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Content by Heather Gessner

A small group of cattle grazing a rolling pasture.

Cow Herd Options

April 2018 and 2019 blizzards caused stress to the region’s cowherds, and for some herds changed the calving distribution. 2020 brings a chance to re-establish a preferred calving distribution.

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

Being Proactive and Prepared During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips for South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers

April 20, 2020

Are you prepared to be gone from your operation for a month?

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 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 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 farm yard near a sprawling field of recently planted crops.

Planting Projections 2020

South Dakota producers recently indicated they plan to plant 12.9 million acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in 2020, plus an additional 620,000 acres of sunflowers, 345,000 acres of oats and 45,000 acres of barley, as well as 270,000 acres of sorghum and 11,000 acres of dry edible peas.

A male producer analyzing records on an office computer.

What Kind of Records Are You Keeping?

Measurement of the actions and efforts of everyday life on the farm or ranch leads to better management and efficiency. Many farmers and ranchers keep many records. Utilization of the records for improved management would be the next step to take to improve efficiency.

South Dakota agricultural landscape painted with Spring colors and a setting Sun.

Cash Flow is Critical

Strong business management skills and systems do not go out of style in times of uncertainty. These skills will help the business work through downturns in commodity prices. Cash flow budget accuracy is critical in developing and controlling the business.

a new small plant growing out of the soil
Oct 16

2020 Ag Economic Dialogues: October

Are you a farmer or rancher dealing with beef cattle? Join us for a free webinar for cattle considerations.