Air January 22 - 26, 2007
Farm Enterprise Analysis
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I'm afraid that far too many agricultural producers see the completion of their farm account books as just a chore that they have to do so they can get their taxes completed. In reality, the farm account books should be part of the roadmap that helps you define where you are going and how you are going to get there. If all you look at with your farm account books is whether or not you owe taxes, and then how much, well, you're missing the point! It may mean a little bit more time crunching the numbers, but you need to be figuring out what it cost for each and every crop on each and every farm and you should be looking at individual fields as well as any livestock enterprises you may have. This process is called enterprise analysis. The folks that are in the Kansas Farm Management Association have this option available, if they are willing to do a little extra work. What this can tell you is what are the most productive crops, or enterprises, as well as the most profitable farms. The extra work comes from detailing all the expenses, and I mean all, so that each crop, field and farm can account for any production expenses you made. Why this becomes important is because if a certain crop hasn't made you any money for the past five years, why are you still growing it? If you are heavy into lease negotiations with a landlord, how are you going to know how much your can afford to pay if you don't know what it cost to produce a crop. It's detailed work, but the benefits you get from all that detail can mean the difference between success or failure! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
New Custom Rates Book Out
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Several annual publications are now into the Extension office or available on the web. The corn, soybean and grain sorghum variety performance test results are all three now in stock. I have not seen the 2007 Chemical Weed Control handbook yet, nor can I find it on the website - not sure what's up with that. Two of the most sought after bulletins that don't come from K-State are the annual Custom Rates bulletin and the bluestem pasture report. The updated custom rates bulletin is available here at the office and on the world wide web. The bluestem pasture report won't be out until late April. I glanced through the custom rates book last week curious as to what rates had done. Now, keep in mind that the most recent custom rates bulletin always appears to be a year behind - so this is data collected from the survey done in 2006. As one would probably expect, many rates are up, and in general the more labor intensive the operation, the more the rates jumped. The amount of the increase was anywhere from 5 to 20%. Interestingly, wheat and soybean harvest prices took a jump, but corn and sorghum custom harvest prices remained fairly flat. I'm still trying to figure out the logic for that, but so far it has escaped me. Haying prices went up slightly, probably no more than the cost of inflation to be honest. Several landlords and tenants have been asking me what I thought pasture rental rates would do this year. Obviously I think they are going to go up, I just don't know how much. Land prices have jumped quite a bit, but how much of that will relate to higher pasture rental rates we'll just have to wait and see! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Mid-winter Cowherd Management
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. The end of January is looming not so far away so we are going to be mid-way through winter in just a couple of weeks and that means that the calving season will be starting before long. It never ceases to amaze me how must producers who claim to have a spring calving herd, are actually calving mid-winter. It seems that hardly any one anymore is still calving in late March, when it really is spring. But I won't give you my opinions on that right now. As we move into that final post-calving stretch we need to be ready to go. We've had just enough winter weather so that we remember it can happen. We need to perhaps re-inventory our forage supplies. You should be checking the body condition score of every cow and if there are still some that are a little thinner than you'd like, let's pull those off and get them up closer to home so you can get a little more alfalfa and maybe even a few pounds of grain in them to improve that body condition. We both know that once the cow is on the ground and nursing it's going to be very very hard to get any weight on that gal then. Any cows that have a history of calving problems, move them up the home place also so you've got them right there if they need help. Then if she does have problems again this year - just get rid of her and be done with it!! And then one last thing, take a few minutes to visit with your vet to see if you are already to go with the calving season. Find out how soon the vet would like you to call if there are problems. Then don't let it go too long before you get help. Sure, a vet call is going to cost a few dollars, but what's the value of a live calf or cow versus a dead one? This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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