More in Issues

  • May 27, 2014
    blog

    Economic indicators and confusing signals 1

    The U.S. economy is showing mixed signals. The lead economic index (LEI) which foretells the future of the economy has been increasing in recent months, most recently up 0.4%, which is bullish for the economy. Sixty percent of the factors that make up the LEI are exhibiting positive signs....More
  • May 20, 2014
    blog

    Lessons learned from the student athlete 1

    The hour and a half flight to Roanoke seemed like ten minutes as the discussion flowed from investment strategies, to the state of the U.S. and global economy, to federal debt. To my delight, I discovered the head coach actually teaches political science at Whitewater and was interested in my thoughts not only on economics, but also geopolitical trends, with his students actually listening. In discussions with key players, they indicated that the coach not only taught them basketball, but much about life as well....More
  • May 13, 2014
    blog

    Q&A: Introducing new family members to the farming operation 2

    While I was traveling in Canada conducting seminars, my standard operating procedure was to take only written questions from the participants. This technique works like a charm, since most questions are well thought out. The following question centered on transition management....More
  • May 8, 2014
    Commentary

    Farmland a great documentary 1

    Last night I was fortunate to attend a private screening in Minneapolis of the new consumer-focused documentary, Farmland....More
  • May 6, 2014
    blog

    2012 Ag Census data provide an agriculture snapshot 1

    The 2012 Ag Census data, showed a decrease in total farm numbers, with a lot of variation relative to farm size and scope, as well as increases in the number of minority farm operators, large increases in total farm sales, and many other interesting trends....More
  • May 6, 2014
    blog

    Ag lender’s role in agriculture business succession: Part 2 1

    The lender can play a role as a quarterback, keeping the ball rolling by directing stakeholders, owners and managers, as well as diverting the business toward qualified professionals to develop a customized solution for each individual business. The lender can also act as a third-party facilitator to keep the process moving and keep various family, partner and stakeholder egos out of the personal “swamp issues," says David Kohl....More
  • Apr 29, 2014
    blog

    Ag lender’s role in agriculture business succession: Part 1 2

    Approximately 85% of agricultural businesses have no estate or transition plan in place. One of the most helpful resources a producer can draw upon in this challenging task is their agricultural lender....More
  • Apr 22, 2014
    blog

    Thoughts on farm transition management 1

    At a recent seminar, panelists concluded that there is no cookie-cutter template for farm transition, and that each plan must be customized to meet the needs of the generations, partners and stakeholders involved. Family business meetings need to be held off-site with agendas and minutes, creating a paper trail as a means of communication for all parties....More
  • Apr 15, 2014
    blog

    Farm custom rates increasing in 2014

    As has been the trend in recent years, average 2014 custom rates for farm work are likely to show a small increase, compared to 2013 custom rates. Most custom rates for farm work in 2014 are listed at 4-7% above the rates for similar operations in 2013, with an average increase of about 5%....More
  • Apr 15, 2014
    blog

    Ag lender perspectives: transition, interest rates, land values 1

    Interest rates, land values and cash flow are top of mind topics in the agricultural world. Expect ag lenders to financially shock test your cash flow statement for a 1%, 2% and 3% rise in variable interest rates. Lenders will be much more conservative now when lending against land values particularly in the red-hot land markets of the Midwest and the upper Midwest. Expect to invest more equity and cash in your growth and expansion projects....More
  • Apr 8, 2014
    blog

    Is weather affecting economic indicators? 1

    One major questions people have asked David Kohl this winter is whether the “blah” economic indicators, domestically and globally, are the result of bad weather. Here he examine some of the lead and lag economic indicators to ascertain any apparent trends....More
  • Apr 1, 2014
    blog

    Dos and Don’ts for Younger Agricultural Producers 1

    To the younger generation desiring to farm or be involved in agribusiness, a business plan is critical. Also, have your risk management plan, i.e. marketing options, hedging, contracts and/or crop insurance, linked to basic assumptions and scenario testing of cash flow outcomes. Do not assume the operation will be yours at the passing of the senior generation....More
  • Mar 25, 2014
    blog

    Agriculture facts for National Ag Week 2014 1

    National Ag Week is being celebrated March 23-30 all across the United States, as well as in Minnesota, with Tuesday, March 25, being designated National Ag Day. As we celebrate National Ag Week, it is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. agriculture industry second to none! Following are some interesting statistics about today’s agriculture industry....More
  • Mar 25, 2014
    blog

    Dos and Don’ts for Older Agricultural Producers

    A challenging question David Kohl received at a recent conference was: “What is one do and one don’t you would recommend to younger and older producers?” His answer to the older generation revolved around farm transition....More
  • Mar 18, 2014
    blog

    PEDV impact on the swine industry 1

    Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a newer swine disease that first entered the United States in May 2013, and is now causing major economic loss to some hog producers, as well as impacting several other aspects of the swine industry....More
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