Featured Articles

Flexible Cash Lease Arrangements - Part 2 of 5: Flexing on Crop Yield

A flexible cash lease is a contractual arrangement between a landowner and operator in which the annual rent payment is determined after the crop has been harvested. Unlike a fixed cash lease, rent amount with a flexible lease adjusts for final yield, commodity prices, cost of production, or some combination of all three. Flex lease arrangements offer opportunities for landowners to benefit should commodity prices rise or better than expected yields occur. In recent years, gains in commodity prices and increasing yields have increased the popularity of flex leases among landowners, and flex leases that allow the sharing of market and/or production risk with landowners are popular with some producers. Read more

The Spring Greenup Time

SPRING GREENUP - Valor-Barley 130 lbs 30 DAPAs soils warm in the spring, rising temperatures signal the crowns of winter annuals and perennials to break winter dormancy, and they begin a period of rapid, temperature-responsive growth, a process known as “spring green-up”. Along with that flush of growth comes the need for large amounts of readily available nutrients. When properly managed, winter annual small grains can grow 2-4 tons of additional dry matter in the short time between green-up and the time of forage harvest. Our perennial grasses can produce 1 to 3 tons of dry matter by first cutting, which typically occurs a few weeks after the time that we are harvesting the small grain forages. Read more

Flex Leasing: Part 1 of 5 - The Basics of Flexible Cash Lease Arrangements

Photo Credit: Ann LaveryA flexible cash lease is a contractual arrangement between a landowner and operator in which the final rent payment is determined after the crop has been harvested. Unlike a fixed cash lease contract, where the per acre rent amount is agreed upon well before field work begins, the rent amount with a flexible lease adjusts depending on final yield, commodity prices, cost of production, or some combination of all three. Flexible leases may offer limited financial protection to producers should growing conditions or market prices deteriorate, or production costs escalate. Flex lease arrangements also offer opportunities for landowners to benefit should commodity prices rise or better than expected yields occur.

Cover Story: HOLT AgriBusiness - "Driven To Keep You Growing"

Jonesboro, Arkansas locationDo you remember the times when farm equipment dealers knew every customer by his or her first name? When equipment sales representatives recognized that your needs were different than those of your neighbor—and took the time to talk to you about them? Or when the dealership actually worked with individuals on a finance program or lease agreement? Read more

Understanding The Fate Of Nitrate In Perennial Filter Strips

Landscape photograph of a watershed with the lower 10% planted in perennial grass rather than annual crops. Photo credit: Chris Witte.Runoff from agricultural fields contains nutrients that can adversely affect surface water quality, human health, and aquatic life. Nitrates from corn and soybean croplands across the Midwestern United States, for example, can end up in the Gulf of Mexico. There, nitrates can cause algal blooms which deplete oxygen from Gulf waters. Currently, such blooms cause a “dead zone” devoid of marine life across an area as large as Connecticut. Read more

Business Profile: Courtland Waste Handling, Inc.

Courtland Waste Handling, Inc. was started in 1995 in the small town of Courtland, Minnesota. Originally owned by Mike Dauer, Courtland Waste Handling’s primary business was the sales and service of liquid manure handling equipment that is used in farm and livestock operations. Read more

Farm Life - Farm Succession: Determining Your Legacy

It’s human tendency—we don’t like thinking about death and certainly don’t enjoy discussing it, but when it comes to the family farm business the conversation cannot wait or be left solely up to estate planning.  Wills, trusts and the like have been in existence as far back as the times of Henry VIII. Transferring land from one hand to another is, relatively simple. However, transferring a viable business from one owner to the next can present its own set of challenges. According to John Baker, an attorney working for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, business succession planning moves the family farm business from the “here and now” to the “there and then.” Read more

Back When: 1952 Case VAS

In June of 2002, Harley Rath’s son Clifford told him about a 1952 Case VAS that was for sale. The VAS is a Model V Case high clearance row crop with offset front. A VAS is a very rare find since only 1,559 were produced and not many have survived. 

Harley went to see the VAS and he could tell right away that it needed new tires, lights, steering wheel and a seat. The paint was nearly non-existent and the steering was stiff, yet Harley could see the value of this tractor in spite of all of its rough points. He purchased the VAS for $300 and used his flatbed truck to haul it home to Mossley, Ontario, Canada. Read more

National Corn Growers Association Announces 2014 Yield Contest Winners

 

Photo Credit: Kade KrogerAdvanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2014 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of 503 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record six national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 50th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2014 with 8,129 entries received. Read more

Feature Article: Ranchmate Wire Fencing Products

Everybody knows the old saying “good fences make good neighbors.” Ranchers, of course, know that good fences do a heck of a lot more than make good neighbors. Good fences help us keep our very livelihoods secure. Most of us learned the time-honored tradition of fence building and mending from our fathers and grandfathers, who learned it from the generations that came before them. But the truth is – the world of ranch and farm wire fencing – from smooth wire to barbed wire to electric wire hasn’t seen much improvement over the decades. Until now. Ranchmate™, an innovative new line of wire fence construction and repair products, has set about to change the old ways of doing things.