Farmers need to get serious and truly appreciate how much family living expenses can impact the profitability of a farm business. The numbers tell us that family living cost and taxes are two areas in which to capture significant savings....More
Spring is about to start and that means planting season is not far behind. It’s a good time to run some fresh air through the marketing challenges that have been hanging in our closet all winter....More
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
Commodity Classic is always one of my favorite events. There is so much information to take in; it's a bit overwhelming. We've pared down what we've learned so far while in New Orleans, and are sharing some of the best things we've learned, from weed resistance issues and agvocating to a money-back guarantee on prescription services.
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
In the 5 Ag stories to read this week, get some insight into crop insurance and risk management for 2016. Learn about the value of cover crops and see the latest crop values summary from USDA. Read about an increase in conventional corn use and enjoy some "You might be a farmer if…" jokes.
The 1960s saw a doubling of soybean acres from the previous decade (4.3 million acres versus 2.2 million) and average yields moved higher by 5 bushels (28.8 versus 23.5). Chemical control of weeds was probably the most important technical advance.
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
Low prices continue to impact farmers across the Corn Belt. In order to break even, many farmers are looking at cutting costs. Here are some of our best tips and ideas for cutting costs on the farm, from specific ideas, to fertility management to analyzing data.
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, brush up on Anthracnose management and get tips for keeping your stored grain in good condition as temps fluctuate. Read the latest profit projections and some considerations when choosing crop insurance. Finally, enjoy a list of things that irritate farmers.
When he decided to take parts of five fields out of corn and soybean production a year ago, Wayne Fredericks was convinced that converting the ground to wildlife habitat was a sound decision for his pocketbook and the environment. A year later, with crop prices even softer, he thinks the reasoning behind the decision is even more compelling....More
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
In the 5 agriculture stories to read this week, use an online calculator to help determine profitable delivery options and read the latest on farm incomes and land values. Keep an eye out for the USDA planting intention survey and use your phone to scout crops. Finally, enjoy a cow heart for Valentine's Day!
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
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
The projected cash corn price for the 2015 crop, which is now in storage, is expected to remain at fairly modest levels until next summer, and expected prices for the 2016 corn crop are in a similar range. These price projections suggest that farm operators may need to adjust grain marketing plans and risk management strategies for 2016 and beyond....More
In late July, Zachary Yoder trudged into tasseling 8-foot tall corn to ground-truth his first-ever smartphone message alerting him that satellite imagery had detected an unusual area in the irrigated field....More
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
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, see how disease-resistant soybean varieties yielded and check out 2016 at crop insurance premiums vs. 2015. Get some info on the upcoming Commodity Classic, and learn how controlled traffic can benefit your soil. Finally, enjoy a clip of TV show host Steve Harvey talking about growing up on a farm.
"I think we've gotten away from IPM," says Iowa farmer Blake Crawford. "For my customers, integrated traits in hybrids are the No. 1 option as they are easy to use and affordable versus scouting and using IPM, and give good control of most problem pests."...More
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
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, download crop budget spreadsheets and a 2015 tax guide. Learn about nematode research and the impact of late weed control. Finally, enjoy some RC tractors in action.