Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Zarley Taylor DTN Executive Editor

Monday 05/18/15

Leadership the Army Way
Both in the military and in family businesses, you won't necessarily find born leaders. Most people acquire leadership skills through training, practice or at least copying a role model. Given that so many of you worry aboutmotivating the best fromyour workforce, it's worth recounting how Army methods might help improve performance.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:44PM CDT 05/18/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
and also, the job will get done if we don't care who gets the credit
Posted by Wally frey at 7:26AM CDT 05/30/15
 

Friday 05/15/15

What's New On Brazil's Old Frontier
Fifteen years ago, crop scouts for USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service liked to say you could see the end of the soybean frontier and the beginning of the Amazon Rain Forest from the northern outskirts of Sinop.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:53PM CDT 05/15/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Tuesday 05/05/15

Cash Rents a Culprit in Credit Defaults?
The first signs of financial stress are hitting the Farm Belt, as DTN's Elizabeth Williams reported this week (see "Credit Begins to Crack" on the Farm Business page http://goo.gl/Hw0jU).[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:25PM CDT 05/05/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (8)
cash rent is not the culprit, save your money in the good times and stop blaming the land owner
Posted by Wally frey at 6:00AM CDT 05/06/15
It is hard to feel for either the owner or the renter at ridiculous numbers. Suits to collect, good grief, you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. It would be interesting to know what per cent of the cropland is represented by the 2% unacceptable loans.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:43AM CDT 05/06/15
While cash rent may not be a culprit for some, it is for others. Some high cash rents came out of "necessity" that someone else was willing to pay more rent and therefore the farmer had to up it or lose it. It's a huge balancing act. However, the landlord has the ultimate power in the situation. He asks for what he wants, and either gets it or finds someone else. I for one would think that as a landowner, I want the best for my ground. If I don't want someone mining my ground or not taking care of it properly because there is no profit for the farm tenant, then I need to be reasonable and lower the rent to a level both parties can find acceptable. Finally, I don't care that corn was $7 in 2012 and you didn't get the top cash rent in the county (I hear this as justification for high cash rents or rental rates increasing). I didn't have corn to sell more than likely. It's why it got that high in the first place.
Posted by Pedro Sanchez at 1:59PM CDT 05/06/15
Pedro,It was not necessity.It is greed! No one twisted your arm to pay big rents. Just sit back and wait.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 5:24AM CDT 05/08/15
This country has a cheap food policy that needs thrown in the trash.If a disaster hit earth a tree month supply of grain is not a surplus large supply talkers would have to eat there words cause my bins will be locked. treat others how you been treated not very good.
Posted by andrew mohlman at 8:01AM CDT 05/08/15
Ray, hence my " " around necessity in my comment.
Posted by Pedro Sanchez at 9:18AM CDT 05/11/15
your poor cash flow is not my problem. I need more ground to lower my cost of production.
Posted by Unknown at 9:21PM CDT 05/12/15
To unknown. What are you talking about? An acre is an acre, it cost as much to plant one acre as it does one thousand on a per acre bases. Unless you have to much eqiupment and if you do sell some. If your going to lose or breakeven on what you have than sure sounds like good business to farm more!!!! DAH.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 6:58AM CDT 05/13/15
 

Thursday 04/30/15

End Family Silence
Forget giving your family members and business partners the silent treatment. DTN's family business adviser, Lance Woodbury with Ag Progress in Garden City, Kansas, tackles the "avoidance instinct" in his current DTN column: In other words, how can we get family business owners to overcome their natural reluctance to lay out a path for transition.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:35PM CDT 04/30/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Thursday 04/23/15

Track Iowa's Field of Dreams
The bloom is coming off Corn Belt farm real estate, and that's just fine with buyers like 70-year-old Tony Kriegel of Brooklyn, Iowa. He views farmland as a long-term investment, something he hopes his 12 children will never sell.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:06AM CDT 04/23/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 04/20/15

Beware False Hopes on Estate Taxes
The rally cry of "death to estate taxes" won a symbolic vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, but few tax practitioners are taking the move seriously. In fact, some caution that House passage of the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 will only give farmers and family business owners reason to procrastinate.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:11PM CDT 04/20/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
I am not commenting on the virtue of the law for wealth accumulation, but strictly from a different perspective. I think that Kevin Bearley hit the issue on the head. Right now, most people procrastinate or put off doing anything. If this bill were to pass as is, it would only cement that process, and for the most part, no one would need to do any life estate planning except for a few thousand. I think that you would see land sales dry up completely unless someone needed cash for something, as in my humble opinion, no one would sell and pay the capital gain tax, because they will just hold it in the family until Mom/Dad or both pass away. They then get the stepped up basis to sell and pay no tax. This doesn't even bring into consideration depreciable assets that would potentially be allowed to wait until death to step up and avoid paying any tax on it at all. This law could potentially wipe out an entire generation of decision makers because the elders will hold all the assets until death.
Posted by Pedro Sanchez at 9:42AM CDT 04/21/15
 

