Podcast: Maximizing Agricultural Profits in Tough Times: Lee Lubbers' Expert Strategies for 2024
8 Feb 2430m 55s

Lee Lubbers and his sibling Terry have navigated through numerous challenges at their agricultural enterprise in Gregory, South Dakota. These challenges include not only literal weather disturbances but also financial tumults. Facing a less than optimistic forecast for commodity prices in 2024, Lee offers advice on generating profit during tough economic periods. Damian Mason talks to Lee about the implementation of the 5% rule, a strategy he acquired at TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers) and his approach to conserving operational funds to seize potential opportunities.

This episode of Cutting The Curve is presented by CLAAS.

00:00 Making money in lean times. That's the topic we're covering today as we head into what's gonna be some 00:06 financially choppy waters. Are you prepared? You will be if you listen to this. Welcome to Extreme ags Cutting the Curve podcast, 00:16 where real farmers share real insights and real results to help you improve your farming operation. This episode of Cutting the Curve is brought to you by cloth 00:25 where machines aren't just made, they're made for more with a wide range of tractors, combines, forger and hay tools. 00:32 Cloth is a family business just as driven, demanding, and dedicated as yours. Go to cloths.com 00:38 and start cutting your curve with their cutting edge equipment. And now here's your host, Damien Mason. 00:45 Hey there. Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme ags Cutting the curve. We're talking about making money in lean times. 00:50 I've got Lee Luber Gregory, South Dakota is only Lee Lubers on here, one of the original founders of Extreme Ag. 00:57 And we're really talking about input cost strategies, reducing your input cost strategies. I threw this topic out to the extreme ag guys 01:03 and Lee raised his hands and he said, well, I wanna do this because I've got a whole bunch of stuff 01:08 to share on this topic. And one of the things he said before we hit the record button was, the low cost producer always wins. 01:15 We worry about this always because we want to be prudent when we are farmers. We're gonna have to concern ourselves more with it. 01:22 Here we are recording this, the beginning of 2024. We're talking about commodity price, uh, levels that are gonna be closer to break even In many regards. 01:31 We're talking about, uh, I just saw a business story in the media yesterday that said we're at about $15 billion 01:38 of expected crop input costs, uh, in North American agriculture. So expenses are up, commodity prices are down. 01:47 You gotta get smart Lee Luber, you've got all kinds of stuff to share on this. Yeah, I, I, hopefully I can contribute to this topic. 01:55 Uh, I guess a condensed version is, is it ain't our first rodeo. Uh, my brother and I we're children of the eighties. 02:03 Uh, we've seen high interest costs, we've seen low crop prices for extended periods. So, uh, it's kind of how we started. 02:12 So it's kind of ingrained into our mindset of how we run our farm. You, uh, you know, you and I are about the same age, 02:22 and I grew up in the eighties. You get to where then the, the younger crowd, the guys in our thirties, they've heard their uncles, aunts, 02:31 moms, dads talk about the eighties. And we don't want to do that because then, you know, it's not this thing about, oh, 02:37 I walked up hill both ways through blizzards and all that. It's not that. It's just that we are in a situation maybe 02:44 where we haven't really been for a while. Things have been pretty darn good. Okay, 2014 till 2019, got a little softening, 02:52 but it was not dire. And here we are now we've got a little bit more of a challenge on our hands. 02:58 So I guess my thought on this is, uh, what, what we've been through isn't necessarily, it is not like I'm gonna be the eighties by any means, 03:09 but we are heading into a little bit of, uh, of us challenging time. And one of the big things is reducing of the cost. 03:15 So you've got more expensive crop inputs, now you're probably gonna have to make some adjustments. Does that mean you don't still use them? 03:23 You don't fertilize. What, what's, take me down, what, what your strategery is. Uh, it's always about ROI 03:31 and yeah, it's not a repeat of the eighties that we feel, but, uh, as, as, uh, 03:37 input prices have gone up, guess what? Now there's a real cost of money. Uh, it went from, uh, 0%. Some suppliers were offering 2% at your bank. 03:49 Now we have a real cost of money. So now it's kind of the double whammy. Uh, so, uh, back in, uh, 03:56 about 2010, 2011, I attended TPAP, uh, the executive program for Agricultural Producers, uh, down in Texas and Austin. 