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Generic ogden viagra WRITTEN BY DAN MILLER, generic ogden viagra MARCIA ZARLEY TAYLOR AND ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
Minutes after the March 31 crop report, generic ogden viagra partners in Carson & Barron Farms huddle in their Iowa conference room. Generic ogden viagra These allies-eight in all, generic ogden viagra ages 23 to 62-make independent decisions and farm individual holdings.

Generic ogden viagra But as a team, generic ogden viagra they operate with the clout of a 5, generic ogden viagra000- acre farm-pooling equipment, generic ogden viagra labor and skill-and extracting premium prices from the market.

Generic ogden viagra Insurance companies and pension funds have long packaged land holdings as investments. Generic ogden viagra This is different. Generic ogden viagra “What’s different now is that it’s also happening on the operator side, generic ogden viagra” says Mike Boehlje, generic ogden viagra a Purdue University economist.

Generic ogden viagra They operate under the notion that being big confers both cost-saving efficiencies and monetary rewards.

Generic ogden viagra The “Bigs, generic ogden viagra” defined as farms, generic ogden viagra or groups of farms operating under a common business plan with incomes north of $500, generic ogden viagra000, generic ogden viagra control large chunks of America’s farm and ranch productivity. Generic ogden viagra They compete in a highly competitive acreage race that inflates local land prices and rearranges local markets. Generic ogden viagra They wield a purchasing power that commands discounts from the suppliers of equipment, generic ogden viagra seed and other inputs.

Generic ogden viagra Best estimates show there are 57, generic ogden viagra000 farms with annual gross incomes of $1 million or more. Generic ogden viagra Less than 3% of all farms, generic ogden viagra these million-dollar farms haul 59% of all farm sales.

Generic ogden viagra to the million-dollar club the 64, generic ogden viagra000 farms earning $500, generic ogden viagra00 but less than $1 million and you have a tightly controlled farming resource of 121, generic ogden viagra000 farms making 73% of all farm sales.

Generic ogden viagra The consolidation of farming might into fewer and fewer hands has been a fact since the 1930s. Generic ogden viagra But consolidation may have new velocity. Generic ogden viagra At the turn of this century, generic ogden viagra it took 144, generic ogden viagra000 farms to produce three-quarters of the nation’s agricultural output. Generic ogden viagra Back in 1982, generic ogden viagra million-dollar farms accounted for only a quarter of u.s. Generic ogden viagra ag output.

Generic ogden viagra Cotton, generic ogden viagra high-value crops-fruit and vegetablesdairy, generic ogden viagra poultry, generic ogden viagra hogs and fed beef dominate the structures of million-dollar farms. Generic ogden viagra A quarter of the nation’s largest farms are 5 years old or less.

Generic ogden viagra There are also million-dollar grain farms. Generic ogden viagra Take a look at corn: 347, generic ogden viagra000 farms produce corn. Generic ogden viagra Of those, generic ogden viagra 151, generic ogden viagra000 farms grow at least $50, generic ogden viagra000 worth of corn while 62, generic ogden viagra000 farms have corn sales in excess of $50, generic ogden viagra000 and operate more than 1, generic ogden viagra000 corn acres; 29, generic ogden viagra000 farms have 2, generic ogden viagra000 acres or more of corn.

Generic ogden viagra The number fluctuates, generic ogden viagra but in all there appear to be 21, generic ogden viagra000 million-dollar farms that produce at least $50, generic ogden viagra000 worth of corn for grain. Generic ogden viagra According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, generic ogden viagra this thin 6% slice of corn farms generates 38% of all corn sales.

Generic ogden viagra Take this analysis a couple of steps farther. Generic ogden viagra There are 29, generic ogden viagra000 farms, generic ogden viagra with incomes of $500, generic ogden viagra000 to $1 million that produce at least $50, generic ogden viagra000 worth of corn. Generic ogden viagra They account for another 25% of corn production. Generic ogden viagra In total then, generic ogden viagra 50, generic ogden viagra000 farms account for about 63% of all corn for grain sales.

