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5 Spring Tips to Get Ahead

There’s some comfort in routine right now. For producers, there’s another crop to plant, harvest, and distribute – and it all starts right now. One thing that’s not routine, though, is making a profit. Challenging markets continue, and that calls for careful planning once again. Regardless of circumstances, here are five basic actions within your control: Stay safe Leverage your crop insurance investment Lower your input costs Maximize your grain marketing revenue Use the buddy system In Episode 29 of In the Driver’s Seat,... Read More

What Does Fertilizer Really Cost?

What Does Fertilizer Really Cost? Due to poor fertilizer application seasons in 2019, inventories are over-supplied, and prices are near historic lows. Lock in your spring and fall 2020 needs before there’s a price rebound. This has been the message of ADM Farm Direct Fertilizer over the winter. Their monthly conference calls and a mobile price app are designed to help you lock in favorable prices and buy in bulk directly from an ADM terminal—often at a significant price break.... Read More

Women on the Rise as Farm Managers

Women farm managers are growing in number and rank. According to themost recent U.S. Census of Agriculture, female operators now make up 36% of farmers and work on 56% of all farms. Their role is growing, too. Most make some farm business decisions or manage the finances, and about 38% are the primary decision-maker. One of these newer, business-minded farm managers is Maria Cox from Illinois,... Read More

How to Farm with a Higher Business IQ

During the “commodity super-cycle” between 2007 and 2012, it wasn’t unusual for net farm income to top $125,000. But statistics show median farm income around $35,000 in 2017. Some would say we’re in a “winter of agriculture”—meaning a tougher challenge for some operations. But noted ag economist Dr. David Kohl says there are many new opportunities for farmers with a higher business IQ.... Read More

Four Ways to “News-Proof” Your Grain Marketing

One big question in 2019 is trade:  Will the U.S. and China reach an agreement? Will Congress approve the pact with Canada and Mexico? While export markets are important, there are other market drivers to consider: South American weather, African swine fever, and U.S. corn-soybean acreage swings, to name just a few. Because so much is uncertain, your grain marketing plan has to be more certain.... Read More

Widen Your Margins Early in the Year

Going into a new crop year, you need some early wins, and February gives you the perfect chance to do that. How? By locking in lower fertilizer prices while also contracting some of your new-crop bushels in spring markets—typically some of the best of the year. With this combination—like playing both defense and offense—you can start the planting season in a much better position,... Read More