More in Issues

  • Nov 12, 2013
    blog

    Business tips for low-equity, young farmers: Part 1

    What advice would you have for a low-equity young producer either launching or growing their business? This was a question from a group of 34 lenders representing nine states in our Farm Credit University blended course which includes online and face-to-face training. Dr. Alex White from Virginia Tech and I tag-teamed this challenge with rapid fire responses....More
  • Nov 12, 2013
    blog

    Should you be making sales at these prices??

    Before you get all bulled up.......More
  • Nov 5, 2013
    blog

    Farmland rental rates not reflecting lower crop prices

    The very strong corn and soybean prices in the past couple of years, and the resulting increases in crop income per acre, have lead to significant increases in cash rental rates on farmland in recent years. Many crop producers are now concerned that the lower projected crop prices for 2014, and reduced estimates for gross income per acre, may not be high enough to justify the higher cash rental rates that are currently being charged, or are being proposed for the 2014. There has been no indication of any reduction in land rental rates in south-central Minnesota for 2014, as compared to current levels....More
  • Nov 5, 2013
    blog

    Is There a Future for Mom-and-Pop Farms?

    One of the questions posed to us concerned the future of mom-and-pop farms. First, this term needs to be defined because it can be very difficult to describe. Mom-and-pop farms have children and/or grandchildren working on the farm, may have have grown to be a large agricultural entity. Some own other businesses both inside and outside of agriculture. Others have become very entrepreneurial and operate more like a small business....More
  • Oct 29, 2013
    blog

    Institutional Knowledge 3

    The U.S., other developed countries and, to some extent, North American agriculture could experience a tremendous loss of institutional knowledge as the baby boomer generation fades into the golden years of their lives. In the agricultural industry, many organizations are strategically examining life without the baby boomers as the “worker bees” of their boards, management teams and in everyday operations....More
  • Oct 22, 2013
    blog

    Mental bankruptcy

    ...More
  • Oct 18, 2013
    blog

    Which apps do you use for farming? 5

    I keep bringing new and useful apps to you through this blog, what I'd really like is to hear from you. So, tell me, what apps do you use on your phone while you're in the field, in the barn, at your desk? There have got to be more out there I haven't covered....More
  • Oct 15, 2013
    blog

    Government shutdown affects farmers

    As of Oct. 1, the federal government officially went into a “shutdown” mode, meaning that all government services deemed as “non-essential” were temporarily discontinued. Federal offices were closed and federal employees were placed on indefinite furlough. There have been 17 federal government shutdowns since 1976, with the longest lasting 21 days in 1995-1996. As of this writing, there is still no resolution forthcoming on the federal government shutdown....More
  • Oct 15, 2013
    blog

    Points to ponder

    I recently made my annual trek to WebEquity Solutions’ annual client conference in Omaha, NE. What started over 15 years ago as a small conference with less than 40 people is now one of the showcase ag lender events of the year with an emphasis on technology. This year one of my assignments was to serve on a panel with some ag lenders. I was placed in the hot seat to provide wisdom and wit about the current state of affairs. The following are some specific points and perspectives that I covered....More
  • Oct 8, 2013
    blog

    Crop insurance payments a possibility in 2013

    Some farm operators in Minnesota, Iowa and surrounding states will be facing reduced yields on some farm units in 2013, due to very late planting, severe storms and very hot and dry weather late in the growing season. With Federal Crop Insurance, every year is different, and with the multiple options available to producers, there are many variable results from crop insurance coverage at harvest time....More
  • Oct 8, 2013
    blog

    Will the farmland bubble burst?

    One of the top 10 questions I am asked, and perhaps number one or two, is “Will the farmland bubble burst?” Examination of farm real estate data by state illustrates a compelling story that farmland is not experiencing a national bubble, but one of regional and local proportions. If there is a land bubble, it is located in the upper Midwest and the western Corn Belt. For example, our good friends in Nebraska have experienced a 50% increase in land values in the past two years, followed closely by Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota....More
  • Oct 1, 2013
    blog

    Young Farmer Advice, Part 2

    The last column focused on a young producer who provided advice to his peers at a young and beginning farmer and rancher conference in Omaha, Neb. I explained how this industry leader recommended having a team of advisors and doing succession planning. Let’s continue the discussion....More
  • Sep 26, 2013
    blog

    South America weather needs to remain dry.

    Bottom-line, if you're hoping for a South American "weather rally," you need to be cheering for it to stay dry......More
  • Sep 25, 2013
    blog

    Yields continue to exceed expectations

    Will corn yields continue to exceed expectations?...More
  • Sep 24, 2013
    blog

    Young farmer offers advice to peers

    At a recent event in Omaha, NE, a young producer, who was first appointed to the board of directors and then elected, provided a glimpse of the type of youth with vigor that will lead agriculture in the decades to come. This young person provided some advice to his peers in the audience that was well worth capturing, which I did on the Delta Airlines napkin that was available in my pocket....More
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