Tue Jul 28, 2015 04:41 PM CDT There's a lot of fine print in how USDA calculates income eligibility for farm programs under the new farm bill. Just be aware that there's no single definition of the "Adjusted Gross Income" rule that fits all individuals and business structures, as I reported from the annual American Institute of CPA agricultural meeting several weeks ago.
Mon Jul 27, 2015 01:27 PM CDT Admittedly my friend Zach probably isn't paying full market value for his uncle's share of an irrigated specialty farm, but the size and responsibility of his multi-million dollar, 30-year note still keeps the young farmer up nights.
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:57 AM CDT A summer commodity rally only lessened the losses for corn and soy growers in 2015. It won't erase a potential three-year losing industrywide streak, farm lenders and economists worry.
Thu Jun 25, 2015 05:28 PM CDT The fact that very few farm estates pay federal taxes is no accident. Most farm families spend a decade or more gifting and transferring assets to keep their family business intact.
Wed Jun 24, 2015 02:46 PM CDT Just like grocery stores, crop insurance companies seem to run "loss leaders" in the meat department to get your business in the snack aisle. By law, insurers must sell identical multi-peril policies, so offering private riders is one way to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Mon Jun 22, 2015 01:41 PM CDT Finding a dedicated work force is no easy task, especially in states like Nebraska where the latest unemployment rates run 2.7%--and the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, all at 3.8%.
Thu Jun 18, 2015 05:16 PM CDT When farms were one-man shops, you could carry your hopes, aspirations and business practices in your head. As the scale of farming has grown, we've seen multiple family managers, in-laws and generations involved.
Tue Jun 16, 2015 01:52 PM CDT USDA unveiled farmers' elections for the 2014 Farm Bill safety net June 15. Even veteran farm policy watchers were surprised at some of the outcomes--1.76 million farms enrolled (60,000 more than under the direct payment program that expired last year) and a resounding vote of confidence in revenue-based farm support programs instead of "target price" coverage for the first time in history.
Fri Jun 12, 2015 04:29 PM CDT Economists and ag bankers have been making headlines in recent weeks about the need for grain farmers to drastically realign their cost of production for 2016. After talking at length to progressive grain producers from five states last week, I found all were taking that message to heart.
Mon May 18, 2015 01:44 PM CDT 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.
Fri May 15, 2015 01:53 PM CDT 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.
Tue May 5, 2015 04:25 PM CDT 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).
Thu Apr 30, 2015 02:35 PM CDT 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.
Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:06 AM CDT 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.
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:11 PM CDT 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.
Tue Mar 31, 2015 03:31 PM CDT 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.
Fri Mar 27, 2015 01:25 PM CDT 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.