04:07 And, uh, Danny Kleinfelter is the person who started the program, and I always wanted to attend while he was still an instructor. 04:15 And I was lucky enough to do that. And at the same time, I got to know, uh, uh, Dr. Cole, Dick Whitman, a lot of 04:24 very talented people in the ag arena, in ag finance, and seeing business trends. So, uh, it was a great program, really enjoyed it. 04:34 And one of the things that Danny talked about is the 5% rule. And you go, well, what does that mean? 04:39 What do I have to change by 5%? It's small incremental things. Uh, like when the space shuttle takes off 04:47 or a ship was going across the ocean, they don't go right turn glide. They make incremental small adjustments. 04:54 That's how they stay on track. That's how they stay on the course. And that's kind of how we view our farm. 05:00 And he said 5%, he goes, have you guys thought about this? And it really gets you clicking thinking about it, 05:07 and it makes a huge difference. Uh, difference. Take your expenses and how can I reduce my expenses by 5%? How can I raise my yields 5% higher? How can I do that? 05:21 How can I improve my production side? How can I improve my price by 5%? By doing small incremental things? 05:30 You can swing your operation from, uh, a hundred dollars loss to a hundred dollars profit in a real hurry. 05:36 Yeah. So I like this first off, isn't it kind of like, uh, you know, we're recording this in January, 05:42 new Year's resolutions or goals and, you know, it's, it's the same thing. People go nuts, I gotta lose a hundred pounds. 05:50 Well, you know, why don't you start by just changing some of your habits? Why don't you start by not eating seconds 05:56 and going for a walk after dinner, whatever that thing is. And it's a hell of a lot easier. 06:00 But the problem is not as sexy. It's not as, people don't get as excited because you're just talking about, well, the 5% rule, 06:08 it makes sense, but also it doesn't sound like a weight loss program. It, it doesn't sound like, 06:13 it doesn't sound like a bodybuilder program. It just sounds like boring. And that's the point you're gonna make, I think, is staying 06:23 above water when you're in choppy times is the goal. And it doesn't need to be sexy, it just needs to be, I know it doesn't exactly have that wow factor 06:33 that some people would maybe hope to post online, but that's not the goal. The goal is to, uh, 06:40 be financially profitable year in, year out. And, uh, Let's go ahead, ahead, Dean. Let's, let's go. Yeah, let's go here. 06:48 Lee, on the 5%, his first 5% is what? Can you cut back or can you cut 5%? So like, when you look at 2024, where are you 06:56 and your brother Terry? Going to cut back on 5% of your spend on inputs? Uh, we look at our, uh, complete soil tests 07:06 and we look at our gains in organic matter and how, uh, even not applying p and k our numbers are coming up. 07:13 It's becoming more available. Uh, we are shaving it in fertility and by also by what we're doing in furrow, the things 07:22 that we were doing prior to XA and the things we've learned from XA as a group that we've incorporated into our f in furrow program, 07:30 we're able to sh shave more than that off of our fertility because we've actually, we've been doing that 07:37 and it's proven itself. So we can do that and we're, we're gonna get a little bit more aggressive in it. And, uh, we feel yields will, uh, not only stay even, 07:48 but hopefully increase. Yeah. So you think that you can probably some low hanging fruit for you. And I, I like that you referenced it. 07:58 Anybody can cut back on fertilizer, but you're in a better position to do a 5% deduct on fertility expense or even more just 08:06 because of the practices that have brought up organic matter, which then has made your soils better. 08:13 And also your P and your K are there and you think you can use some other products to make it more available. 08:20 Is that what what I'm kind of hearing? Uh, yeah, exactly. Uh, things that we've been testing within the group and, 08:26 and it can be other ways. It could be, uh, hold off and trading that tractor, uh, rebuild your plant or not trade, uh, sit down, make a list. 08:37 I mean, it's that time of the year, uh, where everybody's doing it anyways. So, uh, just take a different approach 08:43 and just go 5%, how can I do this? How can I make these incremental changes? And you might be amazed by how long the list can be 08:53 because there's multiple categories that you can look at. Yeah. So you're not doing the whole 5% just on fertility. 