Latest News From Sara Schafer

Nebraska Farmland Values Jump 14% in 2023 — Up 30% in Two Years

This year marks the second-largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska since 2014 and the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the 45-year history of the survey. 

Slowing Rural Economy Creates Negative Outlook

Economic growth is stalling in rural America. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University. 

How Many Farms Are in the U.S.?

Total land in farms decreased 1.9 million acres to 893,400,000 acres in 2022 versus 2021. Here is other noteworthy farmland data, courtesy of USDA’s Farms and Land in Farms 2022 Summary. 

Planting Forecast: Will Spring Rains Undo Winter’s Sins?

Winter is not the high precipitation time frame for many portions of farm country, Snodgrass says. One spring storm system can deliver the same amount of soil moisture as all the snowfall during the winter.

The Results Are In: These Are the Top Two Tillage Types

With more than 1,500 responses, we have a clear winner for the two most common tillage types.

Warren Buffett’s 6 Pieces of Advice for Business CEOs

“Our CEO will always be the Chief Risk Officer – a task it is irresponsible to delegate,” says American investor Warren Buffett.

Ken Ferrie: Early Bird Gets the Bushels

You can’t always predict the weather; but you can put plans in place so you’re ready to plant in all conditions.

Poll Results: The Majority of 500+ Farmers Have Locked In 2023 Inputs

With higher-than-average costs and spring planting on the horizon, farmers are locking in their 2023 input needs.  

Rural Economy Slows While Farmland Values Stay Strong

The rural economy seems to be set on cruise in neutral gear. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University. 

2017 Outlook
5 Crop and Livestock Charts to Ponder from USDA’s 10-Year Outlook

What will the next decade hold for your farm? What factors should you use to weigh investments or crop planning?  Here are five trends and data sets to ponder from USDA's latest Agricultural Baseline Projections.

4 Macro Factors Impacting the Agricultural Economy

What is the state of the U.S. economy? How will these macro factors impact the agricultural economy? John Deere's Kanlaya Barr provides a guide to a few risks you should monitor in the next year.

3 Supply and Demand Takeaways from USDA's February Report

While Tyler Schau, AgMarket.Net hedging strategist, wouldn’t call this month’s report a barnburner, it did have a few market implications.

Costs And Benefits Of Back-To-Back Corn or Soybeans

High input costs, excessive disease pressure or commodity prices — any of these factors could be pushing you to plant back-to-back corn or back-to-back soybeans. 

Dissect Costs Versus Benefits of Conservation Practices

Define your goals and desired ROI for conservation practices on your farm.

Bill Biedermann: The World Needs Both North and South American Bin Busters

Thus, the trend of the 2023/24 ag markets is clearly balancing on a tightrope of weather.

How Do You Add Value to Commodity Crops? Build a Niche Market, Proves Idaho Operation

Idaho operation builds niche business to complement core crops.

Brazil is Short on Bin Space As Grain Output Outpaces Storage Capacity

The 2022/23 crop season could post two records in Brazil: a record 313 million tons of soybeans, corn, cotton, rice and wheat and a record storage deficit of more than 100 million tons.

3 Consumer Trends Farmers Can’t Afford to Ignore

Consumer preferences can totter between fads and trends. For farmers to capitalize on consumer demands, they must be able to sort out which market opportunities to pursue, says Rob Dongoski with Ernst & Young.

Have a Goal to Be a Better Leader in 2023? Here are Steps to Take

“You can begin at any point in the year, but the power of this is that by improving yourself first, others follow,” says Mark Faust, president of Echelon Management.

4 Ag Policy Issues to Watch in 2023

Big moves in Washington in 2023 could impact your farm.

Sub-Acre Profit Equation: Ensure Each Acre Earns Its Keep

Make sure each acre earns its spot on your farm roster.

Survey Results: Ag Lenders Share Profitability Forecasts, Top Concerns and More

In just a few years the farm financial pendulum swung from shaky to stable, according to the 2022 Agricultural Lender Survey report by the American Bankers Association and Farmer Mac.

5 Eye-Popping Farmland Sales from 5 States

Check out these impressive farmland sales from 2022.

Rural Bankers Share Predictions on Farmland Values, Recession and the Economy

For a sixth consecutive month, the rural economy has posted signs of weakness. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University.

$30,000 Per Acre? Yep, The Details on the Latest Record-Breaking Farmland Sale

Not to sound like a broken record, but we have another record for farmland sales. In Sioux County, Iowa, 73.19 acres of high-quality farmland sold for $30,000 per acre during an auction on Nov. 11.

