Christmas tree lots are already beginning to spring up around the state and Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas tree season with about 36 million trees being sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While artificial trees enjoyed increased sales for the past decade, those sales have stagnated and now there is a return to having the traditional tree.
Are you like many gardeners and have seed left over from last summer? Most types of seed can be kept for a year or more (see chart for vegetable seed), if stored at the proper humidity and temperature. Among the more common flowers, poppy, stock, and zinnia seed can last 5 years; marigold, hollyhock, and petunias for 2 to 3 years. Salvia and verbena seed can be stored for only one year.
Christmas trees are a common and much beloved tradition for most people in the US. I know of some folks that even have a decorated tree in every room of their home! Going out to purchase or even cut the tree, then decorating the tree is often a family event that brings back fond memories from Christmases past when we were young and so looked forward to Christmas and the joy it would bring.
The feed cost environment for 2013-2014 is dramatically different compared to last year. Corn and corn-derived feeds such as distiller’s grains and silage are only about half the cost of one year ago. Hay and roughage costs are lower as well, but on a percentage basis the price decline has not been as dramatic as compared to corn prices. Is there an opportunity to exploit these differences in feed prices to reduce winter feed expenses?
There is currently considerable focus on growth of the U.S. and regional beef cow herd, with many producers and market analysts closely watching cull cow slaughter rates and bred female demand. Additionally, there have been a lot of comments from local auction markets all over the country that heifers suitable for breeding replacements have been bringing as much as similar weight steers. In this week’s Cattle & Corn Comments, we’ll examine recent replacement heifer premiums in South Dakota auction markets.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and First Lady Lynda Daaguard recently hosted the 33rd annual “Christmas at the Capitol” holiday event. The festivities were kicked-off by the annual Tree lighting Ceremony, held Tuesday evening, November 26th in the Capitol Rotunda.
Congress is currently debating farm and food policy legislation commonly referred to as the farm bill. The U.S. Senate’s version, called the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 was passed in June. In concurrent legislation, the U.S. House failed to pass their version of the 2013 farm bill.
Are you planning on waking up extra early Friday to do a little holiday shopping? In my family Black Friday is a holiday all its own. We sit around the dining room table after lunch dishes have been done on Thanksgiving and start planning who is getting what and where we will meet when the chaos has subsided for breakfast.
USDA’s November Cattle on Feed report, released last Friday, indicated that the number of cattle on feed in feedyards with more than 1,000 head capacities was 5.7% lower than a year ago. At 10.607 million head on feed as of November 1, 2013, that is the smallest November 1 on feed inventory since 1996, when the current data series began. As shown in Table 1, the actual on feed estimate was close to average industry expectations.
If you happened to notice, you would have seen that Christmas decorations and gift ideas were already on display by the first of October. It is no wonder that we spend way too much during the holidays. So to keep your budget intact you will want to consider these tips to help prevent financial disaster.
With the beautiful summer and fall weather behind us, we are now entering the busy holiday season. Typical daily routines may get shifted, time may be limited and you may fall out of your normal pattern. During this busy time of year, keeping fit is just as important as any other time of year. In fact, during the holidays, you may consume significantly greater amounts of calories, so balancing out these calories with activity is a great way to avoid any unwanted weight gain.
Cow Lease/Share Arrangements
December 5th, 2013
BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota's cow herd totals ranked fifth nationally - up by 5 percent from 2012. With grazing and pasture resources difficult to find in some areas of the state, cattle producers may consider looking to other areas of the state for grazing resources, explained Jim Krantz, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. Cow lease/share arrangements may be one way to match cows to feed resources.
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Saving Garden Seed
December 4th, 2013
BROOKINGS, S.D. - Now that garden harvest is over, are you like many gardeners and have seed left over from last summer? If you are, Rhoda Burrows, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist, has some tips on which seeds can be kept over, which should be thrown out and how to best store seed so it's ready to plant spring 2014.
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BEEF 2020 Conference Jan. 7-9
December 3rd, 2013
BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension hosts BEEF 2020 Jan. 7-9, 2014. Designed to provide an intensive, hands-on, educational opportunity to enhance the understanding of the production and marketing of high quality, high value beef; BEEF 2020 is for beef producers and all those involved in the beef industry.
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4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Certification - Menno
South Dakota 4-HPersonal DevelopmentVolunteers: Dec 7th
Dunn Creek Archery, in Menno, SD will be the host site for the next 4-H Shooting Sports Certification on December 7.
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South Dakota’s Soil Health Challenge - Sioux Falls
CornOther CropsSoybeansWheat: Dec 9th
This one day workshop will focus on the value of soil and its role in food production. Presentations will focus on ways to maintain and improve soil health in crop production systems.
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South Dakota’s Soil Health Challenge - Watertown
CornOther CropsSoybeansWheat: Dec 10th
This event will focus on the value of soil in food production. Discussion will include how to maintain and build organic matter, reduce compaction, weed control and incorporate cover crops.
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