Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

December 2020

Building a Successful Soybean Budget

Farming in the modern era is a skill that must balance biology and agronomy with cost and markets. Thus, it’s important to understand what the top influencing factors are for raising high-yielding soybeans. Once you know the factors, you can balance them with the current market. Like any budget, it’s important to separate cost into fixed and variable. Fixed costs: Seed, crop insurance, herbicides, fertilizers, land payments Variable costs: Storage, trucking, labor, fuel, parts Fixed to Variable: Seed Replant: Understand service policy and try to get 100% replant to move this into the fixed cost category. Overseeding: It’s important [...]

By |December 30, 2020|

Three Tips for Successful No-Till

2021 could bring a lot of discussion about increasing the number of soybean acres because of profitability factors, logistics, etc. This change in crop rotation could allow for a large percentage of soybeans being no-tilled across Illinois. No-till has several great value points. However, if you don’t do your homework, this practice could result in added challenges and the potential that you don’t no-till soybeans again. Below are three areas to spend some time this winter researching to ensure no-till soybeans are successful for you. 1. Stand Establishment a. Seed To Soil Contact:  i. Challenge: No-till soils tend to [...]

By |December 28, 2020|

Sowing the Seeds in Water Management

Perhaps farmers have been facing their most challenging decade ever. Water management has been an important issue that is discussed globally. The critical nature of water conservation and drainage can have a lasting effect on the investment that farmers and landowners make. Given the competitive nature of the industry, many service providers are competing on low price. Recognizing the delicate balance between price and equity might be the key to maximizing the investment. Traditional methods of conducting business may not be applicable in the world we live in today. Outdated techniques can lead to inefficiencies and intensifying volatility. Professionals [...]

By |December 23, 2020|

What Should My Adjusted Gross Income Be?

Each year taxpayers have the opportunity to work with their tax preparer to craft a year-end tax plan that provides a desired tax liability. Taxpayers may use current tax legislation to lower or raise taxable income by claiming more or less taxable income during the current tax year. While working through tax planning decisions, taxpayers may wonder “What should my adjusted gross income be?” This article discusses adjusted gross income and identifiable signals which answer that question. What is Adjusted Gross Income? Individual income tax returns have changed a bit over the past several years; not only in how [...]

By |December 20, 2020|

Say Hello at the Virtual 2021 Soybean Summit

BLOOMINGTON, ILL – December 16, 2020 – Registration for the 2021 Soybean Summit is now open! This three-morning virtual summit experience, themed “Say Hello: Home Edition” will take place February 10, 17, and 24, 2021. Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, this event provides a rich lineup of expert speakers sharing the latest agronomic insights, sustainable production and agribusiness management advice, along with actionable recommendations to improve farmer yields, sustainably, and boost bottom lines. Some of this year’s Soybean Summit speakers include: Dr. Shawn Conley, State Soybean and Wheat Specialist; Molly Stalker, East Region Specialty Grains Leader [...]

By |December 16, 2020|

Soil Erosion

Illinois soils are some of the most fertile and desirable soils in the world. Soils—comprised of minerals and organic matter—are heavily influenced by climate (water, temperature), biology, humans and time. Illinois soils were largely shaped and influenced by the glacial activity that took place prior to modern cultivation. This activity allowed Illinois soils to develop deep soil layers of the A horizon, B horizon and organic matter. It’s these layers that allow for high crop productivity in the modern agriculture production era. Soil Organic Matter is comprised of dead plant parts, living plant parts and living microorganisms. It’s the [...]

By |December 15, 2020|

Finding Ways to Connect With Technology

Farmers rely on new ag technologies to provide efficiencies and advantages needed to grow crops profitably. Agtech companies rely on farmers for input and testing to ensure those innovations meet their on-farm needs and expectations. That synergy is the idea behind an exciting Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) project for 2021. AgTechConnect connects farmers interested in new technologies with agtech companies seeking on-farm testing partners. This program brings Illinois soybean farmers a tremendous opportunity to be among the first to try the latest agricultural innovations—an opportunity increasingly embraced by many farmers across the state. Technology testing has put ISA board [...]

By |December 14, 2020|

End of Year Deadlines at the FSA Office

For most, the 2020 harvest has come to an end and now it’s time to quickly complete all the year-end tasks. It’s important to remember that between now and the end of the year there are very few open days of business for the county FSA offices, so be proactive and address any needs sooner rather than later. I recently had the opportunity to visit with FSA State Executive Director William Graff. During our conversation, I learned about upcoming FSA deadlines and the importance of updating FSA farm records. We both agreed that with the holiday season upon us [...]

By |December 11, 2020|

Depreciation: Starting with the Basics

Depreciation is a term you’ve probably heard your accountant use fairly often; understanding its full meaning and financial implications is important to make strategic management decisions. The concept of depreciation is not as daunting as one would think. This article will provide details to give you more confidence when discussing and selecting depreciation for your operation. An Example – Tractor Purchase When you purchase a tractor (or other depreciable property), it starts to lose value as it ages. When the tractor is sold, it likely brings less in return than the original purchase price. Depreciation is a way to [...]

By |December 8, 2020|
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