More in Management

  • 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 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 27, 2015
    blog

    Cash flow planning with PLC, ARC-CO, ARC-IC

    Those currently involved in doing cash flow planning may wonder what amount, if any, can be included in a cash flow projection for estimated farm program payments from the 2014 corn and soybean crop, and possibly for the 2015 crop year. There are many variables that factor in to the calculation of potential farm program payments; however, by knowing a few of the basics, a person can make a reasonable estimate of potential payments for 2014, as well as possibly for 2015....More
  • Jan 22, 2015
    blog

    Average cost of production: $4.23 corn, $10.96 soybeans 1

    How do your production costs look for the year ahead? Iowa State University just released its 2015 crop-production estimates, and I hope your figures look better than these guidelines. That won’t be easy, I’m afraid, but then actual costs can vary greatly....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 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
  • Dec 29, 2014
    blog

    Why climate deniers? 17

    My science brain is just plain confused. And I can’t wrap my head around the recent farmer survey that shows 31% of 4,778 farmers surveyed believe there isn’t sufficient evidence that climate change is occurring....More
  • Dec 23, 2014
    blog

    2014 in the rearview mirror: ag economy, technology, farm management

    The year 2014 has truly been a time of transition for the agricultural industry and rural areas. While challenging, there will be more opportunities to succeed in agriculture in the next decade than the last 30 years, but there will also be more opportunities to fail. A game plan including resiliency and agility will be the themes for 2015 and beyond for those moving to a higher level of management in the industry of agriculture....More
  • Dec 22, 2014
    blog

    2014 Agriculture review, part 2: Input costs, grain prices and farm economy

    This is the second of a two-part article highlighting what happened agriculturally in 2014. Last week’s article provided a review of 2014 crop production and weather conditions. This week we will focus on some highlights regarding input costs, grain prices and the overall farm economy for 2014....More

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