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Cover of the PQA Plus Education Handbook, Version 4.0. Courtesy: National Pork Board

Introducing PQA Plus Version 4

The Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus®) program is about education. The most-recent version of the program, PQA Plus Version 4, became effective June 3, 2019.

Screenshot of the SDSU Extension Net Income Tool displaying Corn Expected Net Income Per Acre for East Central South Dakota.

South Dakota Grain Net Income Tool

South Dakota producers can use the SDSU Extension Net Income Tool to monitor their expected net income per acre given their location, commodity of interest, and changes to market prices. The tool gathers the most-recent end-of-day market prices to determine the latest expected net income for wheat, corn, and soybeans in the different regions of the state. 

A farmer observing an unplanted field at sunset.

2020 Planting Decisions

Planting decisions for this spring are complicated given the recent spread of COVID-19. A very busy planting season is approaching quickly. Input suppliers and farmers will be met with a requirement to complete tasks timely to evade economic losses from delays.

A man reviewing an information packet on creating a last will and testament.

End of Life Documents You Should Have in Place

COVID-19 infection and mortality rates fill the news programs. Across South Dakota and the nation, people are have made changes to their lifestyle and the way they accomplish many everyday activities. In response to this illness and the potential for long-term hospitalization and even death, individuals over 18 should also ensure their end of life documents are up-to-date.

A small group of dairy cattle resting in a pen.

I Got a FARM Corrective Action. Now What?

The Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Version 4 rolled out January 2020. As dairies have their farms evaluated with this new version, there may be questions about corrective actions.

A farmer watching the sun rise in a bare, unplanted field.

Cash Flow and Income Considerations for S.D. Farms: Part 1

Grain farming is facing a reduced income outlook for 2020. Unpriced old crop revenue has decreased and projected revenue for 2020 crop is reduced. Offsetting these decreases are chances that some input prices may fall, fuel related expenses and possibly higher payments from commodity title programs.

A farmer watching the sun rise in a bare, unplanted field.

Cash Flow and Income Considerations for S.D. Farms: Part 2

This is the second article of a two-part series examining cash flow and income for South Dakota grain farms. This article will look at crop insurance, prices for 2020 crops, and changes in input prices.

A meat packing facility.

Livestock Market Disruptions

COVID-19 has affected the market availability for finished cattle and hogs. Some beef and pork processing facilities have closed for cleaning and social distancing of their employees. While some of these facilities have scheduled a date to reopen at reduced capacity, others remain closed with no announced plans to resume operations.

A small herd of cattle grazing on green pasture.

Protein Supplementation Options With Grazing Cattle

COVID-19 and the energy economy has had a dramatic negative impact on the ethanol industry, resulting in limited availability of corn distiller’s grains. This has changed availability and pricing of protein feeds.

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.