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
The 2016 custom farming rates for corn and soybean production declined about 5 percent compared to a year earlier. In addition to the decline in fuel costs compared to 2015 levels, repair and labor expenses increased slightly from the previous year....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, Read about the impact of a transitioning El Nino on 2016 yields and get seedbed prep tips. Learn about using solar on the farm and using variable-rate nitrogen prescriptions. Finally, enjoy some fun ag facts to close out National Ag Week.
Farmed potholes are consistently less profitable than upland parts of fields, and often lose money, according to a recent analysis by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Tight margins and increased attention to water quality make this a good time to scrutinize pothole performance on your farm, Adam Kiel says....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
The modest soybean price strength mid-month was somewhat of a surprise, coming in the face of a slowdown in the pace of the domestic crush and the impending large South American harvest. That price strength may have come from a number of factors....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
Spring is about to start and that means planting season is not far behind. It’s a good time to run some fresh air through the marketing challenges that have been hanging in our closet all winter....More
I believe far too many producers right now are looking to bail themselves out by outperforming the markets. The best and most consistent marketers and investors always look to control risk first; return is simply a secondary byproduct....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
The 1960s saw a doubling of soybean acres from the previous decade (4.3 million acres versus 2.2 million) and average yields moved higher by 5 bushels (28.8 versus 23.5). Chemical control of weeds was probably the most important technical advance.
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.
In 2015, Chad Hornsby planted about 300 acres to soybeans with the now off-patent Roundup Ready trait, known as RR1. "I can use the money I save on seed to help fight pigweed," says Hornsby, who could have saved seed and replanted it this spring, but didn't. "I'll buy new certified seed again this year."...More
I believe that your data is the only place to look to make cost-cutting decisions. These examples about which farms to farm, necessary traits and fertilizer application use data to help farmers make choices on which expense to cut on the farm....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