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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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    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 »

    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.

    Read More »

    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?

    Read More »

    Bringing the Next Generation Back - Part 1: Wealth Distribution

    Answering the tough questions about transitioning the operation to the next generation is an important step for farm families. It is also a step that is often missed. “It’s family, it will all work itself out” is a common myth believed by fathers, sons, moms and daughters. This perception sets the family up for discord, unfavorable work conditions and the failure of the operation to pass to the next generation. Those three situations are rarely the goals the family has for personal relationships or the business.

    Read More »

    Four Steps to Clear Communication

    The greatest challenge with communication is remembering to do so! Busy times around farms, ranches and agri-business companies, lend us to often forget to actually communicate with those we work with. We think— I’ll just send a text and they will know what project I’m working on. A text can definitely provide an update, but when communication calls for a face-to-face discussion, how can one build an environment conducive to effective communication?

    Read More »

    Let’s talk about your record keeping

    Income tax season is a favorite for producers near and far (note the level of sarcasm in this statement). While it is a time to collect all the forms mailed to you, review all the forms you need to mail out and determine taxable income and deductible expenses, it is also a good time to evaluate the profitability of your operation.

    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 »

    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.

    Read More »

    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.

    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 »

    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.

    Read More »

    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?

    Read More »

    Five Tips on Time Management

    Have you ever heard anyone say they are not busy? I am guessing not. No matter how much technology we have at our finger tips or improved ways to complete an agricultural related task, you won’t find many people saying they don’t have their plate full or even over-flowing. Heavy workloads, and the feeling of being overwhelmed or stressed does not may our days very enjoyable. Is the reason for always seeming busy a time management issue? and learning some important tips to help your organize your time and help with focus.

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    Three ways to understand difficult people

    Managers and supervisors have many challenges to deal with daily in order to strive to help their company reach goals, be productive, and profitable. One of these challenges is dealing with difficult people. Their ability to lead difficult employees, which create an unproductive working environment and shift the employee into a high performing worker is an important skill for managers.

    Read More »

    Bringing the Next Generation Back - Part 1: Wealth Distribution

    Answering the tough questions about transitioning the operation to the next generation is an important step for farm families. It is also a step that is often missed. “It’s family, it will all work itself out” is a common myth believed by fathers, sons, moms and daughters. This perception sets the family up for discord, unfavorable work conditions and the failure of the operation to pass to the next generation. Those three situations are rarely the goals the family has for personal relationships or the business.

    Read More »

    Four Steps to Clear Communication

    The greatest challenge with communication is remembering to do so! Busy times around farms, ranches and agri-business companies, lend us to often forget to actually communicate with those we work with. We think— I’ll just send a text and they will know what project I’m working on. A text can definitely provide an update, but when communication calls for a face-to-face discussion, how can one build an environment conducive to effective communication?

    Read More »

    Let’s talk about your record keeping

    Income tax season is a favorite for producers near and far (note the level of sarcasm in this statement). While it is a time to collect all the forms mailed to you, review all the forms you need to mail out and determine taxable income and deductible expenses, it is also a good time to evaluate the profitability of your operation.

    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 »

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