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Monday, January 12, 2015

Farm Futures Summit

So what has taken me so long to write about the Farm Futures Summit?  It was a great conference as usual.  Mike Boelhje was probably my favorite speaker, but we have already covered his territory.  In fact belt tightening was a big topic of conversation among several presentations.  I covered most of that before the conference.  I agree producers should be cautious and try to be low cost producers as Mike Boehlje said.

In the past few years, Boelhje, David Kohl and others have talked about setting yourself up in a strong cash position.  Staying cash strong is not real appealing because it involves paying income taxes.  However the producers who took the advice, are in a better position to financially weather leaner times than those who used the good times to spend more on unneeded machinery or by increasing family living expenses.

Landlord relations and succession planning were also hot topics, but I have no comment except that if you need to reduce cash rent, you better have a good relationship with the landlord.  If you don't have  a succession plan there is not time like the present to work on it.

The economic forecasts were cautiously optimistic.  Assuming that the economy stays strong and projecting 2015 yields at trend, prices can be expected to rebound a bit.  Energy costs are a plus.  The strong Dollar could curtail exports a bit. The wild card is world politics. 

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