Recently, I traveled outside the borders of the United States and a major question posed by farmers and bureaucrats was whether American farmers are still dependent on government support programs. In order to answer this question, we need to look at the numbers....More
At a value of 97, the May Producer Sentiment Index was nine points lower than in April, bringing it back in line with January (98) and February (96). The index is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers. Survey responses showed that the shift came from producer feelings about current conditions rather than future expectations....More
Prices, regulations, transition and uncertainty are significant issues for any agricultural operation, regardless of its location. Only time will tell how the United States and Canada will progress through these issues; however, as part of a world that brings surprises with each turn, the global stage will certainly not be boring!...More
Is there any hope for reduction of crop input costs including cash rent expense? The short answer is yes. According to data, rent, fertilizer, fuel and drying costs are slowing decreasing, says David Kohl....More
With more farmers incurring negative margins, the "willingness to repay" will be increasingly scrutinized, and could be a challenge. Therefore, a plan B, or perhaps plan C, may be needed to meet commitments on a timely basis....More
Unfortunately, human interaction is often an overlooked skill. Whether it is a farmer, rancher, lender, supplier or agribusiness professional, the art of one-on-one interactions can be a competitive advantage....More
Now that interest rates have increased, many producers want to know whether they should fix interest rates on their loans or continue on with a variable rate. Here are five considerations when making that choice for your farm loan....More
The best approach to a retirement decision starts personally and requires examination of several factors. A plan that is thoughtful and thorough in considering goals, health, expenses and income is a good start in the right direction....More
Road Warrior David Kohl answers your questions about the lending landscape, farm transition, land values and return on investment, offering this advice: Even with suppressed prices and volatile markets, experience mixed with a good manager can help an agricultural business successfully compete in today’s economic environment....More
We begin this snapshot of the 1970s – the fourth decade of Soybean Digest – by examining back issues from November 1974 through October 1975. Agriculture and farm life in the 1970s saw huge change, prosperity, inflation, loss of price supports, rising land rates – all leading into the farm crisis of the late-1970s into the 1980s.
On March 31, 2016, USDA released the Prospective Plantings Report, as well as the Quarterly Grain Stocks Report. These were very highly anticipated reports, due to the uncertainty in grain prices in recent months, the potential for increases in U.S. corn and soybean acreage in 2016, and the potential for even larger increases in USDA estimated grain stocks in the coming year....More
U.S. farmers reacted to global markets in making a major shift by intending to plant more acres in corn this year than last, a situation that could add to abundant supplies and result in lower prices for producers, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says....More
David Kohl recently participated in town hall meetings with farmers, lenders, agribusiness people and students. The majority have 3 major concerns about American agriculture, including: health care, regulations and crop insurance....More
“A lot of conservation practices — once you get them working well — turn out to be an economic advantage, so you make more money,” says Brian Parkinson, a corn and soybean grower from Reynolds, Ill....More
Challenging times require bold steps to drive revenue and positively impact the bottom line. Farmers from California to Iowa to Virginia are checking out new ideas, such as an equipment sharing platform, to help them thrive, not just survive, during these tough times....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
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
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.
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
This is a starting point in the cost-cutting process, as suggested by producers. Granted, this is a tough process that requires time, examination and inevitably, some hard choices. However, developing a strategy to cut costs strengthens both short-term and long-term sustainability....More
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.