Rookie Lenders’ Expectations

Twenty-six of the 41 agricultural lenders had less than one year of agricultural lending experience. These people had great attitudes and were speaking everything up, but they lacked the institutional memory from the farm crisis of the 1980’s. With the coming winter, this group will test many producers concerning accurate financial information and trend analysis.

The days of doing financials out of the checkbook and balance sheets on scrap paper will be a practice of the past.

It was interesting to note, in our casual visits, the number of people who wanted to farm and ranch but were not able to do so because of smaller margins and high land prices creating a barrier to entry.

New Producer of the Future

A friend who teaches at Black Hills State University and works for the University of Minnesota conducted a sale of part of this year’s crop of soybeans on his cell phone.

Bob Craven, who manages his farm near Jackson, MN, is an example of one of the new 21st Century producers. He has a market plan with specific market targets that are executed. He knows his cost, and when the trigger points occur, he pulls the trigger.

Bob operates this farm, meshing it with his professional duties while maintaining a balance with family.

You could hear the silence

If you want a treat, go to Mount Rushmore. Better yet, check out Devil’s Tower. There is nothing like hearing the silence and observing the beautiful farms and ranches in Western South Dakota and Eastern Wyoming. It is a Road Warrior treat!

My e-mail address is: sullylab@vt.edu.

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.