Grant Noland encourages farmers to always add a personal touch when communicating with their landlords. “What you are doing on the farm is information they want and need, but they also want a look inside how your family operates and what makes your family tick. A little trivia can generate a buzz and attract new opportunities.”...More
A recent Reuters news article titled “Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy,” claims that some farmers have abandoned farmland-rental commitments. "It might be better to let it go and cut your acres back, cause if you lose $100 per acre on a farm have to make up that loss from other farms,” says Kent Thiesse, vice president of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, Minn....More
The first question I ask is, “Will the farm purchase be consistent with your business, family, and personal goals?” Too often investment decisions are made without determining their alignment with goals of other family members and partners....More
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2014 estimated average county yields for corn, soybeans and other crops in late February. These yields will offer a pretty good estimate of where final Ag Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) farm program payments are likely to end up for the 2014 crop year....More
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke to farmers this week at Commodity Classic. He thanked them for their hard work, extended the deadline for base acre and yield changes, asked for their help in passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade promotion and addressed GMOs....More
By definition, working capital is current assets, which can be turned to cash in one year or less, minus current liabilities due within one year. Working capital measures financial liquidity, which is the ability to sell assets without disrupting normal business operations....More
Profit margins for crop production this year are the tightest that they have been for several years, which makes 2015 crop insurance decisions extremely important. Many farm operators are looking for ways to reduce their crop operating expenses for 2015; however, cutting back on crop insurance coverage may not be a wise decision....More
Are you going to Commodity Classic this year? Have you downloaded the mobile app to your phone yet? Make sure you do so you can use some of the great features, including maps, the whole schedule, a to-do list and tweeting....More
There are certain characteristics of borrowers who will struggle at the end of the agricultural commodity super cycle. This includes farmers who won cash-rent lotteries during the upswing, as well as farmers who have high equity but marginal profits. Young ag professionals and rural America will also feel the pinch of the commodity downturn....More
Profit margins for crop production this year are the tightest that they have been for several years, which makes the 2015 crop insurance decisions even more critical. 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....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for preventing and managing soybean diseases this year. Watch videos from University of Illinois about profitability in agriculture and keep an eye out for a USDA survey. Read how one farmer's success with strip-till has led to more agronomic benefits, and check out a Facebook page dedicated to the love of farming.
The deadline to finalize decisions on base acre reallocation and updating payment yields at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices is Feb 27. The deadline for producers to complete the farm program choice on each farm unit, and potentially on each eligible crop, is March 31....More
In the coming years, there will be ag borrowers who will struggle. Three specific groups to watch are those businesses that utilized too much of their profits and working capital to purchase land, those who acquired machinery to reduce income taxes and those with high debt levels....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, learn how farmers are becoming more compliant when planting a refuge for Bt corn, and make your farm bill choices in seven steps. Read new research that says climate change is impeding soybean yields, and see what's new for herbicides this year. Finally, enjoy a smile from some cows.
With smaller net farm incomes, farmers have less money to spend to grow their corn and soybeans. To get through it, experts suggest a strategy: short-term investments, crop insurance, accurate records, cost of production and more....More
Many producers, including larger operations, quickly get themselves into a serious financial condition if they are complacent and fail to monitor financial records. A good CEO producer will generally have a good idea where they stand financially at any point in time....More
It appears we are definitely likely to see much tighter profit margins in corn and soybean production in 2015 and beyond, as compared to profit levels in recent years. These tighter margins can be manageable for farm operators that pay attention to farm operating expenses, land costs, overhead costs, etc., and have a good handle on what their breakeven market price levels are....More
At a recent event, David Kohl offered advice to teenagers who want to farm or be in the agriculture business. Focusing on different types of education and classes, he encouraged students to take a variety of classes, focus on the good professors and to complete internships outside of their region and country....More
Those currently involved in doing cash flow planning may wonder what amount, if any, can be included in a cash flow projection for estimated farm program payments from the 2014 corn and soybean crop, and possibly for the 2015 crop year. There are many variables that factor in to the calculation of potential farm program payments; however, by knowing a few of the basics, a person can make a reasonable estimate of potential payments for 2014, as well as possibly for 2015....More
In the five agriculture stories to read this week, read how higher-protein soybeans could fetch a premium and use an online simulator to calculate crop insurance premiums. Check out some FAQs on base acre reallocation in the farm bill and see where land values are estimated to be in 2015. Finally, watch Bill Gates talk about his position on GMOs. It may enlighten you.
In December, Editor Kurt Lawton wrote a column called "Why climate deniers?" In his editorial, he wondered why farmers are denying that climate change is occurring. Lawton cited several pieces pointing to the change, and received many responses from valued readers expressing their thoughts on the climate change issue. Read their letters here!...More
The EPA is registering a new insecticide, flupyradifurone, that is safer for bees. It is expected to be an alternative to more toxic products including certain pyrethroid, neonicotinoid, organophosphate and avermectin insecticides....More
Let’s examine five-steps for returning to positive margins in your agriculture business, in no particular order. Some of these steps can be used to build efficiency in profitable businesses as well....More
In this week's 5 ag stories to read, you'll find tips for managing soybean aphid in 2015. There is also a breakdown of the ARC farm bill program when choosing the individual or county option. Read about the biodiesel market, and hear about genetic engineering benefits. Finally, enjoy a list of signs that you grew up on a farm.