Now that interest rates have increased, many producers want to know whether they should fix interest rates on their loans or continue on with a variable rate. Here are five considerations when making that choice for your farm loan....More
Corn exports may exceed the current USDA projection, but the decline from exports of a year ago contributes to prospects for ample year-ending stocks and the continuation of relatively low corn prices....More
The best approach to a retirement decision starts personally and requires examination of several factors. A plan that is thoughtful and thorough in considering goals, health, expenses and income is a good start in the right direction....More
Considerable debate surrounds the U.S. crop insurance program, including its cost, role in farm conservation and impact on farm management and farmland values. Experts at the University of Illinois examined the broader considerations that underpin these specific debates.
Although the concept of a custom farming agreement is simple, close communication between the custom operator and the landowner is essential. A written contract for the custom farming agreement should definitely be prepared....More
Road Warrior David Kohl answers your questions about the lending landscape, farm transition, land values and return on investment, offering this advice: Even with suppressed prices and volatile markets, experience mixed with a good manager can help an agricultural business successfully compete in today’s economic environment....More
We begin this snapshot of the 1970s – the fourth decade of Soybean Digest – by examining back issues from November 1974 through October 1975. Agriculture and farm life in the 1970s saw huge change, prosperity, inflation, loss of price supports, rising land rates – all leading into the farm crisis of the late-1970s into the 1980s.
When David Carter had an opportunity to use new software that addresses the dollars and cents implications of soil conservation practices on his farm near Randolph, Iowa, he jumped at the chance....More
On March 31, 2016, USDA released the Prospective Plantings Report, as well as the Quarterly Grain Stocks Report. These were very highly anticipated reports, due to the uncertainty in grain prices in recent months, the potential for increases in U.S. corn and soybean acreage in 2016, and the potential for even larger increases in USDA estimated grain stocks in the coming year....More
U.S. farmers reacted to global markets in making a major shift by intending to plant more acres in corn this year than last, a situation that could add to abundant supplies and result in lower prices for producers, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says....More
David Kohl recently participated in town hall meetings with farmers, lenders, agribusiness people and students. The majority have 3 major concerns about American agriculture, including: health care, regulations and crop insurance....More
“A lot of conservation practices — once you get them working well — turn out to be an economic advantage, so you make more money,” says Brian Parkinson, a corn and soybean grower from Reynolds, Ill....More
The 2016 custom farming rates for corn and soybean production declined about 5 percent compared to a year earlier. In addition to the decline in fuel costs compared to 2015 levels, repair and labor expenses increased slightly from the previous year....More
Farmed potholes are consistently less profitable than upland parts of fields, and often lose money, according to a recent analysis by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Tight margins and increased attention to water quality make this a good time to scrutinize pothole performance on your farm, Adam Kiel says....More
Challenging times require bold steps to drive revenue and positively impact the bottom line. Farmers from California to Iowa to Virginia are checking out new ideas, such as an equipment sharing platform, to help them thrive, not just survive, during these tough times....More
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.