08:59 That's the, that's the easiest one for you. Is there another place on input cost strategy where you're able to pull back some 09:06 and you don't think it'll cost you? Uh, we're going to our retailers and, uh, we're leveraging, uh, the size of our operation 09:15 and to get better deals Okay. Is what we're doing. And, uh, we've seen some 15 and 20% savings. 09:22 Okay. Uh, in one, in one short conversation I had last week, uh, as soon as I threw out there that, Hey, 09:29 I think you can do better, uh, their tone of voice changed and all of a sudden the the deal got 10% better. 09:36 Okay. Because they didn't wanna lose it. And really it wasn't a painful thing. It's ask and offer. That's really what negotiating is. 09:43 So, uh, I'd recommend another thing is get better at negotiating Mm-Hmm. Uh, when times get leaner, negotiate. 09:50 Yeah. So there's, there's gonna be, I think, some room for that. We know that input costs have gone up. 09:57 Where do you, you know, your, your retailers are going to say, well, we don't have any room on this. You know, we're just barely making anything in the middle. 10:04 So, uh, you told your, I guess, give the advice that's maybe somebody that's not as large scale of acres. They might think that they don't have as much leverage, 10:15 but you would say maybe you do. I think every operation does because we all are very capitally intensive operations. 10:24 Uh, nobody wants to lose a, a good customer. And, uh, now is the time, you know, when times are good, people aren't asking for anything. 10:33 So now if you come back and ask for a little bit, I don't think there's nothing wrong with that. Right. I, uh, I, I, I like this whole thing. 5%. 10:41 You said the 5% rule's about taking 5% off of the spend. You said, can you get 5% more yield? Well, I don't know. 10:48 That one seems a little harder. I can see negotiating. I can see going and, and cutting back on a few inputs, grabbing 5% more on the yield seems a little bit, 10:57 uh, of a harder lift. Well, we live in an area where mother nature is more than variable, but yet we still look at it that way. 11:06 We'll look at our five year prior average and we've already punched in okay, 5%. Uh, we know that's gonna come down 11:13 to Mother Nature cooperating, getting enough rainfall. But if we get normal rainfall, we feel there's things that we can do that are proven practices 11:21 that we can incorporate and expand upon to get that 5% it's going to be there. Yeah. And so when you, when you think about that, uh, 11:31 you know, weather being the way it is that it is, what about, I think you talked about getting 5% more. Um, we're not a grain marketing, um, uh, 11:42 platform, uh, here at Extreme Mag, but we've talked about grain marketing and we bring on people like Jared Creed 11:47 and talks about the financial side of selling ahead and all that. Are you confident that some of this input cost, uh, 11:55 increase can be absorbed just by being a little more crafty at how you go about selling? Uh, absolutely. 12:02 Uh, we don't believe in being a price taker. Uh, we leverage our storage. Uh, we like to be making the price. 12:11 Uh, we, we, uh, leverage ourselves, our bushels. Uh, we look at the markets, where's the best opportunity for us? 12:20 It's not just, okay, we've always sold grain the, uh, third week of February because we got rent payments coming up. 12:27 Mm-Hmm. We don't look at that. We don't go into the implement dealer in the month of December. 12:33 'cause like, we gotta spend money to go save taxes. It's like, we're looking at this differently. Uh, and, uh, yeah, I, I, I think having more 12:43 of a risk management philosophy, right? In grain marketing pays big dividends. It's year in, year out, you know, 12:50 define your risk and then manage it. You know, if there's a price, you go, Hey, this looks good and the market has it there, how can I, 12:57 how can I protect that? If you don't know how to do that in a, in a proper manner, uh, go seek out the Jared Creeds 13:05 and other people like that in the world. World and, uh, become a client and, uh, and start working it that way. 13:14 Um, are there input, are there inputs that you think you eliminate? I mean, we talk about this here at extreme ag that, 13:23 you know, fungicide was one of those things that was almost a luxury. And we talked about that when I first joined up. 13:29 I think it was at Kevin Matthews. And he is like, you know, even in his part of the world, North Carolina, there's guys that when things are good, 13:35 yeah, we can sprinkle some fungicide. Oh, wait a minute, things are tight. Let's pull back into the fungicide, which might seem, 13:42 it might seem like it's keeping you in business. Where, where would you say there's something you can go without? 