• 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…

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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • Time to check stored grain

    Profitability for the Future

     by Randy Holthaus
     on March 7, 2014

    “Search for small changes that are indicators of potential problems. Grain that went into storage at higher than recommended moisture content has a high likelihood of storage problems.” Check to assure the grain temperature is at 20 to 30 degrees in northern states and below 40 degrees in warmer regions of the country. The allowable storage time approximately doubles for each 10 degrees that the grain is cooled. Also insects are dormant below about 50 degrees. Cooling corn below…

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  • Never too early to make 2014-15 market plan

    Profitability for the Future

     by Bryce Stremming
     on February 28, 2014

    Currently, corn acres are expected to decline to 93 million from 95.4 million last year and soybean acres are expected to increase to 81 million from 76.5 million last year. Both the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum and the Planting Intentions Report later this month will give us a more precise idea of corn and bean acreage this year. However, it is worthwhile to look at balance sheet possibilities for ideas regarding what 2014-15 may bring. Regarding the corn balance sheet, we assume…

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  • What’s keeping you up at night?

    Profitability for the Future

     by Lance Ruppert
     on February 21, 2014

    Normally they aren’t looking for the answer to be my 2-year-old son, my new puppy or sleep apnea. People are interested in understanding key issues at the top of peoples’ minds so they can compare notes and make sure they aren’t missing something important.  So, in that spirit, here are some things we see as issues that you should be aware of and prepare for so they don’t keep you up at night.  The first is the ability to identify a palmer amaranth plant at…

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  • Seed selection plays key role in crop season success

    Profitability for the Future

     by Matt Hynes
     on February 7, 2014

    That brings us to the subject at hand, the seed business or purchasing seed for the 2014 growing season.  Think back to a year ago, things have changed immensely. Seed supply is not an issue; commodity prices have fallen; weed resistance and rootworm issues continue to grow; and technology continues to advance at an exponential rate. All these factors affect your overall seed purchases. So why is the seed decision so important? Seed is the foundation of your entire agronomic plan. It…

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  • Weed control decisions abound this spring

    Profitability for the Future

     by Jeff Bunting
     on January 24, 2014

    There used to be a substantial difference in herbicide costs per acre between soybeans and corn, but over time this gap continues to narrow. The first decision will be to determine what will be planted, dictating the management strategy to execute in your weed control program. As we continue to see commodity prices fall, just like our air temperature, now is not the time to reduce or eliminate herbicides or strategies that many of you have implemented over the last three to four years. The…

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