Generic ogden viagra These corn farms and other have purchasing muscle. Generic ogden viagra That’s evident in USDA study of big farms. Generic ogden viagra Operations earning more than $1 million a year produced an operating profit margin of 20%. Generic ogden viagra Operating profit margin increased to 26% on farms earning $5 million a year. Generic ogden viagra Nearly 80% of million-dollar farms produced a positive net farm income that year, generic ogden viagra and they posted a net worth exceeding $5.3 million-compared to a net worth of $790, generic ogden viagra000 for all farms.

Generic ogden viagra Farming businesses with sales exceeding $1 million average 3, generic ogden viagra400 acres-although the specialized farms that make up more than half of this group may work much less ground. Generic ogden viagra Compare that to the 281-acre average for farms earning $250, generic ogden viagra000 or less per year.

Generic ogden viagra American agriculture is still a family business.

Generic ogden viagra Eighty-four percent of million-dollar farms are family operated. Generic ogden viagra Non-family farm operations generally have less than 10 stockholders.

Generic ogden viagra Joint buying, generic ogden viagra marketing power and machinery efficiency create an $85- to $100-an-acre advantage for those who had farmed 1, generic ogden viagra000 acres solo, generic ogden viagra Carson & Barron members say of their alliance.

Generic ogden viagra “My dad and grandfather started farming together in 1966, generic ogden viagra so I learned the benefits of farming in cooperation, generic ogden viagra” says Chris Barron, generic ogden viagra of Rowley, generic ogden viagra Iowa.

Generic ogden viagra But this has new applications. Generic ogden viagra Moe Russell, generic ogden viagra a Panora, generic ogden viagra Iowa, generic ogden viagra farm financial consultant who works with Barron sees merit in the concept for lowering machinery costs. Generic ogden viagra Among his farm clients, generic ogden viagra those savings can range ftom $26 to $180 an acre.

Generic ogden viagra In theory then, generic ogden viagra the efficiencies and benefits found in large farming operations perpetuate the cycle that allows big farIIls or alliances to pull additional resources into their operations. Generic ogden viagra For example, generic ogden viagra one Illinois producer who works 20, generic ogden viagra000 acres is able to bank a 9-cent-per-bushel savings on storage costs because he stores his own harvest.

Generic ogden viagra At times, generic ogden viagra Carson & Barron will pool its grain sales to capture lO-cent-per-bushel premiums on 100, generic ogden viagra000-bushel contracts to processors in nearby Cedar Rapids, generic ogden viagra Iowa.

Generic ogden viagra Large farms and alliances also can benefit by owning their own crop insurance agency ordering inputs direct or pooling grain deliveries in volume to export elevators or grain processors.

Generic ogden viagra “To play [this] game, generic ogden viagra you’d need a group that could fill unit trains or buy fertilizer by the barge load, generic ogden viagra” says Danny Klinefelter, generic ogden viagra a Texas A&M economist and director of an executive education course for commercial farms.

Generic ogden viagra Joe Nichols, generic ogden viagra with 18, generic ogden viagra000 acres outside Cadiz, generic ogden viagra Ky., generic ogden viagra works in the arena Klinefelter describes. Generic ogden viagra It . Generic ogden viagra is details, generic ogden viagra not always obvious, generic ogden viagra that supply the jet fuel for his operation. Generic ogden viagra Look at his annual, generic ogden viagra $7 million equipment budget.

Generic ogden viagra “We traded every motorized vehicle last year, generic ogden viagra” he says, generic ogden viagra adding he trades his Seven Springs Farms tractors and combines annually. Generic ogden viagra This year he brought home seven combines and 18 tractors. Generic ogden viagra “We own every bit of the equipment. Generic ogden viagra We don’t rent them. Generic ogden viagra We don’t lease them.

