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    Exchange Rates and Their Effect on U.S. Sheep Industry

    Per capita lamb and mutton consumption is fairly stable in the U.S. Imports of lamb have offset the decline in domestic production in recent years. Lamb and mutton imports, currently account for nearly half of U.S. consumption, are mainly from Australia (about 68-70 percent) and New Zealand (about 30-32 percent).

    Read More »

    Working Capital for South Dakota Farms

    Many farms in South Dakota built working capital and financial reserves between 2009 and 2012, a recent period of relatively high returns. Since 2013 the strong working capital position has been on a downward trend. Figure 1 shows average working capital positon per acre of farms enrolled in South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management (SDCFRM) program.

    Read More »

    Expectations for Pasture Rental Rates 2016-2017

    The cash rental rates for pasture/rangeland in South Dakota last year saw some fairly large increases across the state. Despite a downward change in feed and live cattle prices in 2015, cash rental rates still increased. The state average for pasture/ rangeland rental was $31.40 per acre in 2015 and $28.40 in 2014.

    Read More »

    2016 Farm Family Income Expectations: What they mean

    The 2016 forecast of national net farm income was recently released by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). The ERS estimates a 3 percent decline compared to 2015 income figures. This is a potential decrease of $1.65 billion dollars in net farm income, a reduction in farm income from $56.45 billion in 2015 to $54.8 billion in 2016.

    Read More »

    USDA Provides New Cost Share Opportunities for Organic Producers & Handlers

    In recent times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shown increased interest in organic agriculture. As a result, on December 21, 2016, the USDA announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices across the country to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.

    Read More »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 1

    Since generational operations are primarily family members, we assume we know all there is to know about each other, right? On the surface we probably do know some key characteristics or preferences of family members, but is that the same as knowing them at a level of working alongside or reporting to them on a daily basis.

    Read More »

    Calf Sales 2016

    It is no secret that compared to recent years the 2016 calf market will be disappointing for sellers. However, producers must make decisions about their 2016 calf crop. There are options available depending on each situation. Some popular press articles have suggested that cow-calf producers should retain ownership to enhance profitability. However, producers should make sure they consider all factors before changing marketing plans to increase their chances for success.

    Read More »

    End-of-Year Accounting: Just what do you have?

    Measuring the farm’s economic success can be accomplished by annually comparing the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows and statement of owners’ equity. Comparing these financial statements can only be done if they are completed at a similar time of the year and if they are completed accurately and consistently.

    Read More »

    Exchange Rates and Their Effect on U.S. Sheep Industry

    Per capita lamb and mutton consumption is fairly stable in the U.S. Imports of lamb have offset the decline in domestic production in recent years. Lamb and mutton imports, currently account for nearly half of U.S. consumption, are mainly from Australia (about 68-70 percent) and New Zealand (about 30-32 percent).

    Read More »

    Establishing Corn Silage Value

    Corn silage represents the base of many beef and dairy diets in the Midwest for a number of very good reasons. Properly harvested corn silage is an excellent forage resource that can be used in a number of feeding situations. A large quantity of feed can be harvested from a relatively small land area in a short period of time, especially with modern corn genetics and silage harvesting equipment. However, assigning accurate values to corn silage can be challenging as there are few if any published market prices.

    Read More »

    Working Capital for South Dakota Farms

    Many farms in South Dakota built working capital and financial reserves between 2009 and 2012, a recent period of relatively high returns. Since 2013 the strong working capital position has been on a downward trend. Figure 1 shows average working capital positon per acre of farms enrolled in South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management (SDCFRM) program.

    Read More »

    Crop Insurance Considerations

    The variable moisture levels and growing conditions have led to wide disparity in crop progress and conditions. Farmers with crops that are either stressed by a lack of rain or being considered for alternative uses should consider the type and level of crop insurance coverage they purchased. Most field crops in South Dakota are covered by Federal crop insurance sold by private insurance agents. The most common product is Revenue Protection (RP). In several counties in Western South Dakota, dryland corn may be covered by Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), which is administered by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

    Read More »

    2017 Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index (PRF-RI) Insurance

    Landowners and producers with pastures may want to revisit Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) insurance. PRF is available for 2017 in South Dakota and neighboring states based on a Rainfall Index (RI), similar to a year ago. The 2017 base price used to pay out for grazing losses has been adjusted from the 2016 rate.

    Read More »

    Calf Sales 2016

    It is no secret that compared to recent years the 2016 calf market will be disappointing for sellers. However, producers must make decisions about their 2016 calf crop. There are options available depending on each situation. Some popular press articles have suggested that cow-calf producers should retain ownership to enhance profitability. However, producers should make sure they consider all factors before changing marketing plans to increase their chances for success.

    Read More »

    Exchange Rates and Their Effect on U.S. Sheep Industry

    Per capita lamb and mutton consumption is fairly stable in the U.S. Imports of lamb have offset the decline in domestic production in recent years. Lamb and mutton imports, currently account for nearly half of U.S. consumption, are mainly from Australia (about 68-70 percent) and New Zealand (about 30-32 percent).

    Read More »

    The ‘Other’ Dakota Leads the Nation in Economic Growth

    It was a surprise when I read this headline a couple of months ago in the Wall Street Journal. We have been used to read about the oil boom in North Dakota and the incredible pace of its economic growth in the past several years. The refreshing surprise however was that the “other Dakota” referred to in that article was South Dakota! And what was even more important was that 75% of that growth came from agriculture.

