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Honored Advisor

Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

I read in a competitor`s publication about to improve yields 5%, improve your selling price 5% and cut your inputs 5%.   On the face of it, that sounds overly simplistic, but in the current environment we need base hits.  Mother Nature bats last on whether you achieve 5% better or 50% lower yields, but paying attention to your planter can improve yields 5% and only cost you your time if Mother is in a agreeable mood.  On selling price, if you sold a average price of $4 corn in 2018, first of all you`re lucky, but to be 5% better when corn hits $4.20 scale up sales aggressively that`s all it takes to be 5% better. 

 

On inputs, cutting 5% might be tougher if you`ve been cutting to the bone last 3 years, true a landlord might come out of the blue and voluntarily reduce your rent 20% but don`t count on it  Smiley Happy  Seed didn`t go down and if you didn`t lock in early you didn`t get the 13% early bird discount.  But like I say, cutting inputs 5% is the most challenging of the 3 in my opinion.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

This will be my first year in a decade that I wont be farming or selling seed. I got out of farming because I'm 35 years old and don't have much room to grow, and selling seed took a lot of the most precious commodity in life TIME. I learned some valuable lessons over the years though.  What I learned from (crop) farming is that its a funny business, I've never seen a business where those involved were so eager to work for so little. Land rents are probably the biggest killer, they don't make anymore land so farmers fight tooth and nail to get every scrap they can. Selling seed opened my eye's to the world of "volume in." I used to sell seed to larger operators for much less than I could buy it, even with my dealer discounts, because the large operator got a bunch knocked off for volume. So those guys that are willing to pay full price for a few bags of Pioneer or Dekalb to have those fancy seed signs on the side of their fields are the first ones to lose money by default. Another lesson I learned is to have a semi. A semi at least helped me make some "volume out" money over farmers that hooked onto a wagon and went to the nearest elevator. The big guys might even make a little more by calling and negotiating a better sale price on grain. So to me, a 5% increase in yield is just a bonus. Crop farming is a "volume in", "volume out" business. So what does the little guy do to stay competitive? Get diversified, get better transportation, be a negotiator with seed COMPANIES, and learn to manage inputs a little better. I hate the cop out term from ex-farmers "get big or get out." A smaller, more diversified operator could easily be 5-10% more competitive than his neighbors that are seeking the same rented ground if he or she manages things correctly. The best model I've seen to help farmers get more competitive is the Maximum Farming model. BA, if you haven't been to one of their meetings already, please go! I wish I had went to one of their meetings about 9 years ago... Well I gotta get, I start trucking hogs here pretty soon so I'm still actively involved in production ag, I sure will miss turning over some dirt this spring. Best of luck!

Honored Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

Blacksand, good buddy nice to heard from you.  Yes, I too need the off farm income as the "third leg" of the stool.  Farming takes care of itself, my Wife`s income covers insurance and living expenses and my off farm income catches cell phone bills, internet, fuel bills, vehicle bills and maybe a "date night tab".  Without it, my Wife`s income and the farm`s income would be stretched too thin and I`m afraid there`d be credit card balances.  

 

I don`t know if there ever would be a extended period of prosperity in farming....it`s like if you`re following someone on a curving road and they are going 50mph, too slow to follow and too fast to safely pass.  Soon there are 9 cars behind this guy and invariably some idiot will pull out to pass, expecting that someone will let him in if there`s a oncoming car.   Somebody always let`s him in and maybe he passes 3 cars at a time or all 9 cars, he gets it done and is rewarded for his stupidity.   So long as "Darwin`s law" doesn`t catch up to guys like that,they will be passing 9 cars on a curve at a crack or bidding the profitability out of farming.   

 

It doesn`t matter who`s in the White House....well maybe a socialist would tax the profitability out of all of us  Smiley Happy  But what if farming, no matter how big you are is at a place now where you can just figure it will take care of itself?  If you want clothes and food, you`ll have to have a off-farm gig to pay for that. 

