October 2019 Top Producer
Top Producer October 2019

Read the October issue of Top Producer!


Sara Schafer: Time to Think Differently

The first issue of Top Producer, which was named Top Operator and found inside Farm Journal, hit mailboxes on the heels of the farm crisis in January 1984. It was our response to an increasing need

Which 10 States Have the Highest Cash Rent?

For 2017, the national average for cash rents on cropland is $136 per acre, which shows no change from the 2016 national average. So what states have the highest cash rents in 2017? Here are the top
Sunset over corn field

Should You Rent Out Owned Acres?

Many farmers plan to rent out their ground to fund retirement years. But, should you do so now to improve your financial standing? In most areas, average operator returns exceed rental returns for
Banker Meeting

Are You Operating as a Business or a Lifestyle?

In a recent meeting, one farmer looked across the table to another and asked a tough, pointed question: “Are we running a business or a lifestyle?” The room grew silent. It turns out the question was
Dairy Team Meeting

More Eyes, Better Strategy

Challenging financial situations have created anxiety and confusion over the past five years for most U.S. producers. Low commodity prices have been one of the primary culprits, even though
Father & Son Walking

How Farm CEOs Can Communicate Stress

Volatile markets, unpredictable weather and social isolation are a few of the reasons top farm operators have high levels of stress. To run a successful business, it’s critical farm CEOs know how to

Demand Drivers: Livestock

Strong global, domestic demand provides a bright spot for U.S. grain The U.S. livestock sector is poised to expand to meet growing demand for meat. During the next decade, the industry will be a key
Money & finance

Take the High Profit Road

Bankers share how profitable farmers stay that way What sets farmers in the black apart from those in the red? Four bankers share how farmers are successful in today's tough times. Rate the health of

How Much Social Security Should You Take?

As farmers approach retirement, many will wonder how much extra self-employment or wage income they should report to maximize social security benefits. If they paid in little or no FICA tax during

How Prenups Protect Farms

These agreements are not just for the rich and famous Prenuptial agreements are far from romantic. But, about half of marriages end in divorce, which can be a financial nightmare for a farming
Machinery Pete

Red-Hot Auction Activity Highlights Quality

I will remember August 2019 for a long time. We saw serious economic headwinds, that USDA crop report, trade issues and uncertainty. All those factors lead to growing pessimism and anger. In addition

Exercise A Laser Focus on Your Business

Prioritize your efforts to transform your business When you woke up today, did you have a single priority? Did you know exactly what to tackle first, because it is the most important aspect for your
Grocery Store Images

Conservation Ag Can Future-Proof Your Farm

By Rhonda Brooks and Kinsie Rayburn The choices people make at the grocery store are changing rapidly, causing big waves for the food and agriculture industries. In a 2018 online survey of more than 2

Jerry Gulke: Market Potential Versus Reality

The words “potential” and “percentage of potential” have been bounced around during this unprecedented growing season. While tariffs and weather have had their influence on price volatility this year