog

Fine tune 2015 profit margins for your farm: Land rental rates, production expenses

The combination of lower projected corn prices and soybean prices in 2015, together with nearly steady input costs for seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, will limit estimated potential returns over direct expenses and land costs, at average crop yields. Another major variable in breakeven levels in crop production are loan payments on capital investments such as farm machinery, facilities and land purchases....More

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