Generic ogden viagra They are all on the same depreciation schedule, generic ogden viagra” he says. Generic ogden viagra “It’s a wise financial investment for us and we can stay with the most up-to-date systems.” Nichols declines to provide details of his equipmentbuying program, generic ogden viagra but he assures the caller his strategy works profitably for him and his equipment dealer. Generic ogden viagra Key to Nichols’ equipment strategy is the turnover. Generic ogden viagra By keeping operating hours under control (if separator hours on a combine start to push 350 hours, generic ogden viagra he’ll add another combine to the effort), generic ogden viagra he claims tax benefits and commands a premium dollar at trade-in. Generic ogden viagra “You have to have a good dealer to make this work, generic ogden viagra” he explains. Generic ogden viagra Notice he says “dealer, generic ogden viagra” as in one. Generic ogden viagra Nichols does not shop around. Generic ogden viagra He has developed a beneficial relationship with a local dealership. Generic ogden viagra That dealer supports his fleet and is assured a supply of highly maintained, generic ogden viagra low-hour equipll1ent~ Right-sizing equipment makes sense to Bob Craven, generic ogden viagra director of the Univers~tf of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management. Generic ogden viagra The 2, generic ogden viagra400 farm records he tracks in Minnesota show that farms in the 2, generic ogden viagra000- to 5, generic ogden viagra000- acre category spend about $255 per acre for machinery investment, generic ogden viagra versus $382 per acre for farms in the 250- to 500-acre category.

Generic ogden viagra But studies of farm financial records in Minnesota and Illinois show grain operations hit maximum equipment efficiency at 1, generic ogden viagra200 to 1, generic ogden viagra500 acres. Generic ogden viagra Craven thinks larger operations lose some advantages once they hire labor and bring on all of its added costs. Generic ogden viagra Nichols might argue with that. Generic ogden viagra “The last thing we focus on is ‘investment per acre, generic ogden viagra or our [equipment] cost per acre, generic ogden viagra” he says. Generic ogden viagra Rather, generic ogden viagra he maintains an equipment line that gives him the ability to capture opportunity-and 2 million bushels of storage capacity.

Generic ogden viagra At its most basic level, generic ogden viagra Nichols’ marketing strategy is simple: Time equals money. Generic ogden viagra He loathes missed opportunities simply because his semi driver is out planting, generic ogden viagra for instance. Generic ogden viagra To that end, generic ogden viagra he employs drivers to deliver grain into those brief moments when the markets offer unexpected profits.

Generic ogden viagra “If I’m planting corn and the market wants corn, generic ogden viagra I want to be equipped to move corn and plant corn at the same time, generic ogden viagra” Nichols says. Generic ogden viagra “If [other farmers] are planting, generic ogden viagra I can deliver more loads to the elevator because no one is there.” That capability may cut his corn delivery costs by 21h hours per day. Generic ogden viagra “On a cost-per-bushelper- day [basis], generic ogden viagra driver costs start to fall.” Nichols’ grainhandling system is designed to strike quickly. Generic ogden viagra It load out a semi in seven minutes. Generic ogden viagra On one day last fall Nichols’ drivers dumped 72 loads of corn.

Generic ogden viagra Terry Jones and his wife, generic ogden viagra Susie, generic ogden viagra started farming in 1983 with only 92 acres of.com in Williamsburg, generic ogden viagra Iowa. Generic ogden viagra From that humble beginning-in a highly competitive area of eastern Iowa-the Joneses, generic ogden viagra along with Terry’S brother Eric and Eric’s wife, generic ogden viagra Kathy, generic ogden viagra have grown their operation to several thousand acres, generic ogden viagra a grain elevator business, generic ogden viagra a consulting business and land investments in Oklahoma, generic ogden viagra Arkansas and Brazil.

Generic ogden viagra “Every decision we make we look at the return on investment, generic ogden viagra” Terry explains. Generic ogden viagra “We don’t necessarily have the lowest COSt on equipment, generic ogden viagra but timeliness is extremely important to us and our landowners.” The farm recognizes opportunity-contrarian instincts help. Generic ogden viagra Here are some of the farm’s plays.

Generic ogden viagra After watching cattle feeders lose money in 1994 and 1995, generic ogden viagra Terry and Eric moved into the cattle feeding business. Generic ogden viagra “We bought bred heifers for $600 to $650 and built a cow herd. Generic ogden viagra We fed a lot of cattle and built up equity.” In 2003, generic ogden viagra the Joneses cashed in that equity and exited the cattle business.

Generic ogden viagra Terry had four semi trucks that mostly sat around.

