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  • Jul 30, 2014
    video

    Farmland market outlook 1

    Todd Keuthe, University of Illinois, talks about the market for farmland. "Most farmland owners see it as a long-term investment," Keuthe says. "People are willing to pay 34 times what they expect to earn."...More
  • Jul 29, 2014
    blog

    Back to the Future, Part 3: Interest rates now vs. 1980s 1

    It is not only today’s low interest rates, but the fact that there has been little movement in rates over almost a half a decade which is interesting. The accommodative Federal Reserve, attempting to stimulate the general economy, has, in turn, stimulated the agriculture and rural economy, putting it on steroids with extreme appreciation in farmland values and a depressed dollar, which has been very beneficial to agricultural export markets....More
  • Jul 25, 2014
    blog

    Ideas you can use to reduce risk 2

    As a farmer, how do you reduce risk? Ideas to accomplish that include: planting offensive and defensive hybrids and planning for multiple alternate future scenarios. Take some time to think about how you might react to reduced rail transportation, expanded GMO bans, an increase in the grain supply outside of the U.S....More
  • Jul 22, 2014
    blog

    Can soybean demand keep grain prices afloat? 1

    I suspect with Chinese demand staying strong, some definite uncertainties remaining in Argentina and the entire month of August still ahead of our U.S. crop, the trade may take a bit slower approach to reducing price-risk. Producers should continue to keep hedges in place. Any rally back towards the $11.00 to $11.30 range must be viewed as an opportunity to reduce longer-term risk....More
  • Jul 22, 2014
    blog

    Candidate forums highlight Farmfest 1

    Farmfest 2014 will feature an exciting line-up of feature forums, including candidate forums for Minnesota governor, U.S. Senate and congressional candidates from Minnesota’s first, second, sixth and seventh districts. The forums will be held August 5, 6, and 7, in the Wicks Forum Building, near the center of the show site, which is located at the Gilfillan Estate, 7 miles southeast of Redwood Falls, Minnesota....More
  • Jul 22, 2014
    blog

    Back to the Future, Part 2: Ag lending and financial management 1

    An interesting trend in both the 1980s and today is that late in the economic cycle, many lending institutions saw opportunity in the agriculture industry, and thus came into the field of agriculture for profits....More
  • Jul 21, 2014
    video
    Corn and Soybean Digest

    Cost management strategies 1

    Michael Langemeier, associate director, Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University, talks about managing farm costs. He says growers need to seriously question new machinery purchases and that cash rents should be negotiated. Those two items can help control costs when commodity prices fall below breakeven levels....More
  • Jul 18, 2014
    blog

    Here’s a cash rent approach you can live with 2

    Sam Halcomb calculates a field’s revenue-generating potential, then offers a landlord 25-33% of that for cash rent. He’s found over the years that 25-33% accurately reflects a point where he can profit from current market conditions, while capturing present market values to satisfy the landlord....More
  • Jul 18, 2014
    video

    Marketing strategy for low-priced corn 1

    Matt Roberts, associate professor at Ohio State University, talks about marketing strategies for lower-priced corn. He says corn producers are going to have to be very tactical, as he doesn’t see the high corn prices coming back any time soon. Growers should focus on HTAs and maximize on-farm storage, he says....More
  • Jul 17, 2014
    video
    Corn and Soybean Digest

    Farmers: Be an advocate for agriculture 1

    Agriculture is becoming more and more distant, said David Kohl, professor emeritus, Virginia Tech University, when he spoke with CSD Editor Kurt Lawton at the Wyffels Hybrids Corn Strategies Conference at Wild Rose Farm, Inc., near Galesburg, Ill. “Anyone involved in the ag industry has to be an advocate; not only to other producers, but to the non-farm public,” he says....More
  • Jul 15, 2014
    video
    Corn and Soybean Digest

