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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).

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Salvaging Drought Stressed Corn in Mid-Summer

    As drought conditions deepen in South Dakota and the surrounding region, many producers are evaluating the status of their corn crop and feed supplies. In some instances the likelihood of corn making a harvestable grain crop is so low that the best option is to take an early forage harvest.

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    South Dakota Climate & Drought Summary

    As of July 13, 2017, 72% of South Dakota is in drought, a 15-point increase from last week. There was an expansion in severity from D0 through D3 categories in the state. Extreme drought now covers 10%, and includes 11 counties in the North Central Region.

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    FSA Programs for Drought Assistance

    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.

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    FSA Disaster Assistance During Times of Drought

    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.

    Read More »

    Annual Forages for Feed

    With the early onset of drought, many livestock producers are concerned about feed supplies. Annual forages may be an option for producers on unplanted fields with good moisture reserves or on failed fields when soil moisture levels improve.

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    To creep feed or not to creep feed?

    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.

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    Is Drought Affecting You?

    Drought conditions have rapidly worsened in South Dakota over the last two weeks. A dry spring season affected early growth in grasses, pastures and yards across much of the northern and central regions. Now that the heat has been turned on, it is challenging for SDSU Extension and others who monitor drought conditions to keep up with the impacts of drought around the state.

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    The Cost of Late Calvers

    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.

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    The Cost of Late Calvers

    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.

    Read More »

    Protecting Higher Cattle Prices

    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.

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    Expectations of Farm Income

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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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 »

    South Dakota Climate & Drought Summary

    As of July 13, 2017, 72% of South Dakota is in drought, a 15-point increase from last week. There was an expansion in severity from D0 through D3 categories in the state. Extreme drought now covers 10%, and includes 11 counties in the North Central Region.

    Read More »

    Farmers and Ranchers Needed for Survey

    SDSU Extension is devoted to meeting the needs of South Dakota farmers and ranchers in the state. If you are 18 years-of-age or older and farming or ranching is your occupation, please consider completing a 10-15 minute survey that would help us acquire information to design and implement future programs to serve farm and ranch families.

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    FSA Programs for Drought Assistance

    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.

    Read More »

    FSA Disaster Assistance During Times of Drought

    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.

    Read More »

    Annual Forages for Feed

    With the early onset of drought, many livestock producers are concerned about feed supplies. Annual forages may be an option for producers on unplanted fields with good moisture reserves or on failed fields when soil moisture levels improve.

    Read More »

    South Dakota Drought Update: June 6, 2017

    Dryness has been lingering in South Dakota for the last several weeks. The month of May was near average for temperature, and even a little on the cool side for the Eastern region. But now that temperatures have soared into the nineties and above, in combination with some wind, drought conditions have rapidly taken over Northern South Dakota.

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    Is Drought Affecting You?

    Drought conditions have rapidly worsened in South Dakota over the last two weeks. A dry spring season affected early growth in grasses, pastures and yards across much of the northern and central regions. Now that the heat has been turned on, it is challenging for SDSU Extension and others who monitor drought conditions to keep up with the impacts of drought around the state.

    Read More »

    2017 West River Field School: June 20th in Rapid City, S.D.

    The third annual SDSU West River Field School is set for June 20th and will be held at The SDSU West River Ag Center. This event is intended to provide continuing education to crop advisors and others who work with farmers and ranchers in central and western South Dakota. Attendees will have a chance to receive hands-on, in-field experience during this one-day event.

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    Summer Season Climate Outlook 2017

    The long-range outlook for the summer climate was released on Thursday, May 18. With the recent rains and transition to cooler temperatures, will this trend last for a while? The last couple of weeks of May are more likely to stay on the cooler side of average, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Rainfall is also projected to taper off this weekend, and South Dakota will turn drier again for the rest of the month.

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    The Ethics of Decision Making

    Leaders often make challenging decisions. In your leadership role, you agreed to take on the responsibility that comes with the role and your actions are constantly being viewed by others. How you choose to make decisions will impact the type of leader you are and how followers like employees, committee members or volunteers will respect you. Will they view you as a leader with integrity or not?

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