May 1, 2012

Perspectives From Canada 1

My road warrior travels recently took me north of the border to Canada. It is amazing how many Americans know so little about our biggest ally to the North. I laugh when U.S. weather maps stop at the U.S./Canadian border like Canada does not exist. The 10 Percent Rule applies to Canada as compared to the U.S.: the Canadian population is 10% of the U.S. population; the Canadian economy is 10% of the U.S. economy; and farm and ranch numbers and agriculture are about 10% of U.S. agriculture....More
May 1, 2012

Corn Planting Progressing Rapidly

The corn crop in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa is being planted in very rapid fashion when soil conditions are fit for planting. During a four-day period from April 24 to 27, nearly ideal planting weather resulted in a large amount of corn being planted in most portions of south-central Minnesota. Crop experts have estimated that as much as 15% of the corn grown in a given area can be planted in one day, when field and soil conditions are at optimal levels....More
Apr 24, 2012

How Much Working Capital Do Farmers Need? 1

The other day a producer asked me an interesting question. With all the emphasis on working capital and cash lately, how much should you keep on hand? First, we must ask some specific questions. In this case, the farmer indicated that he would need a $1 million operating line of credit to purchase inputs for his 1,400-acre farm. Next, discussion focused on the lender’s advance rate. In this case the lender would loan up to 70% of the value of the producer’s assets on inputs for the operation. The lender requires the borrower to come up with 30% to margin the loan....More

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