    Read More »

    Expectations for Pasture Rental Rates 2016-2017

    The cash rental rates for pasture/rangeland in South Dakota last year saw some fairly large increases across the state. Despite a downward change in feed and live cattle prices in 2015, cash rental rates still increased. The state average for pasture/ rangeland rental was $31.40 per acre in 2015 and $28.40 in 2014.

    Read More »

    2016 Farm Family Income Expectations: What they mean

    The 2016 forecast of national net farm income was recently released by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). The ERS estimates a 3 percent decline compared to 2015 income figures. This is a potential decrease of $1.65 billion dollars in net farm income, a reduction in farm income from $56.45 billion in 2015 to $54.8 billion in 2016.

    Read More »

    The Importance of Depreciation when Keeping Records

    Depreciation is an important part of keeping records in agriculture. Depreciation is a reduction in the value of an asset over time, due to wear and tear. Things such as tractors, trailers, etc. all depreciate over time. Depreciation is also a way to make an income tax deduction to recover the cost of qualifying assets. Careful consideration of how to report tax depreciation helps producers comply with IRS regulations and can result in a reduction of income taxes paid.

    Read More »

    Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index (PRF-RI) Insurance for 2016

    Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) insurance is available for 2016 in South Dakota and the other contiguous states based on a Rainfall Index (RI). Several states shifted to RI coverage and several states became eligible for coverage for the first time. Another change for 2016 is in the base price used to pay out for grazing losses. November 15, 2015 is the deadline to purchase or change coverage for the 2016 calendar year.

    Read More »

    Price Discovery and Local Information in Cattle on Feed Reports

    Timely and accurate public information on price and volume trends in the fed cattle market is critical to feedlot operators when making the decision to buy feeder cattle and sell fat cattle. A common source of public information is the Cattle on Feed report prepared by USDA-NASS. The report provides the cattle feeding industry with a monthly update on the inventory of cattle currently being fed and of the supply of fed cattle coming to market in the near future. Knowledge of the supply of fed cattle on the market is critical for price discovery in both the cash and futures markets for fed cattle. Local information from Cattle on Feed reports is highlighted and followed by a discussion of the critical role accurate public information plays in the fed cattle market price discovery process.

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    Economic Impact of the Beef Industry on South Dakota

    The beef industry in South Dakota makes a significant contribution to economic output and development in the state.  As of January 1st, 2012 there were 1,610,000 beef cows in South Dakota.  These cows produced 1,710,000 calves during the year and the industry produced an estimated $2,283,766,027 in gross income during 2012 (South Dakota Agriculture 2013). 

    Read More »

    Generator Preparedness

    Tis the season for… power outages? Unfortunately, there is some truth to that statement when you live in the Midwest. The power outages that plagued northeast South Dakota over the Christmas weekend can confirm how real this scenario can be. For many homeowners a power outage may be viewed as just and inconvenience with some potential repair cost associated with it. But for a lot of livestock operations, a power outage has the potential to be a very costly event.

    Read More »

    USDA Provides New Cost Share Opportunities for Organic Producers & Handlers

    In recent times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shown increased interest in organic agriculture. As a result, on December 21, 2016, the USDA announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices across the country to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.

    Read More »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 1

    Since generational operations are primarily family members, we assume we know all there is to know about each other, right? On the surface we probably do know some key characteristics or preferences of family members, but is that the same as knowing them at a level of working alongside or reporting to them on a daily basis.

    Read More »

    2017 Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index (PRF-RI) Insurance

    Landowners and producers with pastures may want to revisit Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) insurance. PRF is available for 2017 in South Dakota and neighboring states based on a Rainfall Index (RI), similar to a year ago. The 2017 base price used to pay out for grazing losses has been adjusted from the 2016 rate.

    Read More »

    End-of-Year Accounting: Just what do you have?

    Measuring the farm’s economic success can be accomplished by annually comparing the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows and statement of owners’ equity. Comparing these financial statements can only be done if they are completed at a similar time of the year and if they are completed accurately and consistently.

    Read More »

    Exchange Rates and Their Effect on U.S. Sheep Industry

    Per capita lamb and mutton consumption is fairly stable in the U.S. Imports of lamb have offset the decline in domestic production in recent years. Lamb and mutton imports, currently account for nearly half of U.S. consumption, are mainly from Australia (about 68-70 percent) and New Zealand (about 30-32 percent).

    Read More »

    Active Learning Brings Individual Growth

    The remarkable growth in technology and implementation of new agricultural practices means that to stay ahead of the curve, one must become an active learner. Recent events like Dakotafest, held August 16-18th near Mitchell, SD are excellent opportunities to visit with leaders from South Dakota agricultural companies and organizations representing them from state, national and even more global levels.

    Read More »

    Working Capital for South Dakota Farms

    Many farms in South Dakota built working capital and financial reserves between 2009 and 2012, a recent period of relatively high returns. Since 2013 the strong working capital position has been on a downward trend. Figure 1 shows average working capital positon per acre of farms enrolled in South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management (SDCFRM) program.

    Read More »

    2016 South Dakota Oral Leases Renew September 1st

    On September 1, 2016, all oral leases for agriculture ground in South Dakota will automatically renew. The automatic renewal includes all the current terms and conditions in the existing lease, including but not limited to: who the land is rented to, when payment is due, the per acre rate, stipulations for grazing, hunting or other land use restrictions, and any weed control or fencing agreements, etc.

    Read More »

    Feed Assistance for South Dakota Livestock Producers

    Dry conditions across the state will likely cause forage shortages in many areas. The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) includes a program designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) is available to eligible producers facing grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    Read More »

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