Farm Forum

12/04/18 — The old joke is the three most important items in the grain market are China, China, and China. We have gotten tired of hearing it, but really much of the outlook for the market depends upon our export relationship with China, which recently has been rocked as China and the U.S. j…

Farm Forum

As a child, I lived under the iron-fisted rule of a totalitarian regime. Those who held authority over me constantly reinforced their draconian edicts with such phrases as, “Go ask your father!” and “Stop whining! You have to brush your teeth whether you like it or not!” and “Because I said …

Farm Forum

My last few columns have been focused on life insurance and just how invaluable it can be as a financial tool to properly fund a well-rounded and complete estate plan. Specifically survivorship life insurance, as it by far provides the lowest cost means of guaranteeing the liquidity needed t…

Farm Forum

We sometimes associate cause and effect without knowing the real link, or as an academic buzz phrase has it, “correlation does not equal causation.” A quick search provides a humorous example. Did you know ice cream sales and shark attacks are highly correlated? While true in a broad sense, …

Farm Forum

11/27/18 — Tensions between Russia and the West were increased as Russia detained and fired on three Ukraine ships in the Kerch Strait on the Black Sea Sunday, very close to Crimea. The U.S. and Europe are all crying foul, with Ukraine declaring martial law in some areas to prepare to defend…

Farm Forum

As this year’s harvest winds down, it might be tempting to just “square up the books” and get ready for another round next year. In fact, some of you may have already invested money towards the 2019 crop with early purchases of seed, fertilizer, or chemical. I think it is also important to i…

Farm Forum

My wife and I edged our way down the long hallway at the back of the restaurant, past the bustling, smoke-filled kitchen with its blazing grill and the swinging doors where waitstaff sang out “Coming in!” as they pushed through. We reached a nondescript, unmarked doorway and whispered a secr…

Farm Forum

McCrory Gardens at South Dakota State University in Brookings has been an All America Selections (AAS) Trial and Display gardens for many years and this year was no different. This year we had 11 entrees with their comparisons to evaluate. McCrory Gardens only evaluates seed grown ornamental…

Farm Forum

11/20/18 — While producers in the upper Midwest continue to struggle with harvest in a wet/cold fall, prices of most commodities are doing almost nothing other than crude oil — which just keeps going down. Crude has gone from $77/barrel to $54/barrel in just a little over a month, with the O…

Farm Forum

At this time of the year we Americans traditionally pause to give thanks for our many blessings. This includes such things such as a voluminous variety of victuals, more televised football games than any nation on the planet and the fact that we won’t have to endure another election for anot…

Farm Forum

Every February the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases a 10-year baseline projection of the production and utilization of key crops and livestock beginning with the marketing year that starts in the then-current year. In February 2018, the USDA agricultural projections we…

Farm Forum

The world is so full of realities that we can’t ignore. You don’t pay your electric bill? The utility company will turn off your lights. You don’t look before you back out of your driveway? Eventually, you’ll cause an accident. You ignore a weed problem in your field? Your yields will be lower.

Farm Forum

11/13/18 — Our president has a way of attaching the phrase “Lyin’” in front of his opposition’s name, and perhaps it’s appropriate to attach the same to our old trade friend/foe China. For in the USDA report last week, China revised its corn (and wheat) stocks numbers to the point that world…

Farm Forum

Coming from a dairy background, I was well versed in livestock tracking — every birth was recorded, every breeding date, and when the animal may come back into heat. Along with those general livestock records, we were part of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association so every cow’s production w…

Farm Forum

11/06/18 — It’s election day, and many think the fate of the world lies on this election. But the truth is that it doesn’t, and even politicians can’t make too many stupid decisions even if they are elected. So for the most part, good decisions are made at the legislative level after proper …

Farm Forum

The 2018 Farm Bill is being written in an intensely partisan environment. We see it in the campaign rallies, we see it in the ads on television, we see the results of partisanship in day to day interactions when neighbors are afraid to talk to each other if they are on opposite sides of the …

Farm Forum

Some of you may remember Wendy’s popular advertising campaign – dating back to 1984 – when an elderly lady questioned the hamburger that arrived with a lot of bun and little meat, prompting her to ask: “Where’s the beef?”

Farm Forum

While reviewing corn and soybean profitability from our 2017 South Dakota Annual Report, I am amazed at how the range of direct costs of production between the listed profitability groups have narrowed from the wide variance seen in past years. It would seem that the focus of controlling cos…

Farm Forum

I gave the trip rope a mighty heave and the creaky steel-wheeled plow settled onto the ground like a rusty dinosaur skeleton sagging beneath its own weight. I engaged the John Deere A’s clutch and opened its throttle. The plow bit into the earth, flipping over muddy slabs that shone like fra…

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