Average cash rental rates per-acre reflect regional differences in productivity and carrying capacity of pasture and rangeland tracts, with fluctuations in the commodity markets and potential profits, affecting cash rental rates.
According to the 2017 SDSU Farm Real Estate Market Survey average cropland value for the state is $3,903, down 4.7% from 2016. Cropland values saw continued pressure due to low margins for cropland production. Pasture land was steady to slightly down with a decrease of 0.6% and with state average value of $1,215.
This year marked a year of changes for the SDSU land value survey. The survey was condensed down to incorporate alfalfa hay into crop land and pasture/rangeland now incorporates all grass acres including tame pasture. These changes were made to better reflect the current land use in the state.
Drought conditions across a growing number of South Dakota counties have many livestock producers facing forage shortages. The Agriculture Act of 2014, most commonly known as the 2014 Farm Bill, includes programs designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions.
As drought conditions continue, counties within the hardest hit areas have an opportunity to apply for emergency funding for farmers and ranchers requiring assistance with water relief and water conservation measures through the USDA Farm Service Agency.
Creep feeding is the practice of supplying additional nutrition to calves to help fully maximize genetic growth potential. It is also a practice that should be evaluated for feed conversion, cost of gain and market price slide when considering the use of additional feed throughout the summer months.
Pounds of beef sold is a key number for cattlemen. Late calvers the cows that drag out the calving season, may cost producers more than extra work and management, they may actually be costing dollars. Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) has been around for decades. This tool helps determine what the actual costs to raise a calf from breeding to weaning. Many producers create a budget for marketing and financing purposes, but SPA calculates the real, final costs.
In early 2017 cattle producers were frustrated by price levels below where fundamental indications suggested they could be. In recent weeks the cash and futures prices have moved higher, finally providing an opportunity for producers wanting solid price protection across different cattle sectors. It may also be a time for any hedgers that implemented protection strategies early in the year to revisit coverage and perhaps roll up to higher floor prices or lock in higher price levels available now.
Two methods of measuring farm income are used and reported on by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other reporting sources, Net Cash Farm Income and Net Farm Income. While the two use very similar words, the formulas and use of them is different, and should be understood when reading reports regarding one or the other to discuss and understand the current farm income situation.
As family farms and ranches grow, both in dollars handled annually, and the number of individuals involved, a business approach to family and non-family employee management should be considered. This article will focus on hiring and employment policies.