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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 »

    Who Manages Your Business?

    January is behind us, hopefully taking the bitter cold with it. One thing will not move out with the running of the calendar is the need for producers to become better farm managers. The low market price trend is expected to last through 2017, into 2018. Managers will survive, and maybe thrive, based on the decisions and actions they make. Those viewing themselves as “just farmers” may not.

    Read More »

    Farm & Ranch Taxes: 2016 Changes

    Tax rules and regulations change annually, so it is important for producers and tax professionals to stay up to date. For 2016 there have been some changes to the farmers and ranchers tax guide. This article will highlight the majority of the 2016 updates.

    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 »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 2

    As we continue with the series on ‘Agricultural Generational Communications’, we introduced you to a mock farm called “ABC Farm” consisting of senior generation, 71-yr-old (John) who started the farming business, his son (Tom) a 51-yr-old, farming alongside his dad for nearly 25 years, and grandson/son 24-year old (Brandon) who returned to the farm after completing college. This farm example will be used to provide tips on working across generations in agriculture.

    Read More »

    Importance of Keeping Records for Filing Taxes on the Ranch/Farm

    While most people must file taxes by April 15, 2017, farmers’ and ranchers’ taxes must be filed by March 3rd. Due to the filing deadline many producers are beginning the process of gathering their important paperwork. In general, the law does not require any specific kinds of records (there are a few exceptions though). A producer can choose any kind of record keeping system they wish to use for their business (ex. Quicken, QuickBooks, Easy Farm, paper ledger, paper journal etc.).

    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 »

    U.S. Beef Trade: Who? What? Why?

    Beef producers and consumers often ask about beef trade, why we import and export? The simple answer is we are trying to receive the highest value for the product produced. The following facts might be helpful to understand the beef industry: the U.S. is the largest producer, largest consumer, fourth-largest exporter and the largest importer of beef in the world according to USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

    Read More »

    Farm & Ranch Taxes: 2016 Changes

    Tax rules and regulations change annually, so it is important for producers and tax professionals to stay up to date. For 2016 there have been some changes to the farmers and ranchers tax guide. This article will highlight the majority of the 2016 updates.

    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 »

    Cattle Price Trends

    During 2016 cattle prices continued to decline from highs observed in 2014 and 2015. There was continued expansion of cattle inventory levels in 2016, ample feed availability (which contributed to heavier slaughter weights), and expanded supplies of competing meats (such as pork). Early in the year is a good time to assess what those changes mean for price levels and basis expectations to help implement a cattle marketing plan.

    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 »

    Who Manages Your Business?

    January is behind us, hopefully taking the bitter cold with it. One thing will not move out with the running of the calendar is the need for producers to become better farm managers. The low market price trend is expected to last through 2017, into 2018. Managers will survive, and maybe thrive, based on the decisions and actions they make. Those viewing themselves as “just farmers” may not.

    Read More »

    Farm & Ranch Taxes: 2016 Changes

    Tax rules and regulations change annually, so it is important for producers and tax professionals to stay up to date. For 2016 there have been some changes to the farmers and ranchers tax guide. This article will highlight the majority of the 2016 updates.

    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 »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 2

    As we continue with the series on ‘Agricultural Generational Communications’, we introduced you to a mock farm called “ABC Farm” consisting of senior generation, 71-yr-old (John) who started the farming business, his son (Tom) a 51-yr-old, farming alongside his dad for nearly 25 years, and grandson/son 24-year old (Brandon) who returned to the farm after completing college. This farm example will be used to provide tips on working across generations in agriculture.

    Read More »

    Importance of Keeping Records for Filing Taxes on the Ranch/Farm

    While most people must file taxes by April 15, 2017, farmers’ and ranchers’ taxes must be filed by March 3rd. Due to the filing deadline many producers are beginning the process of gathering their important paperwork. In general, the law does not require any specific kinds of records (there are a few exceptions though). A producer can choose any kind of record keeping system they wish to use for their business (ex. Quicken, QuickBooks, Easy Farm, paper ledger, paper journal etc.).

    Read More »

    Generator Preparedness

    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. Although we are not able to control the weather, there are things we can do to be prepared when we are struck with a power outage. If you don’t have a generator but are thinking you would like to have one for when the power goes out, don’t wait till the power goes out to purchase one.

    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 »

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