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Corn+Soybean Digest

Never Enough Time?

At Home And Working

In the past two weeks a number of questions from lenders, producers, and professionals have come up concerning "time" as it pertains to employment and management.

Time Not On Your Side

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones had a very popular hit in my days with lyrics stating that time is on your side. In today’s world of souped-up computers with e-mail, a 24/7 constant stream of messages, pagers and cell phones, it’s difficult to escape from work.

According to a recent issue of USA Today, people employed in America are working 33 days more per year than in 1973. So called productivity of technology has somewhat been cluttered with meaningless information and reporting tasks. The bureaucracy thrives on this!

How Do Americans Stack Up?

The average American, according to a USA Today report, works slightly more than 2,000 hours per year. Japanese will be employed slightly more than 2,200 hours while Europeans and Australians toil approximately 1,600 hours per year. When visiting that region of the world they often say that "Bloody Yanks" work too hard.

Do Farmers And Ranchers Work Longer?

The typical agricultural producer, like grain, etc., is out there about 1,900 hours while dairy farms exceed 3,500 hours annually. When polled, some of my executive producer groups found that about 40% exceeded 3,000 hours per year.

Hyped-Up Executives

Seated next to me in first class on the airlines I find individuals working for prestigious firms and serious companies. They often exceed 4,000 hours per year but they also often don’t have a life. Matter of fact, first class, when I am boarding or deplaning, is more like a telephone booth with all the cell phones and pagers. And they are usually not checking in with family.

Tax Cut

Is this smoke and mirrors or what? The estate tax cut and elimination by 2010 is going to be revisited in 2011. So don’t procrastinate on your estate planning.

Sports Perspective

The Lakers got a wake-up call. Barry Bonds is hot. Will he hit home runs like this in September?

Next week I will share some time tested time-management rules and philosophy and how one producer doubled net income by cutting hours in half.

Final Note

Keep the questions coming. You are giving me some real thinker stinkers!

My e-mail address

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He currently is on sabbatical and working with the Royal Bank of Canada.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures click here

This online exclusive is brought to you by Soybean Digest

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