Jul 3, 2012
blog

Liquidity and Leverage: The Next Farm Financial Crisis

In the last article, a series of questions and answers concerning liquidity of farm businesses was discussed. For the most part, producers are building higher levels of working capital measured by the working capital to gross revenue ratio. Levels of working capital varied by farm enterprise and farm size, while very little variation was noticed by age group....More
Jul 3, 2012
blog

Head-High Corn by July 4

For generations, the standard measure for corn growth was “knee-high by fourth of July,” which meant that the corn plant should be able to produce a crop for that year. Of course, most farmers a couple of generations ago had much lower yield goals for their corn than the farmers of today. Today, waist/shoulder high corn by July 4 is a more typical, and has resulted in some very good corn yields in most areas in recent years. It is difficult to get exceptional corn yields in the southern half of Minnesota or in Iowa, if corn is only knee-high or smaller on July 4....More
Jul 3, 2012
blog

Transition to El Niño Brings Midwest Drought

El Niño and La Niña are the troublesome duo responsible for the lack of rain in the majority of the Midwest, according to Dev Niyogi, climatologist and professor at Purdue University, who spoke at the Brock Summer Seminars in Lafayette, IN and Bloomington, IL....More
Jun 28, 2012
blog

Let's Get Digital: Stay Heat-Safe with Smartphone App 29

There's no secret: It's hot out! There have been several heat waves crossing the Corn Belt this summer. We're starting one in Minnesota right now. Ninety-plus-degree temps make for not only uncomfortable working situations, but unsafe. We know there is LOTS to do in the field and outside each day for farmers. But, be sure to take the time to drink water, rest and seek shade when the heat index soars. You'll obviously be more efficient if you rest now and then than if you suffer from a heat illness and end up inside on the couch for the day....More
Jun 26, 2012
blog

What is Happening with Working Capital? 1

At a recent Farm Credit University face-to-face meeting, Ronnie Hucks of AgFirst Farm Credit Bank asked me, “What is happening with working capital?” Let us dig deeper into his question building upon the data summaries provided by the combined databases of the Minnesota farm management education programs....More

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