13:47 Or is it more just stay with what you got? In other words, use the same stuff and try and get a little bit of a concession on the price. 13:55 So would you make the, is there anything you'd go without? Yeah, I wouldn't recommend the people going 14:00 upset their apple cart. You know, uh, not overreact to, to your belt tightening. Uh, embrace it 14:08 and say, Hey, this is part of the change, part of the cycle. And just try to do a better job. 14:13 Uh, we work with fungicides extensively and some of the newer, uh, uh, multi-mode actions work great for us. 14:22 So we look at the ones that we've tested and used more as a broader scale. And looking at the ROI, 14:28 and like I mentioned earlier, uh, that's part of the benefit of our group is we're helping our members. 14:34 We're doing new testing for them. So we're help giving them a jumpstart to go, Hey, this one sure looks like it should work. 14:41 So it's worth spending the money on. I mean, don't just go and just buy it because you think you need it, 14:48 or should throw it on every acre. Start looking more, more, you know, drilling down to it and go, Hey, this is gonna pay. 14:55 Yeah. By the way, I like the plug for XT Extreme Ag. The point is, is that if you're wondering about whether a product's gonna 15:01 work for you or not, dial into what we're doing here, our guys are showing you what, how they use it, whether it worked, all that. 15:08 So I, I like that. What about, um, and this might be premature 'cause we're talking about inputs, 15:13 but really it's about everything. The cost of money, you said is an input. You know, my, my farm credit statement came 15:20 and they tell me that if I used operating money, which fortunately I don't, I don't need to 'cause I don't really farm, but they said it'd 9.6%. 15:28 Well, 9.6 percent's a hell of a far cry from where we were just a year and a half, two years ago, Lee, when it was like under four. 15:35 So, yeah, I mean, you gotta think about that. Is there a, is there a savings that there at, uh, lubers Farms where you try to change your amount 15:45 of used money, borrowed money, Uh, spend wisely, you know, uh, that, that's just, uh, a critical thing. 15:54 What, that's why we strive to be a low cost producer every year. That's always our goal. 16:00 I wanna get into the low cost producer here in a minute. Before I do. Dear listeners, I wanna remind you, uh, 16:04 about our friends from Nature's Nature's. If you've not, uh, ever looked into their products, they're, it's all about, you know, small dose fertility products 16:13 that you can put at times of influence. Nature's is focused on providing sustainable farming solutions and helping maintain crop potential for today 16:21 and your future generations. Nature's high quality liquid fertilizers powered by bio K can be targeted at specific periods 16:29 of influence throughout the growing season via precision placement techniques. As a means to mitigate your plant's stress, 16:36 enhance crop yields, and boost your farm. ROI What are we talking about right now? We're talking about farm ROI 16:41 and we're also talking about keeping your head above water, making money in lean times. 16:46 Um, low cost producer always wins. You said it before, hit the record button. A lot of folks in AG say, well, 16:51 I'm a low cost producer, you know, I'm cheap. I, I, I really, uh, drive a good deal and all that. I, from my perspective, it doesn't just mean going 16:58 and beating up people on prices. I think there's more to it. Um, take me down the road of low cost producer, 17:05 because I think you'd probably agree it's not just about going and hammering out, uh, a cheaper price on an input. 17:11 There's more to it than that. Yeah. It's not about trying to beat up a retailer you work with or burning a bridge, a long-term relationship 17:19 to save 20 bucks. You know, there, there's value in those relationships that really making decisions based on ROI, 17:29 you know, do they pay? Yeah. Well, when I look at the, the, the list of decisions, okay, we talked about inputs. 