Tuesday 03/31/15

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
No subject seems to trouble families more than splitting a partnership apart. One brother I know agonized for years about ending a business relationship with his alcoholic sibling. He felt obligated to be his brother's keeper.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:31PM CDT 03/31/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Friday 03/27/15

More War Wounds for a Corn Contender
Just a few years ago, Ukraine boasted some of the world's most profitable grain farms. Institutional-scale agribusinesses--some approaching 1 million acres-- accounted for more than 25% of the Former Soviet Union's output.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:25PM CDT 03/27/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Thursday 03/26/15

War Takes Toll on Ukrainian Farmers
Once dubbed the "Grain OPEC," Black Sea corn, wheat and soybean production now feels the effect of a currency collapse and 30% inflation.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:44AM CDT 03/26/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 03/23/15

How Do I Calculate My County ARC Payouts?
Historic county yields count when determining who does and doesn't qualify for 2014-2018 ARC payments.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 9:31AM CDT 03/23/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Friday 03/20/15

Farm Program's Last-Minute Decisions
Johnny-come-lately renters and new landowners need to take special care by March 31 Farm Bill signup deadline.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:04PM CDT 03/20/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Tuesday 03/03/15

Bring Down the Shout in Family Conflict
Succession planning is fraught with opportunities for family conflict – between siblings, between parents and their adult children, between those on the farm and their relatives living elsewhere.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:55PM CST 03/03/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
Sad to see when traders see there job is only economic opp0rtunity for themselves not for the system.Young farmers need positive opportunitys not negative or there will be trouble. wake up
Posted by andrew mohlman at 7:02AM CST 03/05/15
 

Thursday 02/19/15

Truth Serum for Land Values
Not all farmland surveys are created equal. Unfortunately, the disparities between them could become more apparent now that land values seems poised to reverse some of the triple-digit gains they have accumulated since 2000, points out Mykel Taylor, a Kansas State University economist.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:21AM CST 02/19/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (3)
It's more than a little disturbing to note that Peak Soil's motivation appears to be moving farmland further into another commodities investment/"asset class" as opposed to a tool for those actually involved in hands-on farming and production. When traders who sit behind a desk and computer monitor have the means to affect prices for their own financial gain and that of their investor clients, whether in livestock, grain or real estate, production farmers lose.
Posted by Kathy McHenry at 10:03AM CST 02/20/15
You are right Kathy. And Marcia, just to let you know where land prices are headed a sale here yesterday was a no sale because the owners thought it was still 2013.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 4:37PM CST 02/20/15
Ontario farm prices have reached the top also. A 50 ac farm with buildings converted to milking sheep, and 4 coverall buildings with a good house didn't sell at 625000 . Times are a changing.
Posted by jeff sanders at 5:32PM CST 02/24/15
 

Thursday 02/12/15

Farm Bill's Black Boxes Make Improbable Possible
Economic calculators use 500 random prices to assign probability of PLC or ARC payments. Some answers will surprise Joe Farmer.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:48PM CST 02/12/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
Why are we shucking cash to the wealthy?
Posted by Unknown at 7:59PM CST 02/17/15
 

Thursday 01/29/15

Cardinal Rules for ARC-PLC Choice
The great unknown of yields and prices far into the future makes farm program decisions hazardous to your wallet.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 5:24PM CST 01/29/15 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
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Recent Blog Posts
  • Leadership the Army Way
  • What's New On Brazil's Old Frontier
  • Cash Rents a Culprit in Credit Defaults?
  • End Family Silence
  • Track Iowa's Field of Dreams
  • Beware False Hopes on Estate Taxes
  • Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
  • More War Wounds for a Corn Contender
  • War Takes Toll on Ukrainian Farmers
  • How Do I Calculate My County ARC Payouts?
  • Farm Program's Last-Minute Decisions
  • Bring Down the Shout in Family Conflict
  • Truth Serum for Land Values
  • Farm Bill's Black Boxes Make Improbable Possible
  • Cardinal Rules for ARC-PLC Choice
  • Downside to Paying Family Miserly Wages
  • How to Shrink a $10 Million Estate to Cents on the Dollar
  • Give Small Biz a Break on Fringe Benefits
  • Failure to Economize
  • Surviving the Great Moderation