Damian Mason - The Business of Agriculture

Damian Mason - The Business of Agriculture

Damian travels all over the globe talking to audiences about trends in the business of food, fuel, and fiber. With his clever wit and down-to-earth delivery, he has turned these topics into an interesting (and sometimes controversial) podcast.

Share
Damian Mason - The Business of Agriculture
  • What Happens When Ag Increases Production While Demand Slides? | Damian Mason

    We in Agriculture love production! For example, we’re producing about 50% more corn, soy, and pork than we did just a quarter century ago here in the U.S. The playbook for decades has been: find more global markets to peddle our commodities so we can keep doing what we like doing, which is produc...

  • Farm Policy, Farm Income & Farm Bill With Jim Wiesemeyer | Damian Mason

    It’s setting up to be a challenging year for farm economics. Add to that: it’s an election year, Washington DC is as dysfunctional as ever, and we still don’t have a Farm Bill — which was supposed to have been passed last year. What’s the outlook financially for farms. What about trade policy? Do...

  • Cash Rent: Are You Paying Too Much? Charging Too Little? | Damian Mason

    Nationally, between 30 and 40% of farmland is rented to an operator from a land owner. But how are rental rates for this hugely valuable asset class determined? Are the rental rates fair? What causes variability in values? Howard Halderman of Halderman Real Estate and Farm Management explains the...

  • From $300 and A Google Search to a Mushroom Entrepreneur | Damian Mason

    Kyle Beaver is a self-admitted Jack-of-all-Trades who, at age 25, turned a Google search into a mushroom business. Six years later he’s refining Ten Mile Mushrooms and launched a subsidiary. The business still grows some fungus for consumption but has morphed into a supplier of ready-to-fruit sub...

  • Traits of a Successful Farm Trade Show | Damian Mason

    Agricultural trade events can be a lot of fun, but are they always valuable? And who are they valuable to? Brandon Wipf, South Dakota farmer and co-chair of Commodity Classic 2024, joins Damian Mason and XtremeAg’s Kelly Garrett to talk trade events. How do these two business-minded farmers get v...

  • Bio-Nutrients to Reduce Fungicide, Insecticide & Synthetic Fertilizer | Damian

    Blake Matthews returned to the Idaho family farming operation twenty years ago. Upon his return, he began experimenting with a new array of products and practices, including bio-nutrients. First, he used bio-nutrients to help his sugar beets bounce back after applying glyphosate. He moved on to p...

  • Farming in 2 Hemispheres | Damian Mason

    22 years ago, immediately after graduating from college AND getting married, John Carroll and his new bride flew to Brazil to start farming. John’s family, with a farming operation in west central Illinois, had just purchased farm land in a newly developed Ag area of Brazil. Today John and his fa...

  • "Middle Man" vs. Value-Added | Damian Mason

    In Agriculture we generally have the perception that farmers as price takers are being short-changed as “middle men” make all the margin. While it’s popular to talk about “cutting out the middle man,” how realistic is it to actually happen? Ryan Moe and Todd Thurman join Damian to discuss who the...

  • It’s Time To Simplify Your Grain Marketing | Damian Mason

    Ag commodity marketing is too complex, largely misunderstood, and the industry is full of products and services you probably don’t even need to profitably market your grain. That truth bomb — along with many more — is courtesy of Joe Vaclavik of Standard Grain. Mr. Vaclavik, a former grain trader...

  • The U.S. Economy and What It Means for Ag in 2024 | Damian Mason

    Interest rates appear to be stabilizing, wage and food inflation are still worsening, and predictions for America’s Ag sector are a bit dour for 2024. What’s going on at the macro-economic level and what does it mean for Agriculture? Compeer’s Chief Risk Officer, Bill Moore, joins Damian to discu...

  • Farm Finances — The Wrap on 2023 & A Look at 2024 | Damian Mason

    Cost of production set a record in 2023 as the most expensive crops ever planted. How things turned out for the P&L statement depended on weather, yield, and how well operators navigated the commodity markets. Prices for land, labor, fuel, machinery, and crop inputs aren’t subsiding, nor is the i...