17:38 You say it's not a good time to start, uh, over tightening the belt. Let's go ahead and use the stuff. 17:43 Let's try and get the best deal we can get. Um, I assume we're, you're gonna say, let's try and get the best terms we can get. 17:49 'cause eight, nine, 10% money, uh, interest rate is going to push you a lot. Are you doing a thing where you're trying to defer payment, 17:56 you're trying to not, uh, you know, are you able to strike those deals? Uh, we have our primary lender 18:02 and we have a great relationship with them, and we have the understanding that understanding if we can find, 18:08 we do not seek out secondary financing, but sometimes you can ask and they're, they don't come knocking on your door, 18:15 but it's part of their programs or part of their pool money. It's like, well, what can you do for this? 18:21 Uh, if, if, if we buy this product, what can you do? Uh, maybe there's a good rebate. Maybe they're gonna offer you 2%, 18:30 3% better than your bank, or even better than that. Yeah. Or maybe you can couple seeding chemical together things that you're already using that are proven. 18:40 And it's a, it's a substantial savings. And we have the understanding of our lender. If it's, if it's good savings for us, they're fine with it. 18:50 'cause it's all about bringing our costs down, you know? Yeah, Yeah. Your, your, your 18:55 bank would probably want you to keep all your loans with them, but then if you say, well, listen, 19:00 the seed companies doing a thing where, you know, they're offering me 20% deduct if I finance it through them or something like that. 19:07 So you do take those deals. Uh, exactly. Uh, spend our pennies wisely. You said, uh, an important thing 19:15 before we hit record about negative cash flow. And this is something that, uh, you know, probably some of the younger, uh, producers, 19:22 fortunately haven't got a lot of experience. And then to your credit, you've got some experience having years 19:28 of negative cashflow. And you talked about trying to, um, it's, it's almost like, uh, you're gonna get injured, 19:36 but try to get the, the, the least amount of injury, I think is kind of what we're talking about here when you talked about, because preserving your working capital, 19:45 and it's not the same from farm to farm. Yeah. Uh, we view, uh, working capital as, uh, the heartbeat of our operation. 19:55 Uh, that's really what it's all about, is, uh, conserving that number. Well, in good years, building that number in tough years, 20:03 conserving protecting that, uh, number, uh, to hold it the best you can. Uh, our lender, we have a little internal joke 20:11 and we talk about it and, and he says, you know, if things, if it gets in a tough period, he says, you know, 20:19 when the music stops and the lights come on, I want you guys to be the last one with a chair. 20:26 And that's our philosophy. Uh, we want to have that chair. And, uh, there are times when things can be, you know, 20:35 black swan events can happen. As we all know, there's a lot more black swans, I swear happen than they used to 10 years ago. 20:42 Yeah, right. When those events happen, it can totally throw your plans off kilter. And when they do, uh, 20:50 essentially you can be put in a position for a period. You want to lose less money than your neighbor. And I don't mean it in a harsh, uh, cynical way. 21:00 It's a simple truth. If he's gonna lose, lose a hundred dollars an acre, you want to lose 25. You wanna do good risk management and mind your P'S 21:09 and Q's, minimize your losses so that way you do not erode your working capital nearly as fast of a rate and you bounce back faster. 21:19 You can hold in longer for a longer period of time. If you don't have the working capital, you can't hold in there. 21:27 Yeah. And, and, and when you, uh, you talk about holding in there, then the next thing is, 21:34 and this isn't the complete g gist of this, after, if we, if we are setting up for 2024 to be challenging, and then maybe 25 is challenging, 21:42 then there's the question of, if you've stayed in there, don't you get opportunities? 