America’s D+ infrastructure rating by the American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card is no surprise.
Weak links to export channels lower farm profits and U.S. soy’s competitive advantage. One vital bridge or lock collapse during peak soybean export season would result in bottlenecks, as roads and bridges receive more traffic....More
As Earth Day 2013 draws near, conservation is perhaps more in the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, we in agriculture know that farmers do their best to conserve EVERY day, not just on April 22 every year....More
The current period of farm prosperity is not the same as the 1970 period of farm prosperity, even though similarities exist. The behavior of farm debt is a clear and distinct difference, especially in regard to non-real estate debt.
An alternative to leasing farmland is a custom farming agreement. In a typical custom farming agreement, the custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, fertilizer, chemicals, crop insurance and other input costs; receives the all grain produced and all eligible farm program payments on the land; and is responsible to store and market the grain....More
Despite all the bickering and inaction of our leaders in Washington, D.C., the U.S. economy is like green shoots of grass emerging from the winter doldrums. What are some of the metrics indicating a comeback in the economy?...More
The April 2013 WASDE report from USDA showed an increase in corn stocks and overall world soybean production with corn prices decreasing at the midpoint and soybean prices unchanged from March 2013....More
Ouch! Corn prices dropped 70¢/bu. within a two-day period following the release of USDA’s March crop report. Welcome to the wild world of global economics! Are commodity prices being affected by weather and adjustments being made in planting, or are there other concerns on the economic horizon?...More
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.
Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 5.40 billion bushels, down 10% from March 1, 2012. Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 999 million bushels, down 27% from March 1, 2012....More
Corn and soybean production prospects in the U.S. in 2013 will hinge mostly on the nature of the growing season and yield prospects. The magnitude of planted acreage, however, will provide the basis for anticipating total production. Likely acreage has been the topic of discussion all winter, with projections in a fairly wide range....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
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
Friday’s USDA supply/demand report received a negative initial reception from the soybean market as it lowered South American production less than expected and left the U.S. soybean carryout unchanged, however, supply concerns have quickly reemerged with some questioning why USDA did not raise projected U.S. exports for 2012-2013 despite continued strong demand....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
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
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
The other day our veterinarian, Todd, shared a story with me about a producer who came to him with a pinkeye problem, which was not only aggravating, but costing him a lot of money. He told me this story during a driving sleet storm as we were checking cows for heat as part of our breeding program....More
In case you are among the many wondering why USDA would project such high trend-line corn and soybean yield estimates (163.6 and 44.5, respectively, for 2013), here’s an explanation from the Ag Forum in Washington today. They are based on weather-adjusted yield models that account for temperature and rainfall during the growing season....More
How secure is your relationship with all your landlords? At a time when aggressive operators are targeting long-term relationships, offering substantial bumps to rental agreements, what would your landlords accept? Do you know how to 'seal the deal' with every landlord?...More