More in Business

  • Feb 13, 2015
    blog

    Market dynamics to push soybean prices higher

    As I pointed out weeks ago, politics and logistics can often be more of an uncertainty in South America than actual production. As long as the world needs or is relying on South America for supplies, the trade could remain nervous....More
  • Feb 10, 2015
    blog

    Farm program deadlines approaching

    The deadline to finalize decisions on base acre reallocation and updating payment yields at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices is Feb 27. The deadline for producers to complete the farm program choice on each farm unit, and potentially on each eligible crop, is March 31....More
  • Feb 10, 2015
    blog

    Ag borrowers who will struggle, part 1

    In the coming years, there will be ag borrowers who will struggle. Three specific groups to watch are those businesses that utilized too much of their profits and working capital to purchase land, those who acquired machinery to reduce income taxes and those with high debt levels....More
  • Feb 6, 2015
    blog

    The secret to improving your grain marketing

    Anybody can market $8 corn but it takes a great marketing plan to market $4 corn. Know your strengths and weaknesses; consistency is key to your corn and soybean marketing plan. Make a strong commitment to executing your marketing plan....More
  • Feb 3, 2015
    blog

    Does corn rally give us a chance to market old-crop bushels?

    Those producers who are still holding old-crop bushels need to be considering all the moving parts and specifics that apply to your particular area and situation. Make sure you are talking with your advisor about best-of-practice ways to be limiting your remaining downside risk....More
  • Feb 3, 2015
    blog

    Do you know your cost of production?

    Many producers, including larger operations, quickly get themselves into a serious financial condition if they are complacent and fail to monitor financial records. A good CEO producer will generally have a good idea where they stand financially at any point in time....More
  • Feb 2, 2015
    blog

    8 Tips for risk management in 2015

    It appears we are definitely likely to see much tighter profit margins in corn and soybean production in 2015 and beyond, as compared to profit levels in recent years. These tighter margins can be manageable for farm operators that pay attention to farm operating expenses, land costs, overhead costs, etc., and have a good handle on what their breakeven market price levels are....More
  • Jan 30, 2015
    blog

    Will lower crude oil prices increase soybean sales to China? 1

    I continue to believe the herd has taken on a "sell the rallies" type mentality. This will obviously keep a lid on prices and make getting back above $10 near-term a tough task....More
  • Jan 27, 2015
    blog

    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 education and classes, he encouraged students to take a variety of classes, focus on the good professors and to complete internships outside of their region and country....More
  • Jan 23, 2015
    blog

    Will strong corn exports push acres higher?

    On the supply side of the equation, most sources are talking about U.S. producers perhaps going back with more corn next year. The fall in soybean prices coupled with the new farm bill policy, corn has quickly become a more viable option....More
  • Jan 22, 2015
    blog

    Winter: Time to ponder

    Ahh the doldrums of January are upon us. Time to ponder your agronomic practices, tinker with equipment and fine-tune the business plan given the current state of commodity prices....More
  • Jan 20, 2015
    blog

    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 build efficiency in profitable businesses as well....More
  • Jan 16, 2015
    video
    Corn+Soybean Digest

    Tips for saving fuel, energy on the farm

    Energy costs may not be your largest expense on the farm, but it's one that you can jump in on and make a fairly large impact without changing productivity, says Mark Hanna, Extension ag engineer at Iowa State University. He offers ideas for conserving fuel, including reduced tillage passes, shifting up, front-wheel assist and hybrid choice and drying....More
  • Jan 13, 2015
    blog

    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 not experienced in many years. How can a producer troubleshoot their business and work with their lender when margins are tight, or even negative?...More
  • Jan 13, 2015
    blog

    Management strategies for 2015

    In 2015, crop revenues are likely to be significantly reduced compared to revenue levels in recent years. 2015 crop input costs for seed, fertilizer, and chemicals are likely to be similar to 2014 levels, and land rental rates will likely remain fairly high, which adds more risk to 2015 crop production....More
  • Jan 9, 2015
    blog

    Cutting through the details: My thoughts on Monday's USDA data dump

    Moral of the story, don't overthink this market and do not get overly convicted to your preconceived ideas or thoughts. This is simply about reducing your risk and turning a profit. The easier you can accomplish this goal the better your going to be....More
  • Jan 6, 2015
    blog

    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 surprises and upsets. This is much like thinking ahead about what to expect in 2015. The following are a few of the thoughts and perspectives that you may want to consider in your planning or conversations with your business partners....More

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