21:46 I mean, isn't it, it is not just about survival, then it comes the deal. Well, if you, if your position is okay, you've, 21:53 you've done the 5% you've made into, you know, incremental changes, you've maintained your, uh, role as low cost producer after a year 22:01 or two of this isn't there, then the reward, the reward is, you know, a a chunk of rented ground comes up 22:09 because the other guy unfortunately burned through his working capital and is not, uh, expanding. Isn't that where, where this goes? 22:16 Uh, exactly. We've seen, uh, land opportunities, equipment opportunities, uh, after the stock market blood bath of 2008, uh, 22:28 in 2009, we were a cash buyer for, uh, a lot of our semis. Uh, I mean, uh, we're opportunity buyers. 22:36 That's the way we view it. Uh, we wanna keep our powder dry as they say, and wait for those opportunities, and they do arise. 22:44 And, uh, also that's if you weather the tougher times better Mm-Hmm. The opportunities are greater on the other side. 22:53 We've seen this happen in the cycle before. Yeah. If you weather the tougher times better, the opportunities become 23:01 better. Isn't that what you just said? Exactly. So making money than lean times, there are, there are, you're the person 23:08 that was cynical that tuned into this. You just admitted there's gonna be a time when you don't make money. 23:13 There's gonna be a time when you Absolutely. And the thing is, you're just saying, I bled, but I bled less than average, 23:21 and that means I'm gonna probably still be around to fight another day. Yeah. If you look in the last decade, 23:28 essentially there's been $3 corn, uh, 10 cent milk, and 20 cent hogs. Guess what? Uh, I know people that raise all those things, 23:40 uh, that have come through those storms and have done phenomenal on the other side of 'em. But they've, they're, they've been tough periods. 23:50 One thing that you didn't mention was, you know, it's going and striking the best you can, telling the retailers that, you know what, uh, you know, 23:59 that these inputs are squeezing me, you know, come press, sir, you didn't talk about land. 24:03 Um, as a landowner myself, I've, I've, I don't think it's gonna happen in 24, but there's gonna be this thing of, hey, uh, 24:11 these cash rents seem a little elevated, but they're not coming down. So that's the one thing that you can't probably shave you. 24:18 You're probably not gonna get your 5%, uh, reduction on the, on the cash rents. Are you, 24:24 You know, I've heard heard some talk about that, but I have not actually witnessed it. Not yet. Not yet. 24:32 Yeah. What's your prediction a year from now? I think the bill's gonna have to keep tightening for a while to see that. 24:40 Yeah. I really do. Yeah. Uh, one other things. Making money in lean times. Give me any other tips, any other tricks, 24:46 any other advice from your 56 year advantage? It's 56 now, isn't it? It will be in about three weeks. 24:56 All right. So gimme, gimme your, uh, what else did we, what else did we miss on that? The, the person that says, Hey, man, I'm listening. 25:02 I, I I wanna make money in lean times. It's getting a little challenging out here. There's always opportunity. 25:08 Uh, just sometimes you've gotta look a lot harder for it. Uh, there's opportunities for 2024. 25:14 Uh, are we optimistic for 2024? Absolutely. It's gonna be a good year. Uh, we can't walk in and and admit self-defeat. 25:24 We're just getting started, but we're cautiously optimistic. Yeah. But also, uh, not only was the TPAP, uh, program, 25:32 a really positive influence on me, uh, years ago, about 25 years ago, one of the, the first individual I really worked with on risk management 25:42 for grain marketing, and he always had the one piece of advice. He said, Lee, and this applies to everything that we do. 25:51 He said, define your risk and then manage it. And that's what we're doing for 2024, because we did that in every year prior. 26:01 Yeah. So that's why we are optimistic for 2024 because we are working at defining our risk and managing it that way. 26:09 We handle it better, and that way we can seize the opportunities. Yeah. So obviously the first one's 26:14 people are gonna say weather risk. You even, you, you fight that more in Gregory, South Dakota than many people 26:18 because you've got some pretty vast, uh, extremes and volatility. You manage that with crop insurance, I assume. Yes. 26:26 Uh, crop insurance is a tool, but, uh, really our long tail, no-till program. Yeah. That program that we've been working with for the bulk 26:35 of our careers is paying big dividends in the tougher years. Long term, No long term No, because are 26:43 Up Everything, everything is coming up. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. That's the other one. You talk about long-term notes. 