    The farmer as a CEO 1

    David Kohl spoke with CSD Editor Kurt Lawton about the farmer as a CEO, noting that profitable businesses have good people. From allocating profits to working capital and cost of production, as well as lender relationships, Kohl says that being proactive and having the right people around you is going to be critical for success....More
  • Jul 11, 2014
    blog

    Is it time to lock in propane prices? 1

    I continue to field calls from farmers asking about locking in propane prices. I think this is​ a​ very smart play and something I have definitely been recommending for the past couple of weeks, at least on ​a ​significant portion of your fall and winter needs. Personally, I think securing 70% of your estimated needs makes a lot of sense at these levels. ​ I am NOT saying we don't have the propane to meet our needs here in the US, because we do....More
  • Jul 11, 2014
    video
    Corn and Soybean Digest

    Grain farmers: Know your cost of production 1

    David Kohl, professor emeritus, Virginia Tech University, spoke that the Wyffels Hybrids Corn Strategies Conference at Wild Rose Farm, Inc., near Galesburg, Ill. Kohl stressed the importance of grain and livestock farmers knowing their cost of production in order to be successful....More
  • Jul 11, 2014
    Video
    Corn and Soybean Digest

    Corn market uncertainty 1

    Matt Roberts, associate professor at Ohio State University, spoke at the Wyffels Hybrids Corn Strategies conference in mid-July at the Wild Rose Farm near Galesburg, Ill. Here he talks about the uncertainty of the corn market and prices, adding that there is more uncertainty due to the possibility of corn being added back to livestock rations because of lower corn prices....More
  • Jul 9, 2014
    blog

    Make smart risk management moves when marketing soybeans 1

    Soybeans continue to try and break downhill slalom records (breaking over a $1.30 in the past 8 trading sessions) on thoughts of a mammoth new-crop coming down the pipe and talk that many U.S. crushers are claiming to have enough coverage to make it through August, possibly holding out until U.S. southern new-crop bushels hit the supply pipeline....More
  • Jul 8, 2014
    blog

    Back to the Future, Part 1: Farm economy in 1980s vs. 2010s 1

    One question during a recent forum discussion with ag lenders put me and other professors in the Back to the Future time machine to discuss the similarities and differences in the farm economy now compared to the 1980s....More
  • Jul 1, 2014
    blog

    Economic halftime report

    Globally, the economic slowdown of emerging nations along with unrest in Ukraine, and now Iraq, bears watching. Remember, spikes in oil prices have been a major contributor to every recession since 1969. Overall, both the domestic and global economies are muddling along, uninspired by central bank stimulus both here in United States and abroad....More
  • Jun 30, 2014
    blog

    Are farm land values headed for a downturn?

    The moderation in commodity prices, along with the potential for increases in ag real estate interest rates, will likely continue to put downward pressure on land values. Some farm management analysts have suggested that a combination of these factors could result in average land values dropping by as much as one-third from the highest levels in the next few years....More
  • Jun 27, 2014
    blog

    Judgment, farm experience impact your bottom line 1

    Technology is a great tool, but don’t discount your judgment. When and whether to enter a wet field, identifying broken tile, how you control spray drift, which surfactant to use, when to use glyphosate and at what levels, which stage of cereal rye is easiest to kill it off (avoid the tillering stage)…you get the idea. These judgment calls, based on your experience, are second nature....More
  • Jun 24, 2014
    blog

    Complacency: The Silent Killer 1

    Complacency can be the silent business killer. Peer analysis and benchmarking can be the catalysts that motivate managers to focus on aspects of the business that are done well, and then step outside with the advisory teams and other leading businesses to break into new territory, taking the business to a new level....More
  • Jun 24, 2014
    blog

    Soybeans continue to support the grain market 1

    It seems the soybean market has to deliver a spectacular performance each and every day or in general, the entire ag sector seems a bit disappointed. This bullish demeanor, or tilt to the market, in my opinion, has caused some traders to take several ill-advised shots on goal the past few months....More
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