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
Many producers are having difficulty understanding why there is such a wide variation in the estimated 2015 ARC-CO payments from county to county, even though the counties may have had similar corn yields in 2015, based on yield estimates from the USDA....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
With commodity prices falling and more negative margins, lenders are now asked to “stress test” your financial conditions as well as their agricultural portfolio. Let’s examine what is involved in “stress testing” and what may be yet to come....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
Nebraskans Angela and Kerry Knuth are streamlining their operation by: Using a new scenario-analysis tool to evaluate cropping options; saving costs with variable-rate prescriptions that reduce phosphorus on high-testing soils; testing a plan to rent out fields planted in cover crops for cattle grazing....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
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
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.
Higher food prices, a significant boost in greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and major loss of forest and pasture land would be some results if genetically modified organisms in the United States were banned, according to a Purdue University study....More
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.
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.
You may have seen misinformation and rumors on social media regarding Monsanto, the Zika virus and microcephaly. Unfortunately, this misinformation causes unwarranted fear and distracts from the health crisis at hand and how you can take steps to protect you and your family....More
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
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
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