Generic ogden viagra After buying an elevator, generic ogden viagra they commercially licensed those trucks and three more. Generic ogden viagra “Our elevator picks up the corn. Generic ogden viagra So”a farmer can sell us 10, generic ogden viagra000 bushels or 50, generic ogden viagra000 bushels and we’ll send three or four trucks and be done in one day, generic ogden viagra” explains Terry.

Generic ogden viagra Terry expects improving corn genetics will expand the size of the Corn Belt. Generic ogden viagra “I think the fringe areas like Oklahoma and Nebraska will see the biggest bang from drought-resistanthybrids, generic ogden viagra” he predicts. Generic ogden viagra Terry bought land in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Generic ogden viagra The Arlington, generic ogden viagra Ky., generic ogden viagra family operation in which Darren Grogan farms is fine-tuning a strategy to “discover” unrecognized value in land. Generic ogden viagra The family does it in part by putting water onto their ground and by removing excess water from it. Generic ogden viagra The Grogan’s run 5, generic ogden viagra500 acres of corn and 11, generic ogden viagra000 acres total.

Generic ogden viagra To bring a good return on that investment-and that marketing opportunity-the family has invested heavily in irrigation, generic ogden viagra with more than 1, generic ogden viagra000 acres under center pivots and more being added.

Generic ogden viagra They do it, generic ogden viagra Grogan explains, generic ogden viagra because the farm can only be as good as the number of 180-bushel acres harvested. Generic ogden viagra In other words, generic ogden viagra irrigated ground produces 240 or more bushels to the acre. Generic ogden viagra But Grogan’s dryland corn fields yield about 180 bushels. Generic ogden viagra Those dryland fields limit the farm’s potential.

Generic ogden viagra “[The irrigation] is not for free, generic ogden viagra” Grogan says of the substantial investment. Generic ogden viagra “But it does give us a management tool.” More interesting is the strategy the Grogans deploy to remove water from ground newly added to the farm. Generic ogden viagra They aggressively tile these new purchases with the farm’s own tiling machine.

Generic ogden viagra “Tiling land that needs to be tiled will make more corn, generic ogden viagra” Grogan says. Generic ogden viagra “We can see 100% yield increases.” Essentially, generic ogden viagra tiling reveals a yield potential not apparent at the time of purchase. Generic ogden viagra It also allows them to plant their corn up to a month earlier.

Generic ogden viagra “You need to look at the final product-find value” no one else saw, generic ogden viagra Grogan says.

Generic ogden viagra Family Farms LLC, generic ogden viagra organized by AgriSolutions founder Allen Lash of Brighton, generic ogden viagra Ill., generic ogden viagra is experimenting with a business model-a kind of big-farm strategy on steroids.

Generic ogden viagra Family Farms aligns large farms in a kind of consortiUm. Generic ogden viagra Some members farm 10, generic ogden viagra000 acres and more. Generic ogden viagra But many believed their operations had hit a ceiling. Generic ogden viagra “They were big but they weren’t growing and they couldn’t figure out why, generic ogden viagra” Lash says.

Generic ogden viagra With coaching from Lash’s group, generic ogden viagra Family Fanus members analyze their strengths, generic ogden viagra weaknesses, generic ogden viagra opportunities and threats, generic ogden viagra and write business plans incorporating the findings. Generic ogden viagra They draft standardized operating procedures. Generic ogden viagra Members commit to training and education programs, generic ogden viagra three weeks in year one and two weeks annually thereafter.

Generic ogden viagra Lash’s Family Farms organization requires members to pay a fee to join and adopt his accounting system.

Generic ogden viagra Some reveal they must be willing to double or triple the size of their personal operations, generic ogden viagra build grain storage, generic ogden viagra keep a sizable amount of working capital on hand and clear their public comments through a public relations firm. Generic ogden viagra The Family Farms arrangement has not been without controversy. Generic ogden viagra “It works in Argentina and Brazil because there’s no local backlash, generic ogden viagra” observes Texas A&M’s Klinefelter. Generic ogden viagra “Here, generic ogden viagra someone with 10, generic ogden viagra000 acres or more is viewed as a predator because he’s taking away land from local farmers.”

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