A challenging question David Kohl received at a recent conference was: “What is one do and one don’t you would recommend to younger and older producers?” His answer to the older generation revolved around farm transition....More
Ken McCauley believes the new Farm Bill’s commodity support programs provide his Kansas farm a good safety net. But like most growers he wants more information on farm-bill provisions, including the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, still being finalized by USDA....More
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a newer swine disease that first entered the United States in May 2013, and is now causing major economic loss to some hog producers, as well as impacting several other aspects of the swine industry....More
After analyzing a data summary of farmers in low, middle and high income brackets, David Kohl shares some core perspectives on asset turnover, coverage ratio and debt servicing ability and profit margins in agriculture....More
Farms will have to decide between the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The decision covers the 2014 through 2018 crop years. Because the decision covers all 5 years, can only be made once, and is irrevocable.
Next in our Q+A series, we asked farmers what practices they've used that improved return on investment. From split nitrogen applications to variable rate and grid sampling to implementing auto-steer, farmers in Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa talk about what practices have offered them a better ROI....More
There are three benchmarks every producer and lender needs to know when handling the moderating grain industry and the positive economics of the livestock sector: the current ratio, net working capital and working capital to gross revenue ratio....More
Crop producers will be offered several one-time choices for their farm program participation, which will be in place through the 2018 crop year. Following are some of the choices that producers will need to consider at farm program sign-up time later this year when deciding on the Agricultural Risk Coverage program or the Price Loss Coverage program....More
Commodity Classic in San Antonio this year was full of great events, learning sessions and new products at the trade show, not to mention warmth and sunshine! More than 7,300 farmers attended the annual convention and took in sessions about increasing yield, weed management, farm transition, marketing mistakes, using the cloud, getting more out of seed and cover crops, among others.
Kevin Spafford, eLegacy Connect, outlines keys to effective farm succession planning, as well as tips for a succession plan and other ideas to use at family meetings when planning a successful farm transition....More
March 15 is the deadline to purchase crop insurance for the 2014 crop year for corn, soybeans and spring wheat in Minnesota and other Upper Midwest states. As of March 1, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has finalized the 2014 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
Whether for helping get a farm bill passed, or feeding the world, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack offered much appreciation to the farmers across the U.S. at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas....More
David Kohl's Road Warrior travels took him to the National Agricultural Bankers Conference, where he moderated sessions, and also took some in. He noted some themes at the conference, including debt concentration among farmers, new bankers and farmers as well as cycles in agriculture....More
Are you attending Commodity Classic in San Antonio this week? If so, be sure to download the new mobile app to help keep track of your schedule, booths you want to visit, tours you're going to take and more. There are maps and shuttle schedules, as well as links to Commodity Classic social media....More
This recent report by the USDA offers its projections, under specific circumstances, of agriculture through 2023. The graphs and key projections include corn production, soybean production, conservation, corn and soybean prices, farm income and cost of production.
For more than 30 years I’ve been privileged to visit with hundreds if not a thousand farmers, and I’ve often marveled at their continued ingenuity – despite the computerization of everything. Many don’t fear change, they embrace it, and try to make it better in many cases....More
Producers have several crop insurance policy options to choose from, including yield protection (YP) policies and revenue protection (RP and RPE) policies, as well as several other group insurance policy options. There are also decisions with using enterprise units versus optional units, and whether or not to take advantage of the trend adjusted APH yields for 2014....More
The Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota presented some compelling data compiled on farms over eight states that are considered above average operations. The first fast fact was that the cost of production for half of the corn producers was above $5.00 per bushel....More
I almost fell out of my chair in shock yesterday when I read an email proclaiming that all the big ag commodity groups and food groups had formed a new group (Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, www.CFSAF.org) in support of a federal solution to GMO labeling. Wow. That is cool. I think. If they can pull it off – and make the FDA the nation’s foremost authority on everything GMO....More
With the continued rise of polarizing topics in this great country, research data clearly shows that skepticism about today’s food system continues to grow. The anti-GMO, factory farm activists have become adept at spreading their version of farming. Fortunately, groups like CommonGround are slowly beginning to calm the rhetoric, without using the fear, bad science and vitriol that these activists deploy....More
The rate of inflation in recent years has been estimated to be between 5% and 10% for agriculture. The increasing cost of inputs, equipment, and farmland has this sector in an inflationary mode. The inflation rate for producers is much higher than the reported rate, and could indicate negative margins in the making, particularly if commodity prices continue to decline....More
With a signed farm bill, now comes the hard part: farmers making decisions about which commodity programs to participate in and navigating the details of the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs....More
Evaluating your farm’s sustainability and seeing how it stacks up against similar operations can be an eye-opener that helps improve a farm’s economic and environmental sustainability, says Shawn Conley, Extension soybean specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison....More