Bushel Bump: USDA Shows a Slight Increase for Corn, Soybean Yields

Small crops are no longer getting smaller. In its November round of crop reports, USDA increased both the national corn and soybean yield by 0.4 bu.

Everything’s Bigger in Brazil: The Country Is Poised To Set A Grain Production Record

Brazil is a top-five producer of 34 agricultural commodities. As Brazilian farmers start to plant this fall, forecasts show the 2022/23 crop harvest could be the largest ever.

Farmland Price Record: $27,400 Per Acre in Southeast Nebraska

The nearly 280 acres sold in two tracts on Oct. 27 for a total of $5.5 million.

Behold the Bootstrapper: Sarah Frey’s Journey from 80 Acres to a Seven-State Operation

Sarah Frey started a simple produce delivery route that has evolved into a fresh fruit and vegetable operation that distributes products nationally.

7 Pumpkin Facts to Impress Your Friends on Halloween

In honor of Halloween, arm yourself with a few impressive statistics, courtesy of USDA, about everyone’s favorite fall squash: the pumpkin. 

Drought Levels Enter 2012 Territory

As of Oct. 25, nearly 63% of the U.S. is experiencing drought conditions. That’s more than a 3% increase from just last week and the highest it's been since 2012.

Banker Confidence in the Rural Economy Drops to Two-Year Low

For the sixth time in the past seven months, the rural economy has posted signs of weakness. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University.

New Record: Iowa Farm Joins the $26,000 Per Acre Club

Farmland is still going for record amounts. Just look at this recent sale in Iowa. In Plymouth County, Iowa, a new record was set to the tune of $26,250 per acre.

400 Farmers Shared Their Weed Nemesis, Does Yours Match?

The results are in. Around 400 farmers answered the AgWeb poll of: What Is Your Top Weed Nemesis on Your Farm?

Is Frost Headed to Your Fields this Week? Check Out this Map

Colder air is drifting toward much of the Corn Belt to end the week. It is advancing through the central U.S. and then will continue its chilly journey toward the East Coast.

Stalk Rots: Be on the Lookout for This Yield Robber at Harvest

Sneaky and quiet, stalk rots can take a big bite out of corn yields.

How Low Will it Go? Harvest Barge Traffic Slows Due to Low River Levels

Harvest progress is up, but river levels are down. South of St. Louis, parts of the Mississippi River are so low from weeks of drought that barge traffic is being limited.

3 Factors to Watch for Clues to the Future of Fertilizer Prices

Fertilizer is always a big line item for your production costs. For 2023, plan on it being an even bigger chunk. 

2023 Cash Rent Outlook: Be Ready for Higher Rates

Overall, cash rent levels will likely increase across all land classes. But, they're less than the increases that happen between 2021 and 2022. 

Nominate the Nation's Best Female Farmers

The 2023 Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award will be given to a female producer who is a shining example for her peers.

How Your Management Can Impact Key Corn Yield Components

While a cornfield’s bushels per acre is measured by the combine, it is set months before.

Understand the Soybean’s Journey from Planting to Harvest

Use this guide to understand the vegetative and reproductive stages of soybeans.

High Interest Rates and Inflation Dragging Down the Rural Economy

For a fifth straight month, the rural economy has posted signs of trouble. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University.

Combat The Bullies of the Plant World (Weeds) With This Checklist

As the bullies of the plant world, weeds cost you time, money and energy. You need a comprehensive weed management plan that includes all the tools at your disposal.

Unspoken Truths About Pests: Japanese Beetles

These pests have colossal appetites but don’t tend to pack an economic punch.

Soybean Surprise: Prices Jump After USDA Lowers Yield Estimate

Corn and soybean production will both be down from 2021, according to USDA’s September Crop Production report. That news sent prices higher for both markets.

Young Farmers Build Dream Farm, One Piece At A Time

Brendan and Elaine Martin are building their dream farm — one piece at a time. 

U.S. Cropland Cash Rents Hit All-Time High

For 2022, the national average for cash rents on cropland is $148 per acre. That’s up $7 from last year and eclipsed the previous high of 2015’s $144 per acre.

Squash the Record: Nebraska Pumpkin Grower Paddles 846-lb. Pumpkin on Missouri River

To commemorate his 60th trip around the sun, Duane Hansen set a new world record.

Nominate Outstanding Farmers for Top Honors

During the 2023 Top Producer Summit, Top Producer will recognize remarkable farmers who have taken risks, built thriving businesses and given back to their communities.