Oct 2, 2014
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10 Money-Saving Tips for 2014


With corn prices dropping to sub-$4 and the potential for $10 soybeans, it’s time to get creative. There is no one-size-fits-all-farmers answer, but there are numerous ways to more closely align costs with returns.

The good news is that some important inputs, such as fertilizer and fuel, are already coming down in cost. Other inputs, while not decreasing in price, are still too valuable to risk a cutback in yield. One of the best ways to cut costs can actually be a spike in yields.

We’ve called on several experts to offer their suggestions on trimming expenses on everything from the cost of money to minding the details.

Check back regularly, as three tips will be added each week!

interest rates

 1. Plan for Higher Interest Rates

In the light of tighter margins for 2014, you should position your farm so you are prepared for interest rates to increase.

 crop insurance

2. Don’t Skimp on Crop Insurance

One area farmers should not cut this year is crop insurance. In fact, producers should consider boosting coverage levels.


 3. Don't Short-Change Your Farm on Safety

Whether you’re a grain grower expecting tighter margins or a dairy producer pushing milk production, be sure to keep farm safety precautions high on your priorities list this year.

 cost of production

 4. Know Your Production Cost

Knowing your cost of production not only helps you know where to trim expenses, but also when to lock in profit opportunities.


 5. Know Your Exact Fertilizer Needs

Consider ways to make application more efficient while recognizing that cutting too deep on inputs can raise costs.


 6. Evaluate Financial Returns on Cash Rents

It’s prudent to evaluate financial returns with and without high cash rent acres.


7. Right-Size Farm Machinery to Your Acreage

Options include limiting capital expenditures, running equipment longer hours and more.


8. Brush Up on Your Management Skills

During profitable years, it's easy to let management get sloppy. But as times become more turbulent, it's important to sharpen your skills.

 small stuff

 9. Sweat the Small Stuff

It’s not huge costs that make the difference, but small changes throughout the operation.

 family living

10. Shrink Family Living Expenses

In light of tighter margins, farmers should look at every line item to find possible areas to cut expenses.


AgWeb's 2014 Market Outlooks

Want more insight to where the markets might move this year? Read these in-depth  projections for a variety of commodities.

Nov. 4

2014 Outlook: Prepare for a Stagnant Corn Market

By Jen Russell
Is there any hope for corn prices next year? Market analysts Bob Utterback and Greg Wagner offer their thoughts on five wild cards to watch.

Nov. 11

2014 Outlook: Will Record-Setting Cattle Prices Continue?

By Greg Henderson
All-time cattle price records fell like Congressional approval ratings this fall. Can the trend continue in 2014?

Nov. 18

2014 Outlook: Expect Big Wheat Crop, Mildly Bearish Prices

By Nate Birt
High ending stocks and a record corn crop this year likely will cap the upside price potential for wheat next season, experts say.


Nov. 25

2014 Outlook: Pork Industry Ready to Hog More Corn

By Sara Schafer
The 2012 drought left deep scars on the pork industry, but profit opportunities finally abound.

Dec. 2

2014 Outlook: Inverted Soybean Market Suggests Early Pricing

By Ed Clark
If you're storing soybeans, you might want to empty your bins soon—prices could gradually tumble as 2014 approaches.

Dec. 9

2014 Outlook: China Holds All the Cotton Cards

By Boyce Thompson
What China decides to do with its massive reserves, and whether Chinese growers pick up production, will determine the direction of cotton prices in 2014.
Dec. 16

2014 Outlook: Strong Exports Dominate U.S. Dairy Forecast

By Cathy Merlo
Record exports and lower feed costs are bullish for dairy, but clouds loom.


What's moving the markets? Get three-times-daily updates, hosted by Farm Director Al Pell.



Market Data provided by Barchart.com
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