More in Issues

  • Nov 20, 2014
    blog

    Be #thankful4ag!

    This month in particular, let's all be #thankful4ag. In doing so, go to thankful4ag.com, a cool website set up by Bayer CropScience. There, you can create a virtual holiday meal, learn some neat agriculture facts, and, the best part, help donate meals to those in need....More
  • Nov 18, 2014
    blog

    5 Characteristics of profitable farmers

    The grain industry is taking a body blow punch as prices have moderated over the year. If the lower prices continue into 2015 and beyond, there will be a “punch in the mouth” which will disrupt many producers’ strategic planning in the middle and later parts of the decade. A certain set of producers will still be profitable in the economic moderation. Let’s examine some of their characteristics....More
  • Nov 11, 2014
    blog

    Caution advised on high land rental rates 3

    Lower corn and soybean prices are causing some concern among farm operators, as they negotiate land rental rates for the 2015 crop year. Some 2015 land rental rates may be set at levels that do not offer much opportunity for profit potential from crop production in 2015, or could even result in a significant net loss to the farm operator....More
  • Nov 11, 2014
    blog

    Economic straight talk: The grain industry

    The great commodity super cycle has burned out. It lasted for a decade, two and one-half times longer than any previous super cycle boom time over the past century. The easy money has been made in the grain industry; however, top-flight managers can still earn a profit when they focus on production and operations, marketing, risk management, and, of course, carefully monitoring finances....More
  • Nov 4, 2014
    blog

    Formal education in agriculture doesn't mean success

    Too often young people attend a university for the degree rather than the education, which can be a waste of money and time. As a professor, I am not disputing the value of an education; however, some of the most motivated lifelong learners are outside a degree program and they often make very successful entrepreneurs....More
  • Oct 30, 2014
    blog

    More farmland in Africa?

    Corn and soybean farmers will face more price pressure once 247,100 square miles of productive African land enters production, according to a Wall Street Journal report....More
  • Oct 28, 2014
    blog

    Price increases could impact crop insurance payments for 2014

    Even with projected record U.S. production of both corn and soybeans in 2014, the market prices of both crops have risen during the month of October. While the recent improvement in grain prices is generally good news to crop producers, it could be costly to farm operators that will likely qualify for 2014 crop insurance indemnity payments....More
  • Oct 28, 2014
    blog

    Tips for farmer-lender meetings, communication

    Recently, a farmer asked a panel I was a member of, “How often should farmers and lenders communicate during the year, particularly during the planning season?” The panel recommended having a meeting during planning season followed by a quarterly or semi-annual assessment, along with a year-end evaluation, which is imperative to determine financial success....More
  • Oct 21, 2014
    blog

    Financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses 1

    In many of my speeches I emphasize that better is better before bigger is better; that is, get efficient before you embark on growth. What is a good financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses? One of my favorites is the operating expense to revenue ratio....More
  • Oct 14, 2014
    blog

    What's the coverage ratio for your farm? 1

    One of the key financial ratios that agricultural lenders use to determine repayment ability is the term debt and lease coverage ratio. It measures the amount of debt obligations (debt service which includes principal and interest), compared to the debt servicing capacity (net income plus interest and depreciation)....More
  • Oct 7, 2014
    blog

    Slipping farm profitability

    After stellar financial performance from a net farm income standpoint from 2009 to 2012, median net incomes are moving back to levels observed in the period between 2003 and 2008. In that era, median net farm income for the average group was typically in the $40,000 to $60,000 range....More
  • Oct 2, 2014
    blog

    Farmland movie on Hulu! 3

    I could not be more excited to get the news that the Farmland movie is on Hulu and Hulu Plus! I saw a pre-screen of the film in February at Commodity Classic, and the film was released to a limited screening in theaters in April and May. If you didn't have the chance to see it then, watch it now. Like right now. Stop what you're doing, and watch this incredible film....More

Continuing Education Courses
New Course

Accredited for 2 hours/CCA Soil & Water credits. The 2,000 member...

Keeping crop protection chemicals on the crop for which they are intended has been a...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×