One question during a recent forum discussion with ag lenders put me and other professors in the Back to the Future time machine to discuss the similarities and differences in the farm economy now compared to the 1980s....More
Globally, the economic slowdown of emerging nations along with unrest in Ukraine, and now Iraq, bears watching. Remember, spikes in oil prices have been a major contributor to every recession since 1969. Overall, both the domestic and global economies are muddling along, uninspired by central bank stimulus both here in United States and abroad....More
The moderation in commodity prices, along with the potential for increases in ag real estate interest rates, will likely continue to put downward pressure on land values. Some farm management analysts have suggested that a combination of these factors could result in average land values dropping by as much as one-third from the highest levels in the next few years....More
In this installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read, there are outlooks for soybean aphids and farm incomes. The USDA is offering funding for farmers who establish new bee habitats. Help bust GMO myths by sharing a gallery showing what is not, and what is, a GMO. And have a little fun learning what a farmer says with a YouTube video....More
Technology is a great tool, but don’t discount your judgment. When and whether to enter a wet field, identifying broken tile, how you control spray drift, which surfactant to use, when to use glyphosate and at what levels, which stage of cereal rye is easiest to kill it off (avoid the tillering stage)…you get the idea. These judgment calls, based on your experience, are second nature....More
Rain intensified across the Upper Midwest, erasing vestiges of drought but halting fieldwork and triggering lowland flooding. Weekly totals of at least 4-8 inches were common across southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and parts of neighboring states, sending rivers out of their banks and in some cases to record-high levels.
Complacency can be the silent business killer. Peer analysis and benchmarking can be the catalysts that motivate managers to focus on aspects of the business that are done well, and then step outside with the advisory teams and other leading businesses to break into new territory, taking the business to a new level....More
GMO Answers is busting GMO myths and misinformation, helping consumers learn what is, and what isn't, a GMO, and providing answers to your GMO questions. These images help dispell some of the myths and misinformation, and you can learn more about GMOS at GMOAnswers.com.
How can a son-in-law or daughter-in-law bring up the conversation about joining the farm operation or possible ownership? Often the younger generation family members are intimidated particularly if they have provided labor for the business for quite a while. What will frequently occur is that time will slip by and months become years without these important questions being asked and answered, which often ends up being disastrous to all generations involved....More
In its fourth-annual research project focused on consumers and food, Charleston|Orwig uncovered ample opportunities for companies across the food system to engage with consumers. Results showed that consumers want to know how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) affect health—theirs and their family’s—and are less concerned with political or moral issues surrounding GMOs.
Prior to the arrival of heavy rain across the southern Plains, multiple rounds of heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms crossed the central Plains, Midsouth, and Midwest. Weekly rainfall totaled 4 inches or more in numerous locations across the central and southern Plains, Tennessee Valley, and southwestern Corn Belt.
While 33% working capital to revenue is appropriate for cash grain and market livestock businesses because of significant inventory, is this level of working capital too aggressive for dairies, since milk inventory is picked up every day or every other day?...More
China is a rising economic power and with that status it will become a bigger partner in world economic trade. It will require China to step up to the plate in environmental and social issues and they will be criticized by neighboring countries that are sometimes threatened, particularly in that region of the world....More
The number of farms in the United States in 2013 was estimated at 2.10 million, down 7 thousand farms from 2012. Total land in farms, at 914 million acres, decreased 360 thousand acres from 2012. The average farm size in 2013 was 435 acres, up 2 acres from the previous year.
From what I am hearing most end-users are about 65-75% covered through July but have next to nothing done for August. Obviously everybody is hoping imports will help resolve the situation, but no one is clearly certain about how this game will end.
Soybean traders are digesting the fact the US planting pace is now AHEAD of our traditional average. The USDA released data yesterday showing that 59% of the crop is now planted vs. 41% last year and 56% on average. In addition 25% of the crop is now "emerged" vs....More
The U.S. economy is showing mixed signals. The lead economic index (LEI) which foretells the future of the economy has been increasing in recent months, most recently up 0.4%, which is bullish for the economy. Sixty percent of the factors that make up the LEI are exhibiting positive signs....More
Bears continue to feel the pain and side-effects of Injuries sustained by the sudden and unexpected jerking of the markets higher. I continue to monitor both the NOV14 and NOV15 soybean contracts in hopes of making another round of sales and further reducing downside risk and exposure....More
The hour and a half flight to Roanoke seemed like ten minutes as the discussion flowed from investment strategies, to the state of the U.S. and global economy, to federal debt. To my delight, I discovered the head coach actually teaches political science at Whitewater and was interested in my thoughts not only on economics, but also geopolitical trends, with his students actually listening. In discussions with key players, they indicated that the coach not only taught them basketball, but much about life as well....More
While I was traveling in Canada conducting seminars, my standard operating procedure was to take only written questions from the participants. This technique works like a charm, since most questions are well thought out. The following question centered on transition management....More
Agriculture stories you should read today remind growers to check seedling stands and sprouting seeds for signs of disease. They also offer suggestions on soybean planting depth, and a look into research regarding benefits of GMO crops and research regarding climate change. Lastly, check out a new documentary, Farmland. You'll be glad you did....More
A recent review of biotech, or GM (GMO), crops shows that they offer major environmental benefits and allow farmers to grow more acres with fewer resources. In the 17 years of adoption, genetically modified crops delivered more environmentally friendly farming practices while providing clear improvements to farmer productivity, says Graham Brookes, co-author of the PG Economics report....More
When a group of anti-GMO activists confronted some corn farmers at a convention, Mike Petefish, Claremont, Minn., farmer, calmly approached them to present the scientific facts on GMOs. The 29-year-old farmer has an undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Biology and a Master’s in Agronomy. “I just talk to people about the truth of the matter, from my perspective,” he says....More
The 2012 Ag Census data, showed a decrease in total farm numbers, with a lot of variation relative to farm size and scope, as well as increases in the number of minority farm operators, large increases in total farm sales, and many other interesting trends....More