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  • Aug 4, 2014
    blog

    Strategies for handling tighter margins in agriculture 1

    A young agricultural lender recently asked, “With tighter margins anticipated in the future, where should producers focus their energy to maintain viability of their operations?” While there is no one strategy to fit all, the following is some advice that can be applied regardless of the business cycle or business enterprise....More
  • Aug 1, 2014
    blog

    Weather helping soybean yield 2

    Several well respected sources think that we could see the current USDA bean yield estimate of 45.2bpa, be pushed higher by up 3-4%, meaning a 46.5bpa to 47bpa, may not be out of the question. A jump in yields that substantial could push ending stocks north of 500 million bushels and prices below $10.00....More
  • 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

    Will weather and money flow support corn prices? 6

    There is a huge amount of dry powder on the side line to push prices higher if the weather can provide some questions on the way to the finish line. Even with the cooler temps and limited moisture going into the final stages of corn production, yields could see some of the top knocked off and support prices....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 4

    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 2

    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 2

    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+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+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 17, 2014
    video
    Corn+Soybean Digest

    Land risk management 1

    CSD Managing Editor Susan WInsor spoke with Mike Boehlje, distinguished professor at Purdue University, about managing land risk. Boehlje talked about buying new land and making sure farmers know the economic value. He also talked about renting land, and the adjustments to be made in leaner years. Boehlje reminds growers to NOT lock in a high price, and suggests that sometimes renting is better than buying, due to the cost....More
  • Jul 15, 2014
    video
    Corn+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 15, 2014
    blog

    Corn, soybean prices drop after July WASDE report 2

    The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report released July 11 provided more negative numbers for future corn and soybean prices. The report showed significant increases in the projected ending stocks for both corn and soybeans by Sept. 1, 2015. The report also verified the expectations for very good to excellent 2014 national corn and soybean yields in the U.S. Corn and soybean market prices have dropped dramatically in the past few weeks, which will likely have a significant financial impact on farm operators in the Upper Midwest....More
  • Jul 11, 2014
    blog

    Is it time to lock in propane prices? 5

    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+Soybean Digest

    Grain farmers: Know your cost of production 2

    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+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

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