Scott does his farming over here in the Dakotas, and sometimes this podcast is guilty of focusing only on the type of farming that happens out that way. But of course, there’s a whole country (and world) of farming out there.
So today we’re going to be focusing on some of the hot farming topics in the state of California. This episode is an interview with Vaughn Brenda and Jeffrey Chapman from Valley Farms Supply and Fence Post Ag.
In most categories of life, there’s that one elite group.
In business, there’s the Fortune 500. In the military, there are the Navy Seals.
Scott just read a book called Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine, who was not only a Navy Seal, but graduated as the top Navy Seal—which is insane. In the book, he teaches how to become what you want to be in life. All entrepreneurs—farmers included—should have an understanding of the mental state and conditioning he teaches in the book.
Specifically, there are four skills Scott learned that will help you farm like a Navy Seal.
If you’re in farming for the money . . . it’s gonna be a tough life for ya.
However, there is a lot of money to be made when you’re really good at it. The worst markets provide the best opportunities.
In this episode Scott shares six ways you can strategically grow your farm—even during the hard times.
The hardest part of farming by far is navigating the grain markets and making grain sales.
At the end of the day, "Bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered." Choose a side—if you don’t, you’ll be making one of these three critical grain marketing mistakes.
Capital is the lifeblood of business.
A business can't grow without access to capital through debt and equity. Most farms grow and prosper through partnerships with banks and their own wealth, built up over time.
Use the strategies in this episode to improve your working capital position on the farm.
Farmers have mixed perspectives on grain bins.
So many bins have actually cost farmers money, allowing them to make bad decisions in their marketing.
But those big tin cans should actually be huge profit centers for the farmer, if used properly. In this episode, Scott tells you exactly how to use grain bins to gain the maximum profit.
Sometimes, even good seasons hide pitfalls.
During the boom times of $8 corn and $16 soybeans three or four years ago, many farmers offset tax burdens by purchasing machinery and using the section 179 accelerated depreciation. A few of us were a bit too aggressive in doing this and ended up with a little more machinery than we should have...
In this episode, we’ll talk about how to monetize the used machines you have sitting around and have excess money instead of excess equipment.
Last week we went over how to set smart goals. This week we will build what I like to call goal trees in order to build and maintain momentum in achieving our "Health, Wealth, Love, and Happiness" goals.
The success rate with goal trees is very high; adding a coach into the mix who keeps you accountable makes it even higher.
In this episode, we’ll take a look at what the goal tree strategy looks like.
Setting goals is crucial to keeping motivated and focused—focused on what needs to be done on a daily basis in order to be successful in your farming business.
But aren’t goals only for the beginning of the year? No way.
In this episode, Scott explains why you should set goals right now: goals that are really, really SMART.
This year I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, which means I heard six hours of Q & A with Warren Buffett. As a farmer, I was listening from a very interesting perspective, to see if I could transfer the wisdom I heard from Buffett, in particular, to a farming operation.
I got more than I bargained for. When he talks, I listen. I recommend that you do the same.
Here are seven things I learned from Buffett that can be applied to farming.
Here it is: the grand finale of our series on building a grain marketing plan!
This last topic is the most challenging and technical part of the grain marketing plan: producing price targets. That is, trying to figure out what’s a good price and when you should sell.
The futures market is tricky; there are a lot of moving parts. If I could predict the futures market, I’d be living on a private island. Too bad...
However, there’s plenty you can understand about the futures. Let’s get into it.
James and Scott have been talking about building a grain marketing plan these last few weeks. So far, they’ve covered the need to quantify your grain and to handle logistics.
Today, they’re going to talk about all the tools at the disposal of the grain marketer, starting with the most familiar and moving to the less familiar.
If a grain marketing opportunity comes your way, you have to be able to pull the trigger.
That’s the theme of this month’s episodes: how to build a grain marketing plan that works.
This week is logistics, or in other words, figuring out when you can haul grain and what can you store.
Dwight Eisenhower used to say, "In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."
It’s an interesting quotation. He didn’t know where the Germans were going to be at, but he had a plan and modified that plan as information was revealed to him once the battle unfolded.
The same is true of a grain marketing plan. We may have price targets at certain points, but then we may get an extreme rally.
This month, we’re going to focus on the four main parts of building a grain marketing plan. Step one to successfully building a grain marketing plan is to quantify exactly how much grain you need to market.
Swinging for the fences in the grain markets and striking out can result in bankruptcy. We have all heard of the neighbor who lost the farm in the futures market. Can you make enough on that one swing to make up for the other nine? Probably not.
So your strategy for conquering the grain markets should be going for base hits. The best baseball players are those who get the bat on the ball every single time and get on base. That’s how you score runs.
Take a look at these five strategies to conquer the grain markets more consistently.
Farmers have various prices that greatly fluctuate on their farming operation. Most of them can be hedged using various strategies and programs.
You may not realize it, but fuel and fertilizers are part of that group: they can be hedged to take away the risk of their constantly fluctuating prices.
Farmers only get about 30 paychecks in their lifetimes.
Scary thought, huh?
The most important factor in each of those paychecks is grain marketing. In this episode, Scott lays out three components of a grain marketing plan that will make every paycheck count.
Spring is now yawning and waking up from its slumber, and most farmers are just about to start planting corn. Figuring out the return on investment for every input on your farm is crucial to making sure you’re the lowest-cost producer.
And since farming is somewhat of a competition, the lowest-cost producer wins.
Ready for some math? Today, we’ll focus on determining the ROI for one specific input: liquid starter fertilizer.
Does it make sense for your farm? Let’s see.
During the boom years of farming, many operations bought lots of equipment and built shops. Now, in these tough times, plenty of farmers are being choked by debt.
Luckily, there are tricks to get out from under it. Join Scott as he discusses the best strategies to ease the burden of debt.
Resources from the episode:
The default training system of many farmers is to throw an employee in a tractor and tell them to go. But that doesn’t make the employee successful, confident, or motivated.
Believe it or not, it’s easy to motivate people—if you have the right plan. Use these 10 strategies to keep work morale and ethic high on your farm.
Scott knows what it’s like to take over a farming operation from his dad. And no, it’s not easy.
If you’re trying to prove to your father that you’re ready to take the keys to the farm, you have to make him feel comfortable with the idea.
Listen in to today’s episode to hear how.
2015 was a tough year for farmers, and 2014 was even worse.
To make up for the losses you experienced in those years, you’ll have to have a clear financial strategy.
Join Scott and James as they discuss how you can turn a couple of down years into a bright future.
How do farmers manage and organize all of their data into an actionable format?
That’s the million dollar question. What the heck do we do with all this data we collect?
Today, we unpack just how the right type of farm management solution can use this data to help you track profitability ensure you get a proper return on your investment.
Competition is a beautiful thing. At least, it is in the marketplace. Competition is what allows farmers to shop around and find the best deals.
Since farmers are buyers of a lot of expensive inputs, shopping around is crucial. Listen as Scott unpacks how to make win-win deals and set yourself up for continued success.
We’re at a low point in the cycle of agriculture.
Commodity prices are low, and margins are razor thin. So we need to strategically plan each field like our whole farm depends on it.
You will probably be able to make decent money on a couple of corn and soybean fields, but for those other fields, you might have to consider different crops to make money.