Fri Mar 7, 2014 11:54 AM CST Land appreciation and record profits from 2008-12 made many once cash-poor farm families feel like the billionaires next door. Anyone who lived through the farm credit crisis of the 1980s knows how fast that kind of paper wealth can vanish and the sacrifices farmers made to earn it back.
Thu Mar 6, 2014 02:03 PM CST If high cash rents and bloated overhead expenses of the past five years are any indicator of the future, high-cost corn producers could be awash in red ink in 2014.
University of Illinois economists expect season prices to average about $4 per bushel in 2014-15, down about 50 cents per bushel from last season's crop, so they are bracing for back-to-back hits on grain producer income.
Wed Mar 5, 2014 12:49 PM CST In cyclical businesses like farming, what goes up must come down--and it's usually market prices that adjust much faster than your cost of production. So the tailspin in commodity prices since 2012 is a poignant example of why crop insurance alone can't be the only safety net for farm income.
Thu Feb 27, 2014 02:11 PM CST House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp's tax reform plan released this week makes for good political theater but offers such a radical shift of today's tax code, few Washington insiders believe it can make headway in its current form this year.
Tue Feb 18, 2014 01:08 PM CST Bottom 25% of corn growers barely eked out a profit during the glory years of 2008-2012, some financial records show. That doesn't bode well for leaner profits on 2014 returns.
Wed Feb 12, 2014 06:23 PM CST Good news is that the new farm bill poses little change in your crop insurance decisions for 2014, so what worked for you in years past should be standard operation procedurethis season, University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey writes in a recent post on FarmDoc.com.
Tue Feb 11, 2014 04:42 PM CST The on-again, off-again Affordable Care Act triggered again this week, as the Obama Administration issued 227 pages of final regulations defining which "large" employers must ultimately offer employee health insurance coverage and when.
Wed Feb 5, 2014 01:21 PM CST There's a lot of" woe-is-me" sentiment at farm meetings this winter, now that frigid temperatures match the mood of commodity markets. But I'm spending part of this week in Florida with about 150 of North America's largest-scale farm operators, and I'm not sensing financial depression here.
Fri Jan 31, 2014 05:40 PM CST The U.S. Attorney in Springfield Illinois announced that it had reached a $5.364 million civil settlement with a prominent Illinois farm family, as DTN's Chris Clayton reported Wednesday, and that's been the buzz in farm country since (see DTN Farm Business page).
Tue Jan 21, 2014 04:52 PM CST Family businesses often stretch themselves to offer at least some of their employees insurance coverage. For example, one Mississippi Delta operation I know pays 100% of the premiums for eight full-time employees (family members and key managers), but the remaining eight employees must pay coverage on their own.Their separate but family owned trucking firm provides its drivers no insurance.
Thu Jan 9, 2014 01:19 PM CST Congress threw U.S. agriculture a curve ball when it let accelerated depreciation virtually vanish in 2014. The popular 50% bonus depreciation sunset Dec. 31. More painful, instead of $500,000 of Sec. 179 capital improvements eligible for first-year tax writeoff, your new limit is only $25,000.
Fri Jan 3, 2014 11:32 AM CST This year I'm relaunching occasional Q+A online discussions with several farm business experts, including Lance Woodbury, a monthly columnist for both DTN and The Progressive Farmer magazine. He's a professional family business adviser based in Garden City, Kan.
Fri Dec 13, 2013 04:30 PM CST I'll never think of America's elite warriors the same after hearing Navy SEAL Team Six member Don Mann speak at this week's DTN/The Progressive Farmer Ag Summit--and I will certainly never use analogies to war as lightly as I have in the past.