Top Lessons Learned at Top Producer Seminar

February 5, 2014 11:00 PM
Top Lessons Learned at Top Producer Seminar

Read articles and view speakers’ presentations from the 2014 Top Producer Seminar.

The more than 800 farmers, from 30 states, who attended the 2014 Top Producer Seminar left Chicago with many ideas to ponder. Amidst bearish ag markets, speakers and panelists shared their thoughts on how farmers can work through the challenges and transitions ahead.

Setting and maintaining good business practices is the key take away from this year’s seminar, which was titled, "Ahead of the Pack."

Read the stories below for experts’ insights, as well as tips on how to make your farming operation stable and profitable in 2014.


Tighter Margins, True, but Ag’s Future Remains Bright
Grain and oilseed prices have taken their lumps in recent months, particularly corn, but for producers well positioned with strong working capital, the future is a bright one. Use these eight strategies to help you prosper during the rocky road ahead.

How to Make an Extra $100 per Acre
For farmers facing lower revenues for their 2014 crop, the new Farm bill may actually provide more revenue than the old farm bill. Farm CPA Paul Neiffer explains the tax implications of the new farm bill, and how you could benefit.

Three Ways to Communicate Better with Landlords
Dave Nelson of Nelson Family Farms in Fort Dodge, Iowa, explains how producers can improve communication and expand networks.

Top Priority for 2014: Protect the Balance Sheet
The No. 1 job for crop producers in 2014 is to protect their capital positions created from an unprecedented run of near-record prices. Employing price protection strategies can help safeguard your profit margin against sharp drops in prices.

Why GAAP for Farmers
The experience of the 1980s farm debt crisis pointed out that the methods used to determine,
measure and analyze the financial position and the financial performance of farmers were
either totally inadequate or seriously underutilized. Today, as profits look more challenging to attain in 2014, financial institutions are starting to push for strong accounting principles and adoption of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices).

Moe Russell: Be the Lead Dog in Farming
While there will be reasons for some to exit the industry in the next five years, there will be plenty of opportunities for others, he tells the 2014 Top Producer Seminar.

Can Corn Drop to $3.50?
If weather does an about-face and approaches normal this year throughout the Corn Belt, some believe rising surpluses could send corn prices almost $1 lower from current levels.

The Must-Dos for Human Resource Success
Tough times seem to be looming for the farm industry. During these times, Laura Cornille-Cannady, a farm business consultant who specializes in human resources, says you must maximize your assets, which include your cash, land, equipment and people. Use these tips to make sure you are fully maximizing their talent and your operation’s results.

The Upside of Low Prices
With grain prices, market expert Jerry Gulke says he doesn’t know for sure where prices are going, but he does know where they are not going – back up to record highs. But, he also doesn’t think they are headed too much further south, either.

Cash Method of Accounting on Verge of Extinction
If Washington lawmakers reach agreement on changes to the tax code, it will change how top producers do some aspects of business, says Farm CPA Paul Neiffer.


View more than 25 presentation PDFs from the 2014 Top Producer Seminar and Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference.

A Social Seminar

Twitter exploded during the Top Producer Seminar with farmers, speakers and more sharing their thoughts, 140 characters at a time. Here is just a sampling of the tweets shared.


@JeremyOlson12: "Awesome presentation Moe Russell. Nice info to ponder and think about. #TPS14"

@ksgraintrain: "Pretty touching keynote from @vinceposcente at #TPS14 Proud of my passion to #farm and now #READYGO"

@ATI_DaveFogel: "A big thank you to the folks at Top Producer for the speaking opportunity and to those who came to my speaking session. Enjoyed it! #TPS14"

@Bayer4CropsUS: "Thanks @TopProducerMag for a great Top Producer Seminar #TPS14 @HiltonChicago. See you next year!"

@Miller_Time6: "I just wanted to once again thank @topproducermag for such a phenomenal seminar..I'm going home well prepared for the future .. #TPS14"

@MPLadner: "Great Mission Statement #harleydavidson "We Fulfill Dreams" no jargon #tps14 great reminder for all branding"

@PitstickFarms: "@DrSimonAtkins is the most entertaining and enlightening speaker I've ever heard at @topproducermag #TPS14 #worththetrip"

@Tessmannart: "Just got done watching the taping of U.S. farm report at TPS. Pretty cool. #TPS14"



For more information on the Top Producer Seminar or Tomorrow’s Top Producer events, visit



Thank you to the 2014 Top Producer Seminar sponsors:
Premier Sponsors: Agrigold, Apache Sprayers, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Cargill, Case IH, Challenger, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, ESN, Firestone, Koch Agronomic Services, RCIS, SFP, Syngenta, Top Third Ag Marketing

Co-Sponsors: Advance Trading, CliftonLarsonAllen, The Gulke Group, Kennedy and Coe, Michelin, Novozymes, OPI Integris, Soybean Premiums, Wyffels Hybrids


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