Light precipitation fell in many parts of the country, but significant weekly totals (2 in. or more) were mostly confined to the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest. Early in the week, heavy rain reached as far north as the southern Corn Belt, including the lower Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys.
A tax tidal wave of epic proportions is emerging on many farms that have had an offensive game strategy in recent years, pushing taxes forward. Strong profits, particularly in the grain industry, and aggressive farm tax strategy using accelerated depreciation are the major culprits. Prepaying expenses and deferring income into future years is also creating a large deferred tax liability on farm balance sheets....More
Frigid conditions prevailed across the far upper Midwest, including eastern North Dakota, where weekly temperatures averaged at least 10-15° F below normal. In the West, mid-March warmth caused some premature melting of high-elevation snow packs. As a result, spring and summer runoff forecasts remained mostly unfavorable from California to the central and southern Rockies.
NOAA issued the three-month U.S. Spring Outlook Thursday, stating that odds favor above-average temperatures across much of the continental United States, including drought-stricken areas of Texas, the Southwest and the Great Plains. Spring promises little drought relief for most of these areas, as well as Florida, with below-average spring precipitation favored there. Meanwhile, river flooding is likely to be worse than last year across the country, with the most significant flood potential in North Dakota....More
In my speeches and seminars, eyebrows will raise and glances between people will occur with nodding and a look of fulfillment when I make the following comment: “The best crop you raise will be your children, grandchildren or youngsters you take under your wing as a mentor.”...More
National Ag Week is being celebrated March 17-23 all across the United States, with Tuesday, March 19, being designated as National Ag Day. As we celebrate National Ag Week, it is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. agriculture industry second to none! Following are some interesting statistics about today’s agriculture industry....More
Two storm systems provided additional drought relief in the Corn Belt. The first system produced widespread Midwestern snow, and later became a late-season winter storm from the central Appalachians into southern New England. The second system resulted in some late-week snow across the Upper Midwest, but sparked rain across the remainder of the Corn Belt.
Linsey Howell is among a growing number of recent agriculture graduates and graduating seniors who are reporting strong job prospects with their agriculture and natural resources degrees in Ohio and nationwide thanks to the growing world-wide demand for food and an increasingly strong agriculture industry, experts say....More
As the world population grows, American farmers will have to produce more food in the next 50 years than in the past 10,000 years combined. All of the growth in production will have to be done with less land, energy and water consumption while conserving and sustaining natural resources....More
My last article focused on some of the financial characteristics of producers who attended the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) this year. Now I’ll discuss some of their management practices. This supercharged conference, coordinated by Danny Klinefelter, is an outstanding educational venue for agriculturalists that offers education and networking with individuals from over 20 states, four Canadian provinces, South America and Australia....More
On Friday afternoon attendees at Commodity Classic 2013 were treated to a session on transitioning their farms. Leading the conversation were Darren Frye, Brian Hensley and Arlen Suderman, all of Water Street Solutions, and Bryce Knorr, of Farm Futures. The group started off by saying that now is the time to start planning, reminding the group that having a will and having and estate plan are NOT transition plans....More
As a farmer, one of the many whom Jonathan Foley regards as “the hardest working people in America” and as “pillars of their communities,” I would like to speak out about how today’s corn farmers, their trade associations and others whom Foley has vilified have not only rethought the so-called “corn system,” but are continually improving it. Thanks to technology in the tractor and on the field, and smart agronomic practices like conservation tillage, things are only getting better....More
Saturday night entertainment at Commodity Classic 2013 in Kissimmee, Fla., came from World Classic Rockers. Made up of members from classic rock bands including Steppenwolf, Journey, Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the grouped rocked the ending to a great Commodity Classic....More
Attendance records continue to be broken at Commodity Classic. This year, record attendance totaled 6,214, including a record number of 3,324 corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. There were also 1,078 first-time non-exhibitor attendees, another record set....More
Commodity Classic 2013 was held in Kissimmee, Fla. There were many educational sessions for farmers, from soybean secrets to transitioning the farm, new-product introductions to marketing plans. The general session captivated all attendees, offering viewpoints from commodity groups and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. There was fun with all the learning, too. World Classic Rockers provided entertainment, and palm trees provided a beautiful view. And don't forget about the trade show with exhibitors from all areas of agriculture. If you weren't there, here's a quick recap of a busy, informative, warm three days.
Senator Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, said yesterday, "The crop insurance program has turned into a huge taxpayer-funded boon for some of the biggest, multi-national insurance companies and multi-millionaire farmers. In a time of record deficits and an incomprehensible $16.5 trillion in debt, this program can no longer be justified in its current form."...More
As the claims come in from one of the worst droughts in decades, farmers and ranchers across the country are receiving indemnity payments for the losses they have incurred. As of March 4, 2013, more than $15.4 billion has been sent to farmers. Farmers will invest more than $4.1 billion to purchase more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies....More
Relative corn and soybean prices over the past few crop years have encouraged expansion of corn acreage and the use of more corn intensive rotations throughout much of the Midwest. In general, and in central and northern Illinois in particular, increased corn acreage has come at the expense of fewer acres being planted to soybeans and, to a lesser extent, wheat....More
I am cutting straight to the facts today. We have a couple big reports coming up, and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and call a few shots to help you get in the game and better your operation....More
The Risk Management Agency (RMA) has now concluded its price discovery period used to determined final prices and volatility factors for federally sponsored corn and soybean crop insurance products for 2013. For the majority of the Midwest, the projected price for corn is $5.65 and the volatility factor relating to the price risk is anticipated to be .20. For soybeans, the projected price is $12.87 and the volatility factor is likely to be .17. For comparison, the 2012 prices (volatility factors) were $5.68 (.22) and $12.55 (.18) for corn and soybeans, respectively.
One of the elite management learning experiences in agriculture is the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) at Texas A&M University, coordinated with leadership of Danny Kleinfelter. Now in its 24th year, this gathering of agricultural lifelong learners with an array of outstanding presenters who have a vast amount of background and experience is truly the “Super Bowl week” of education and networking in agriculture....More
March 15 is the deadline to purchase crop insurance for the 2013 crop year for corn, soybeans and spring wheat in Upper Midwest states. As of March 1, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has finalized the 2013 crop prices in the Upper Midwest for Yield Protection (YP) policies, as well as the base prices for Revenue Protection (RP and RPE) policies....More