26:48 So you did that, you told me way back when, uh, we recorded about that. It was a management decision 26:52 because it was hard for you to keep employees. You wanted to expand and you didn't, you couldn't have people out just running tractors. 26:57 There's also, that's a great opportunity for someone to, to make money and lean times. 27:02 If you cut back on tillage, you've got the expense of the equipment, you've got the fuel, and you've got the manpower. 27:08 Is is it time for some of these operators to consider changing some of their practices when things are leaner? Uh, it's definitely time 27:17 to be testing new thoughts and philosophies. I've talked to people, people, uh, north and east of here, two, three states away 27:24 where they were told no-till can't work. They're making it work. Uh, if there, there's, if there's a will, there's a way. 27:32 Mm-Hmm. Uh, I guess we always have to be looking as like, how can we do our jobs more efficiently? 27:37 Mm-Hmm. Because the cost of equipment is not going to go down 30%, uh, you know, new or used. It's not going to happen. 27:46 Uh, labor's not gonna get easier to find, uh, whenever crop prices drop, as we all know, inputs have a very long tail. 27:56 They drop at a lot slower pace as we're experiencing now, hence tightening our belts. 28:01 So there's all these things, so we have to be looking. It's like, how can we do what we do better? I like it. All right. 28:09 Is that our last, is that our last thing? Uh, to make money in lean times? No more thoughts of wisdom up there in lead Lu's bald head. 28:18 How I lost my hair, man. No, I, I, I think that's what's interesting is we're not even being dour. We're not being doom and gloom. 28:28 It's just the reality of what these numbers look like. And so, uh, the, the thing is, you said define your risk and management well, the weather you manage that the, 28:36 the cost of money you've talked about that you're looking for better deals on the money from. 28:40 And also you're, you're talking about better deals on the product. So you've pretty much, 28:46 is there any risk you haven't quite figured out how to manage yet? Uh, if we could make it rain 28:53 or, you know, shut it off at certain times, yeah, that'd be great. But guess what? We have to work with Mother Nature. Yeah. 28:58 So, uh, you know, uh, the thi the things that, that we can manage to risk on, we focus on those that we can't, those that they're just the things in life. 29:09 Yeah. I don't lose any sleepover. I sleep is fine. Yeah. I like it. His name's Lee Luber talking about 29:15 making money in lean times. It looks like we're gonna have some, uh, some choppier waters. 29:19 It doesn't mean that, uh, you're gonna lose the farm. It just means you gotta tighten your, your management. Uh, up a little bit. Uh, we heard about 5% rule. 29:28 We heard about, uh, the rules for the lessons from TPAP. We heard about incremental changes. 29:32 We heard about, uh, maintain yourselves as a low cost producer. And we talked about managing negative cash flow. 29:38 Uh, you're gonna bleed a little bit. You wanna bleed less than than than everybody else because then you stay around to fight for another day. 29:44 His name's Lee Lubert. If you want more great stuff, go and check out Extreme Ag Farm. That's probably where you found this. 29:49 We're also on Facebook and on Twitter, we're going to have, uh, uh, more great stuff coming for you. 29:55 I've done hundreds of videos just like this with these guys cutting the curve, and these guys have shot videos out in their fields. 30:01 It's all there. If you wanna take your learning to the next level, become an extreme Ag member, it's only $750 a year. 30:07 You get a question answer platform to answer and go deeper on topics with guys like Lee, you also get exclusive offers. 30:13 Like for instance, you might be able to go to Commodity Classic for free. And then the other part of it is you get access to the data 30:18 and the information that these guys, uh, share from their trials and their field days and their labs that they do on farm. 30:24 So next time, thanks for being here. I'm Dam Mason. This is extreme as cutting the curve. That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve. 30:34 Make sure to check out Extreme Ag Farm for more great content to help you squeeze more profit out of your farming operation. 30:41 Cutting the curve is brought to you by cloth where machines aren't just made, they're made for more. Visit cloth.com 30:49 and start cutting your curve with cutting edge equipment.

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