 

They tell me strip till farming is the secret sauce yields so high that they won`t tell you, cause you won`t believe `em anyway  350 bushel per acre shhhh    well even a bottom third marketer will gross over $1000 per acre.

 

Here`s a link to the Maximum Farming model

 

http://www.agspectrum.com/content/tillage-equipment

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Honored Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

great to see a black sand entry again...

 

It is without a doubt "tough times"..........and If we need someone to blame we can blame all three last three socialist presidents since georges daddy.  "No one left behind"........  That is 24 years of "grow the government" socialism and it will take decades if not a century to survive the damage.

 

I have chosen to agree with blacksand this year and stop spending time on land that seldom pays, so we let go of leases that were over priced, we renegotiated the ones we wanted to keep(by offering a change and a future) and we made one more short term decision.  At least for us and our position (for now), corn is too expensive to grow.  There are just too many middle men who have put both feet in the pie.

If we can raise 300 bushel corn and it still costs 290 bushel of corn to pay the bills....... the profit doesn't insure the risk.... Corn is just carrying too many chemical companies, data thieves, property taxes, and demon merchants to sell for anything usda(taxpayer) wants to support.  So for this year we will raise something with less risk and suffering.  We will show a profit thinking about other directions to go............more cows.......crops that have a chance to pay for the labor.

The bureaucracy will take that statement and tell us "look at that ,,,less acres yields will go up"

 

Blacksand it heartened me to see your name on an entry...... now that I have read through your post.......... Still feel the same...Missed ya.

 

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

Good  luck  Blacksands,  and  the  courage  to  head  another  direction   of  opportunity  -   -   -

 

SW-  brings  in  a  interesting  conversation,  of  leaving  the  herd,  and  shedding  the  grasp  of  spending  the  ''  all  in  ''  chips  of  imputs,  until  the  roof  caves  in  wizard - ary , then  of  hope  this  all  works  magic  -   -   -

 

Hats  off  to  both  of  you  - Smiley Wink

 

Acres  of  gully  wash  outs,  and  piles  of  water  soaked  corn  stalks,  won't  receive  a  quick  remedy  with  high  tecK  gadgetry  -  in  the  Cornhusker  State, after  this  latest  weather  (100  year )  event  -  Smiley Sad           

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Honored Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

And big chem will still hold those  buddy buddy meetings with only the big producers.  Offering cheap inputs and a long term position in their grower pool ......be one of ours and give us your data, so we can use it to control you and world food supply.  

 

neither them or usda will rebuild a levee or a road.

 

But my decision is not bitterness.  It is just reality.... I am nearly convinced that grain markets will not be allowed to get out of control again.  But that is not the problem..... The expenses are ratcheted higher than wishing is going to fix.... 

 

1.  Our socialist congress and liberal courts are not going to allow competition in our economy again.

2.  No new herbicide changes ......... we keep reblending the worn out 60's and 70's formula's..... the public fools keep cheering for zero chemical use...  This destroys one of the legs of the economic stool for grain production.

3.  Killing animals for meat is demonized in most every classroom and disney film.  And soilent "new" green is being developed and test marketed to rave reviews in the moron press.  Wendy's and MD are test marketing it --(giving in to the political pressure)  It has demand destruction in its heart for big corn.  This goes after another leg of the economic stool for grains.   Dairy tucks itself in here somewhere with obvious low demand in the grocery......based on price....and extreme concentration in production is viewed as abusive.  Our kids congregate in the carousel for a ballgame but our cows are brutalized by one.

Soda without corn sweetners is considered superior at the check out stand and in advertising...

4.  The ethanol failure ...... did not fail.....our socialist congress continues to struggle with this problem and view it now as an "encouragement" to fossel fuels and a benefit to red meat.

