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Economics

All Economics Content

A small herd of cattle grazing in snow-covered, spring pasture.

Bunch the Cow Herd

Reproduction is one of the biggest drivers of economic success. Cows stressed by cold, wind, snow, and mud will put energy resources into body condition maintenance and lactation prior to recycling.

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Grain Storage Calculator

An Excel based spreadsheet for corn, soybean, spring and winter wheat producers.

A pair of hands wearing garden gloves holding tomatoes. A white text overlay reads "2018 Farm Bill." This image is courtesy of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Time to Sign up for 2018 Farm Bill

This winter it is time to study up on the Farm Bill elections and make an appointment with the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) in order to put the program in place for the farm. The deadline to make the election is March 15, 2020.

Frost-covered grass in a winter pasture.

SWOT Analysis for Your Ranch (And Don’t Forget About Yourself)

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is something that you can sit down and complete during this first month or so of 2020 so that you can set your operation up for success as we move into the more hectic times that spring brings.

A red angus cow with two unweaned calves attempting to suckle from it.

Alternative Calving Considerations

Structuring a calving program that best suites farm and ranch operations can be challenging. Of primary concern are: weather, labor, market timing, and animal health considerations, with weather possibly being the most volatile factor, as it ranges from challenging to catastrophic in some years.

A group of dairy employees having a discussion around a barbecue grill.

Employee Turnover: It Is Important in Agriculture Also

Lots of conversations in agriculture lately focuses around labor or the lack of a labor pool of employees. This is the case not only for dairy farms, but also within the entire agriculture industry.

A group of cattle grazing on crop residue.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

An integrated crop-livestock system can provide an alternative management strategy that benefits producer’s income, soil health, and the environment—all while increasing production.

sun rising over a cornfield. several grain bins are in the background.

Corn Grain Moisture Discount: Why and How Much?

Corn marketed at the standard moisture content of 15.5% and 56 pounds per bushel typically contains 47.3 pounds of dry matter and 8.7 pounds of water. At harvest, a producer has to decide whether to sell (or even store) his corn at ‘as is’ moisture content or mechanically dry it before taking it to the buyer.

Corn earlobe being stored in a bunker for later use as cattle feed.

Valuing High-Moisture Corn and Earlage

A key advantage to using commodities that meet standard specifications and are frequently traded is that it is very easy to establish an economic value that is accepted by most users. The marketplace sets the value of corn, and other feedstuffs on a daily basis, provided those products meet some set of standard specifications.

various white charts and bar graphs on a blue background

Monthly Cattle Prices and Basis Levels

Effective marketing and risk management techniques often rely on sound benchmarks. Those marketing cattle need reasonable metrics to evaluate received and expected prices.