More in Issues

  • Mar 15, 2016
    blog

    Agriculture stats for National Ag Week 1

    National Ag Week is March 13-19 across the United States, and March 15, is National Ag Day. To help celebrate, enjoy some statistics about today’s agriculture industry....More
  • Mar 8, 2016
    blog

    Economic volatility will present opportunities, and failure for those who don't manage it

    Recently, a Kansas producer of the Baby Boomer generation asked me, “Hey Doc! When will economics stabilize?” Well, it is certainly understandable for producers to seek some sense of economic normalcy in these days of economic reset. My response, however, may not deliver the comfort for which this producer was hoping, but it is definitely not all bad news. ...More
  • Mar 8, 2016
    Commentary

    Final crop insurance decisions must be made by March 15

    March 15 is the deadline to purchase crop insurance for the 2016 crop year for corn and soybeans. USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced the 2016 established YP, RP and RPE prices: $3.86 per bushel for corn and $8.85 per bushel for soybeans....More
  • Mar 1, 2016
    blog

    Estimated corn and soybean ARC-CO payments for 2015

    Many producers are now wondering what the 2015 ARC-CO payments will be, which will be paid in October 2016, given that average corn and soybean price levels have remained quite low....More
  • Feb 29, 2016
    blog

    Cost-Cutting 101, part 2: Land rent, capital expenses, labor costs

    With this list of potential reductions, including land rent, capital expenses labor and other costs, hopefully our producer focus groups provided some ideas on which you will expand. An economic reset offers the opportunity to re-evaluate and improve your operation both for short-term and long-term sustainability....More
  • Feb 23, 2016
    Commentary

    Cost-cutting 101: Fuel, family living, fertilizer

    This is a starting point in the cost-cutting process, as suggested by producers. Granted, this is a tough process that requires time, examination and inevitably, some hard choices. However, developing a strategy to cut costs strengthens both short-term and long-term sustainability....More
  • Feb. 19, 2016
    poll

    Will you cut crop insurance to save costs? 7

    Low corn prices. Low soybean prices. Cut costs. Save money. We've been reading these headlines a lot over the past months. And they don't seem to be going away. But what's coming up is the deadline for choosing crop insurance. Given low prices and cost cutting, will you cut crop insurance in order to save some money this year? Take our latest poll and let us know. Feel free to comment your thoughts below!...More
  • Feb 16, 2016
    Commentary

    Visible signs of the economic reset: Liquidity and supply in ag

    As a globally interconnected industry, those in agriculture must continue to watch economic factors like manufacturing, oil, grain supply, land sales, taxes, employment and others. The economic reset is established, but outside factors will always bear some influence....More
  • Feb 16, 2016
    blog

    With low prices, crop insurance is a risk management tool

    Due to the current tight margins in crop production for the 2016 crop year, some farmers are contemplating reducing crop insurance coverage to save on premium costs. While there may be a small savings in the premium costs per acre, that decision could add considerable risk to the farm operation for the coming year....More
  • Feb 10, 2016
    blog

    Too progressive? 1

    I enjoy good debates with farmers because often, everyone gains something in the process. But conversations become difficult for me when science is ignored in favor of personal beliefs....More
  • Feb 8, 2016
    blog

    Farm equity doesn't pay the bills

    Regardless of crop or livestock prices, the global economic forces of the U.S. strong dollar and weaker demand continue to suppress revenues. Coupled with elevated fixed and variable costs, lower commodity prices and global uncertainty, many producers are pressed to face negative margins or at best, a breakeven point in income....More
  • Feb 8, 2016
    blog

    7 considerations for choosing the best crop insurance in 2016 2

    March 15 is the deadline to purchase crop insurance for the 2016 crop year. Profit margins for crop production this year are the tightest they have been for several years, which makes the 2016 crop insurance decisions even more critical....More
  • Feb 2, 2016
    blog

    International trade risk impact on agriculture industry

    Historically, agriculture has led the rest of the economy going into an economic downturn. Will this historical pattern hold true again for the U.S.?...More
  • Jan 25, 2016
    blog

    4 tips to help set farm business goals

    By Groundhog Day, one needs to have business family, and personal goals clearly written out for the year. These written goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding and timely....More
  • Jan 19, 2016
    blog

    State of the ag economy, part 2: Economic growth, inflation, unemployment

    It is important to note that the leading economic indicators show concerning signs of a slowing or contracting U.S. economy. Specifically, manufacturing, energy and other basic industries will see the slowdown first. However, regardless of the industry, a recession in the U.S. would create widespread impact....More
  • Jan 12, 2016
    blog

    State of the ag economy

    In order to successfully navigate the economic reset, one must factor in outside influences. Factors such as the U.S. economy will bear direct impact on future profit potentials for farm businesses. Monitoring key indicators can help you better direct and focus your strategic planning for future sustainability....More
  • Jan 12, 2016
    blog

    5 strategies for risk management on the farm in 2016

    Projected profit margins for 2016 crop production are still below breakeven levels for many producers. Here are some financial strategies for farm businesses to consider during these highly volatile and potential stressful financial times in the farming business....More

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