• Planting requires preparation of what, when and where

    Profitability for the Future

     by Sid Parks
     on April 18, 2014

    As you get ready to head to the fields, I would encourage you to document what, when and where as it relates to growing your 2014 crop. Most field controllers have this ability, yet not everyone takes the time to use it. If you feel you have a good record keeping system in place, you probably already recognize the value of these records.  Recording accurate manufacturer and product information, including hybrid or variety, actual and intended planting populations, or rates of crop…

    Continue Reading


  • Kevin Semlow

    Quickview for April 10, 2014

    Quickview

     by Kevin Semlow
     on April 11, 2014

      Third Reading The deadline for the passage of bills in their chamber of origin slipped by somewhat quietly this week. Tomorrow was established as the day that Senate Bills in the Senate and House Bills in the House needed to be passed. However, the House and Senate adjourned today, a day before the deadline, leaving numerous bills still on the calendar. It has become common practice over the last few years that final passage days are a “soft” deadline. Some…

    Continue Reading


  • Plan your work, work your plan

    Profitability for the Future

     by Chris Salrin
     on April 11, 2014

    Whether you’ve fired up your equipment or it’s still sitting in the shed, good planning can go a long way in making for a good spring. Fuel quality management Inspecting storage equipment, including tanks, pumps, filters and hoses prior to filling only takes a few minutes and ensures they are in good working order. Be sure to correct any issues to reduce the risk of problems either at the storage tank or in tractors or other equipment. You should also test for the presence of…

    Continue Reading


  • Ready, set, start the season!

    Profitability for the Future

     by Kevin Frye
     on April 4, 2014

    Robins are in the yard, and geese are working their way back north. We’re getting teased with some warm days. And after months of being indoors, the air tastes so fresh and sweet it almost burns the lungs. For some, this time of year brings excitement to get out the golf clubs, the start of baseball season or doing some yard work. But to a farmer, it’s getting out to work up the soil, plant seeds and see the first sprouts of the season. Before getting into the fields, a great way…

    Continue Reading


  • Kevin Semlow

    Quickview for March 28, 2014

    Quickview

     by Kevin Semlow
     on March 28, 2014

      Mad Dash to Deadline…    One of the craziest times for the legislative process is the week when bills have to be moved out of committee. This was that week for both the House and Senate. The deadline for the passage of bills out of committee is today, but the House and Senate are not scheduled to be in session, which only increased the pressure to get things done. The week started with over 1,600 different bills posted for committee, making them…

    Continue Reading


  • A sale to send a message?

    Profitability for the Future

     by Bridget Chenowth
     on March 28, 2014

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in mid-March announced a plan to “test-sale” 5 million barrels of sour crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). You may be asking yourself what exactly is the SPR, so you can truly understand the implication of the sale. The SPR is an emergency fuel storage of oil maintained by the DOE. It is the largest emergency supply in the world with the capacity to hold up to 727 million barrels. The current inventory as of March 7 totaled…

    Continue Reading


  • Kevin Semlow

    Quickview for March 26, 2014

    Quickview

     by Kevin Semlow
     on March 27, 2014

      Special Budget Address Edition A BUDGET PATH The Governor presented his budget plan in today’s address, calling his budget path one that “protects everyday families and invests in their future”. The Governor continued a theme from his 2014 State of the State address calling his budget plan a five-year blueprint that would allow Illinois’ economic recovery to continue. As a part of this plan, the Governor announced his support of…

    Continue Reading


  • More corn or soybeans on planting horizon?

    Profitability for the Future

     by Cory Winstead
     on March 21, 2014

    Analysts feel we will lose corn acres and gain bean acres. The numbers vary, but the range is a 2 to 6 million acre decline in corn and a 2 to 6 million acre increase for soybeans. Many factors go into determining these numbers, including price (ratio), input costs and demand. Given current conditions, I believe we will see a small decrease in corn acres and a slight increase in bean acres. However, I do not expect these changes to be acre for acre. The market from a futures and fundamental…

    Continue Reading


  • Examining Argentina’s currency “crisis”

    Profitability for the Future

     by Kel Kelly
     on March 14, 2014

     In actuality, there has not been a systemic currency crisis as implied, but rather several currencies that have individually fallen -- by moderate amounts -- each to a different extent. The Argentine peso dropped the most, and is worth examining for the purpose of understanding currency declines in other corn, soybean and wheat-producing countries. Currencies fall as a result of excess money printing. Argentina has expanded its money supply during the last decade that its consumer…

    Continue Reading


  • Kevin Semlow

    Quickview for March 7, 2014

    Quickview

     by Kevin Semlow
     on March 7, 2014

      Roller Coaster Have you ever taken a ride on a huge roller coaster? You stand in line for your turn, arrive at the gate and watch as the coaster cars pull up, climb in, strap the safety bar, the brakes release, then comes the long, noisy, clanky climb up to the top of the first hill. Remember that fraction of a second where you wait for the cars to be set loose to tear down the tracks?  Welcome to the 2014 Session, hope you are tall enough for this ride!  The…

    Continue Reading