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Corn+Soybean Digest

What Are Your Neighbors Doing?

Do you ever wonder what other producers attempt to do for investment strategies? I was involved with a study by Valley Farm Credit that serves the upper Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and Eastern West Virginia.

Sixty percent of the respondents were under 40 years of age, while one in five had more than $500,000 in revenue and one-third were under $100,000. Six in 10 were third generation family farms.

Surprisingly, 63 percent of the producers had investments outside the farm, despite a bear market. This may be attributable to most of the respondents being under 40 years of age and more amenable to diversified investments.

The most prominent investments were money markets, certificates of deposit, and bonds. Stocks and mutual funds were ranked third and fifth, respectively.

Interestingly, very large farms and smaller part-time farms were more likely to use stocks and mutual funds while the mid-sized farms invested in bonds, money markets and CDs.

How Did They Measure Success?

Ranked first were earnings and wealth accumulation, followed by personal satisfaction and family goals. Some enjoyed the mix of farming, family and church activities. Others enjoyed well-grown crops, animals or children, and the peace of mind agriculture bestowed upon them.

Fast Fact Lane

40 percent of world oil production is within 200 miles of Iraq.

The U.S. uses 27 percent of world oil production.

On the Road Again

This week I’ll be traveling up to Minnesota and Washington, then down to South Carolina. I’ll be returning back to Hokie Country just in time for the spring semester to begin, unless the winter weather gets me first!

My e-mail address is: sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

This online exclusive is brought to you by Soybean Digest

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