According to recent studies by University of Illinois and University of Minnesota, There do not appear to be any advantages to larger farm sizes over small to medium sized farms, from a standpoint of lower cost of production and higher return per acre. The final analysis is that well-managed crop farms of all sizes that control production costs and machinery expenses can be profitable....More
For the past three years, a select cadre of farm women has volunteered to personally connect consumers around the country to farming. They use social media, traditional media and in-person visits to open conversations about food and food producers....More
When analyzing the state of the general and agricultural economy, it's important to review housing starts and treasury rates, a well as manufacturing growth, unemployment rates and the price of copper, says David Kohl....More
More producers, lenders and agribusiness people are using key economic indicators in their strategic planning processes. Some of the metrics to determine where the economy has been and predict what is on the horizon, including the leading economic index, purchasing manager index and gross domestic product growth....More
Not only did the “polar vortex” affect people, the frigid cold temperatures impacted grain and oilseed logistics. Here are four ways the cold has impacted movement of corn and soybeans across the nation....More
As we look ahead to 2014, crop revenues are likely to be significantly reduced compared to 2013 revenue levels. This means business and farm management will be crucial in the coming year, including finances, machinery purchase, land purchase and more....More
Santiago Lorenzatti, general manager of Grupo Romagnoli, grows soybeans and more soybeans on 15,000 hectares in Argentina. After selling a grain elevator, the company used the money to buy land in marginal production areas in both the northern and southern part of Argentina....More
Jeff Heepke knew he was part of the next wave of precision agriculture when his cellphone rang as he planted corn with his new 16-row planter last spring. “Do you know that row 15 is plugged?” asked the caller....More
Climate Pro opens up a host of valuable in-season advisor tools to improve management decisions during planting, nitrogen application, variable rate strategies using in-season satellite imagery, scouting, spraying, and harvesting....More
Early in the boom cycle when prosperity was running high with record profits, farmers were making land investments. Later in the cycle, we are observing more equity being used as a down payment for farmland and in some cases lines of credit are being diverted from operating expenses to fund long-term investments....More
In prepping for a session I am (was) speaking at during the annual ASTA CSS Seed Expo on Dec. 12, I did a large search for apps to use in farming. From news to management to field operations to soil and fertilizer, I found more than 50 apps that farmers could use to help their operations.
But why keep them to myself, or only share them with conference attendees? Here is a list of what I found. Some may be repeats from what I’ve covered before, but there are definitely a lot of new ones in this list. Enjoy!...More
It's the time of year when we all talk about being thankful. And while we should probably all recognize the things we're thankful for a little more often, at least we're talking about them now. Atop my personal list: a beautiful daughter, an amazing family and one heck of a great life. And part of why my life is so great: agriculture. ...More
How do you create real value from your GIS field data?
“By converting data to knowledge” that can improve production decisions, says Dan Frieberg, president of Premier Crop Systems, West Des Moines, Iowa, a precision agriculture software company.
That means “going beyond what you can see on a map,” and moving to sophisticated data analysis at the field level and across thousands of acres of pooled data, he says....More
I believe we are in the midst of another Golden Age of Agriculture, for two reasons: Farmers and ag companies are thriving, and we have a new generation of ag producers who don't know the "bad times."...More
While farm diversity can offer many benefits, before entering a new venture, ask yourself a few questions about how it will benefit your farm, what problem it solves and what it will cost your core business....More
Growing crops is always a gamble. That’s why Jeremy Hopper runs the numbers. Hopper manages several thousand acres of row cropland near Tiptonville, Tenn. Precision data guides his agronomic decisions and helps him hone his operation....More
Jeremy Hopper, Tiptonville, Tenn., uses precision data to make many agronomic and management decisions. Using field maps and data, he can see yield distribution and evaluate hybrid performance, as well as influence irrigation and row spacing choices.
There’s no slow season anymore! Farmers tell me that often. With crop and business demands, it can feel like the year is just one long string of activity without the spikes and dips we used to experience. With that said, every business – whether its seasons are set by the weather or not – needs to create and utilize an “off season.”...More
I've written about the Mix Tank app before, and now they've released an update. If you haven't already downloaded the app, do it now. It's an easy-to-use tool for spray management and chemical applications....More
One of the questions posed to us concerned the future of mom-and-pop farms. First, this term needs to be defined because it can be very difficult to describe. Mom-and-pop farms have children and/or grandchildren working on the farm, may have have grown to be a large agricultural entity. Some own other businesses both inside and outside of agriculture. Others have become very entrepreneurial and operate more like a small business....More