  • All About Oats With 2 Canadian Producers | Damian Mason

    Canada is the world’s number one exporter of oats — a commodity enjoying an upswing in demand thanks to snack bars and oat milk. Did you know almost every bushel of oats goes straight to human consumption? With horse racing’s decline in popularity, human oat consumption is the key to future growt...

  • Eminent Domain, Green Policy, Electric Grid Expansion & Your Farm | Damian Mason

    Calvin Koeller's Illinois farm operation is about to lose a couple miles worth of farm land to an electrical grid expansion. This new electric line project was defeated a few years ago but, with support from the Inflation Reduction Act — and some Illinois politics — the Grainbelt Express Electric...

  • Pork: Production, Profitability, Pathogens, Proposition 12 & More!| Damian Mason

    Currently, pork profitability (or lack thereof) has certain observers comparing the industry to the late ’90’s when pork was in turmoil. It was that era, in fact, that set the stage for today’s (mostly) vertically integrated hog production model using contact grower farmers. Adam Krause, a contra...

  • Agricultural Selling & Understanding the Buyer’s Mind | Damian Mason

    If you’re in business, at some level, you’re in sales. So, how exactly would you rate your sales game? Do you ask the right questions? Is your product knowledge keeping up? Do you understand the needs and problems of the customers you seek to serve? St. John (“Sinjin”) Craner, a sales and marketi...

  • Will Problems on the Mississippi Create Fertilizer Shortfalls? | Damian Mason

    The Mississippi River is low and that’s causing shipping problems for Agriculture. Mark Milam with Independent Commodity Intelligence Services joins Damian to discuss issues of transportation, supply, and distribution of fertilizer for crop year 2024.

    Sponsored by:
    Pattern Ag https://www.pattern...

  • Beef on Dairy — A Trend That’s Changing the Meat Marketplace | Damian Mason

    The chasm between beef and dairy is being bridged as the two industries fuse in a trend that could be good for beef, dairy, consumers, the marketplace, and maybe the environment. The advent of sex-specific semen made a whole lot of dairy cow uteruses available. Meanwhile the beef industry needed ...

  • Reversing Sins Against Soil | Damian Mason

    As it turns out, we’ve not always been good to our soil. Fortunately we’re starting to better understand the living organism beneath our feet. However, we’re still mistreating this valuable asset that’s selling for $15,000 to $20,000 per acre in some areas. David Kleinschmidt of Progressive Agron...

  • Will the Marketplace Pay a Premium for “Grown Climate Smart” Designation?

    Using a $40 million federal grant paid over five years via USDA’s climate initiative, DeLong company created the “Grown Climate Smart” program. A 38 branch Ag retailer and grain elevator, DeLong has roughly 250,000 customer acres enrolled in the program that incentivizes wind breaks, cover croppi...

  • Is Ag Real Estate at a Peak? | Damian Mason

    Farmland prices have been on fire the last couple years. But are those prices peaking? Beyond the huge sale numbers seen on social media, Ag property has been selling well but…there are signs of a cooling off. What can we expect moving forward? Will the institutional investors remain in Ag land? ...

  • A SWOT Analysis for American Agriculture | Damian Mason

    Businesses are encouraged to conduct assessments of their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. In short: What are you good at, what do you suck at, where will tomorrow’s money be made, and what things could put you out of business? The most critical element of an effective SWOT Analy...

  • Machinery Market: Trends, Technology & Tomorrow | Damian Mason

    Used machinery markets are heating up earlier than normal. Is this because farmers in need of equipment recall getting shut out during the supply chain disruptions of Covid or is there a used equipment shortage? What are interest rates — more than double what they were just a year or so ago— doin...

  • Turning Wheat Straw Into A Value-Added Human Food Ingredient | Damian Mason

    Comet Bio is a technology-enabled food ingredient company that, after eight years, is finally ready to churn out food ingredients. The company extracts fiber — arabinoxylan to be specific — from wheat straw and turns it into an ingredient for food companies to use in food for human consumption. T...

  • Organic Poultry — at Scale — with Farmer Focus | Damian Mason

    Organic food sales growth still outpaces conventional, despite food inflation and even after nearly two decades of “organic” being a thing. Additionally, the margins are better for organic. So, how much longer can “organic” grow organically? How do organic chicken farms operate, is it the same as...