5......The cheapest producer sets the price, in a global market controled by the international corporate cartels ... We in the US are not the cheapest producers.    The US faces a serious reality .... It can either invade Brazil and acquire cheap food production by power or idle its production and borrow itself into history, agriculturally......... Or learn how to store grain again and market a quality product.  But why would the money folks in the US want to store something they love to hate.

6  And finally ----- the beer market demonizes the use of corn sweeteners.

 

No amount of education is going to correct the subversive "education" that is controlled by 60's drug loving fools..

 

So I think grains are going to struggle until Americans are trying to trade a deed to a section of farm land in Ks for two good used tires, 20 gallons of gas, and three bags of groceries.  Just as they did just a short 82 years ago.

We will see 

"Not making a choice is often the worst choice we make."

 

 

 

 

Honored Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

I suppose 25yrs ago those that would travel to Europe would report back "small 100 acre farms, picturesque cows grazing on hillsides, flowers planted next to the cobblestone roads and brand new Massey Ferguson and Ford tractors all over the place...no junk!".  What the traveler would explain is "they remember WWII and what it was to starve, so they really take care of their farmers, pay them to plant flowers for tourists if nothing else". 

 

Well, if you go on You Tube the Europeans have bigger newer machinery than we do and huge swaths of land.   I would guess what happened is those that remember staring in WWII died like over here and the youngsters let the Bigshots take over, probably even more so than here.  But look at who`s gotten elected to congress here, the AOC`s, it isn`t Marcia Brady`s country anymore.  Gen X had "power" for awhile, now it`s the Millennials getting to be 40, well they never missed a meal, wasn`t taught history and hate their MAGA grandparents.

 

Some in the Farm Bureau think we have to recognize this and appease that generation by cutting fert & chem and no-tilling.   Trouble is, they are so many generations removed from agriculture I don`t know if there`s any educating them, giving them a 2 hour farm tour won`t erase 20 years of indoctrination.  I`m afraid we need a multiple year worldwide drought and some empty grocery store shelves...but oh yeah "global warming".  I`m sure they have that covered.  Smiley Happy

 

But here`s some European Bigshots chopping silage, they got em over there too.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2TPkjcV3bM

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Honored Advisor

Re: Try to be 5% better farmer to survive.

worst part is BA  ----- This population will never admit the hoax they just went through was really just a political scam.......... How on earth will they ever figure out there is a place in our economy for most everything they demonize on the way to political power.  IE ...fossil fuels.  red meat, or corn byproducts, or ........... for me it is the litmus test for new ideas "If something else has to be demonized to make a new idea popular it is just a scam."  Good ideas will succeed on their own.

 

millennials --- I give them a bigger pass.  Fact I kind of feel sorry for them..... The 60's hate and demonize crowd has left them with a legal system so constrictive and narrow that they won't be allowed to change direction or think for themselves.  Most of them are smarter than a newly elected congressperson.  But won't be allowed to live or think independently.  Even going off the grid will be a path paved with environmental fog.  ---- Millennials remind me of a Ukrainian friend that was educated under USSR.  He is bright and a great student..... but has spent half his life trying to figure out which things he believes are true and false, knowing he was taught lies  ...... millennials(and younger) are caught in a similar circumstance.  Being taught unproven theories and not taught how to formulate and test theories.  They don't know the theorems behind a science calculators function-- so they don't know how to tell when the answers are wrong.  Expand that to computer modeling and they only have a choice to "believe" what they are told.  

 

I climbed through a B-24 yesterday and watched friends fly in one.... interviewed a friend at coffee this morning who sat in the rear gun turret for 20+ missions in 1944-45.  Some Russians think that the US mass production of planes, trucks, tanks, etc in the 40's is the greatest feat by humans in history. ----- just B-24's alone were cranked out at over 12 per day ---365 days per year----with the technology of a slide rule and a good cheap education. ----- Our young people won't accomplish much after the electricity goes out or the Chinese stop supporting the software.

Both exciting and very difficult times these days

 

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