More in Management

  • Jun 21, 2016
    blog

    Do NOT cash in your retirement account

    At a recent women’s conference on agriculture, I received several questions about cashing out retirement accounts. One woman's husband suggested cashing it in in order to purchase additional land that would generate higher returns than an investment account. In short, my answer was, “No! No! No!”...More
  • Jun 14, 2016
    blog

    Are U.S. farmers supported by government programs?

    Recently, I traveled outside the borders of the United States and a major question posed by farmers and bureaucrats was whether American farmers are still dependent on government support programs. In order to answer this question, we need to look at the numbers....More
  • Jun 7, 2016
    Article

    I can't plant milkWEEDS 1

    Now, I get it that supporting the beautiful Monarch butterfly is important. But when this video crossed my email and I actually clicked on the play arrow, I cringed -- because it actually shows the planting of milkweed, then watering and nurturing the "plants?"...More
  • Jun 7, 2016
    blog

    Ag issues in Canada 1

    Prices, regulations, transition and uncertainty are significant issues for any agricultural operation, regardless of its location. Only time will tell how the United States and Canada will progress through these issues; however, as part of a world that brings surprises with each turn, the global stage will certainly not be boring!...More
  • May 31, 2016
    blog

    Land values decline, continuing correction

    Based on recent data, there appears to be evidence that a reduction in average land values has been occurring in some regions of the U.S., including the Upper Midwest. Much lower corn and soybean prices in 2014 and 2015 have resulted in significant reductions in farm income levels, thus putting downward pressure on average land values in many areas....More
  • May 31, 2016
    blog

    Crop input costs are adjusting

    Is there any hope for reduction of crop input costs including cash rent expense? The short answer is yes. According to data, rent, fertilizer, fuel and drying costs are slowing decreasing, says David Kohl....More
  • May 24, 2016
    blog

    Willingness to repay: Ag loan repayment plans

    With more farmers incurring negative margins, the "willingness to repay" will be increasingly scrutinized, and could be a challenge. Therefore, a plan B, or perhaps plan C, may be needed to meet commitments on a timely basis....More
  • May 16, 2016
    blog

    You're not special: The value of customer service 1

    Unfortunately, human interaction is often an overlooked skill. Whether it is a farmer, rancher, lender, supplier or agribusiness professional, the art of one-on-one interactions can be a competitive advantage....More
  • May 10, 2016
    blog

    5 considerations for fixed vs. variable interest rates

    Now that interest rates have increased, many producers want to know whether they should fix interest rates on their loans or continue on with a variable rate. Here are five considerations when making that choice for your farm loan....More
  • May 3, 2016
    blog

    Recession impact on Baby Boomer retirement from farm business

    The best approach to a retirement decision starts personally and requires examination of several factors. A plan that is thoughtful and thorough in considering goals, health, expenses and income is a good start in the right direction....More
  • Apr 29, 2016
    blog

    Save the whales…I mean nutrients

    I haven’t lost my marbles and started cruising the high seas on a Greenpeace ship. However, I did accept an invitation to meet with an environmental group during Commodity Classic....More
  • Apr 26, 2016
    blog

    2016 Custom farming agreements: Rates advantages and agreement basics

    Although the concept of a custom farming agreement is simple, close communication between the custom operator and the landowner is essential. A written contract for the custom farming agreement should definitely be prepared....More
  • Apr 26, 2016
    blog

    Farmers must manage variable and fixed costs in 2016

    Yes, costs do lag prices in decline, but they are resetting. In the meantime, producers must cover variable and fixed expenses in order to continue daily operations and management....More

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