Changes in the composition and the price of distillers grains are causing cattle feeders to re-evaluate the role the ethanol co-product in their feed rations. At the recent annual meeting of Nebraska Cattlemen, we visited with University of Nebraska animal scientist Galen Erickson about those changes and what he is recommending to cattle feeders.
We continue our conversation with Dr. Gary Allan of Purdue and his process for making good business decisions regarding expansion on a dairy farm. Last week he talked about the need to clearly define the reason for an expansion, what are the objectives, what alternatives are there, what are the uncertainties associated with that expansion? Today he talks about some of the most-often mistaken assumptions made.
Farm transition planning was a topic discussed during last week’s Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum that kicked off the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting. Don Schreiber with Nationwide Enterprise says to begin the process, let the farm speak.
Now that the 2013 crop is in the bin, agricultural economists are looking ahead to 2014. Iowa State University (ISU) ag economist Chad Hart says the main factor in his 2014 crop market outlook is corn acreage.
“We’ve brought a lot of area into crop production, especially over the last couple of years,” Hart says. “How quickly can some of that land fall back out of production?”
We visited with Hart at a recent Pro-Ag Outlook Forum in Le Mars, Iowa, sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach.
Dr. Allan Gray is Director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue, he has developed a session to help dairy producers with disciplined decision making. He talks about how to create a structure for the way you make critical decisions such as whether-or-not to expand the dairy operation.
Dr. Gray will conduct a Business Financial Decision-Making Conference for the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin next Wednesday, December 11th in Madison, Wisconsin. It is open to all interested parties, details are available at PDPW.org
At this point in time –the outlook for the pork industry looks pretty positive. Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics spoke to pork producers at the Midwest Pork Conference in Danville, Indiana yesterday.
Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) at The Ohio State University says the run-up in cash rents, brought about by higher grain prices are facing some challenges, brought about in large part, by lower grain prices.
How are cattlemen profiting from overseas business? Texas cattleman Bob McCan, who will be President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in February, says foreign beef trade is contributing to producers’ bottom line. In addition, McCan recalls the phone call ten Christmases ago during which he was informed that a cow in Washington State had been discovered to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
It’s that time of year when landowners and tenants sit down to renew or update their farmland rental agreements.
So, in light of much lower commodity prices this fall, will those rental rates be coming down?
Not necessarily, says Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist Melissa O’Rourke. She says it’s important to consider commodity and farmland prices, but there are other factors involved as well.
Karl Brooks is Region 7 Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency serving Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. He says “we try to work with agricultural producers so that what they do to grow their crops and support their communities supports our objective to protect clean air, clean water and healthy landscapes.” He points to efforts to control nutrient runoff from farm fields and livestock operations.