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Black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

What Goes Into Calculating Yardage?

Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.

An aerial view of a series of swine finishing facilities.

Methods to Slow Finishing Pig Growth

In abnormal situations, like with the packing plant closure we’re currently dealing with, pork producers may need to “hold” their pigs past normal marketing dates in order for other processing options to open up. We can accomplish that in two ways: altering internal barn environment and changing diets.

A series of three creep feeders placed on an open range. Courtesy: Robin Webster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Creep Feeding Options: Will it Pay?

Creep-feeding should be evaluated on yearly basis to determine if it will provide production and economic benefits to the operation.

A young, freckled girl eating small, red tomatoes inside a greenhouse.

Agritourism

When a producer has decided to sell a product directly from the farm, entertainment or tourism-based activities could be incorporated to create larger appeal. Agritourism could add value to the farm visit though education, entertainment, outdoor recreation, dining, relaxation or other avenues, potentially drawing more customers in.

A lush, green spinach patch growing in a community garden

Community Gardens: Liability Insurance

Groups organizing a community garden often ask about liability insurance. They will typically consider getting a policy if they have an organization to protect, or as coverage for the landowner in case a participant is injured and elects to sue.

A row of CSA subscription boxes with the words Green Market printed on them.

CSA Models

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing is an outlet that allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares to consumers prior to the growing season. When the produce or food product is harvested it is then delivered on a scheduled basis to the customer.

a hand pick an onion from a box of vegetables

CSA Benefits: A Consumer Perspective

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs can offer a wide variety of benefits to consumers.

A dog eating out of a bowl.

Pet Food & Pet Treats

In South Dakota the Department of Agriculture Feed & Animal Remedy Program is the agency that oversees the manufacturing, licensing and labeling of animal feeds and remedies. Local foods producers interested in selling pet foods or pet treats need to be in compliance with this program.

A series of swine pens at a state fair.

5 Things Hog Producers Should Know: Flu at Swine Exhibitions 

Every year, thousands of youth across the country raise pigs and show them off at local exhibitions and county and state fairs. These experiences allow young people to learn about animal care and management, and also allow the public the rare opportunity to observe pig care and behavior.

The La Montanita Co-op Veteran Farm Project (VFP) in Albuquerque, NM.

Training Gardens and Business Incubators

Community gardens are associated with urban areas and food production. However, community gardens can also be used as job training sites or small business incubators.