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Women in Ag Network - August Feature

By Megan Roberts and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educators

Our August 2019 "Woman in Ag" feature is Chandra Pagel. Chandra is a special education teacher and a dairy farmer. In addition to her busy career responsibilities, Chandra is active in her community; for example, she and her husband currently serve on the Young Farmers and Ranchers state committee for MN Farm Bureau. Below Chandra shares about her farm and more. Thanks Chandra for sharing your story.
WAGN: Tell us about your farm. Chandra: Together with my husband and his parents, I farm in Southeastern Minnesota. As a family, we care for and milk a small herd of Holstein cows. We raise and house all of our replacement heifers on the farm. In addition, we have a small herd of beef pairs. We grow a variety of crops such as corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and rye grass and utilize cover crops to improve soil health.
WAGN: During the school year you are very busy teaching. How do you balance helping out on the farm when you have a …
Recent posts

Outlook 2019 with Weather and Price Variables

By David Bau, Extension Educator

The spring of 2019 will go down as one for the memory books. Wet, cool and late spring left many farmers cramming to get their crops planted. Many were unable to get all the crop planted on time and continued planting even after final planting dates lowering their level of insurance coverage. Many field were not planted at all and many acres applied to prevented planting acres.

Last winter I prepared crop budget for corn and soybeans total $722 per acre for corn and $469 for soybeans with cash rents or return of investment plus property taxes estimated at $186 per acre. How do the economics look today? Cash corn for harvest of 2019 at Lamberton’s Meadowland Coop was $4.17 and soybean price was $8.30.  The budget used yields of 190 bushels per acre for corn and 52 bushels per acre for corn. Though yield were projected for normal planting dates which did not take place for many Minnesota farmers. 

Using a 10 percent yield loss due to later planting dates…

Farming with No or Little Profit Leads to Stress

By David Bau, Extension Educator

There is no question that farming can be a stressful business. But when profits are small and cash flows becomes tight, stress builds up. A big problem in this equation is while farmers are so busy caring for everything else; they sometimes forget to care for themselves. Stress management may not seem like the most important topic to farmers, but it is critical to your health and your success.

If you still feel like something isn’t right or you can’t get a handle on your stress, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There are many University of Minnesota Extension resources available to help you work through your stress.

Call Farm Information Line to set up a financial counseling session at 1-800-232-9077. Financial counseling is free and completely confidential. Extension farm financial experts from areas like banking and farm business management education provide free, one-on-one financial counseling to farmers who are experiencing financial stress.


Dairy Farmers Need to Sign Up for Programs

By David Bau, Extension Educator

Beginning this month, dairy farmers will have to make decisions on new dairy programs available for revenue protections. In order for dairy farmers to make informed decisions, they need to understand how these programs work and connect to their current farm finances.

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) has a new program called Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) that helps protect the milk price to feed margin. Dairy Revenue Protection is available through the Risk Management Agency and is a new tool that is like crop insurance for milk.
Farmers need to know their farm’s cost of production when making revenue protection decisions.
Your cost of production is the minimum price you need to break-even or make $0 profit. Knowing this will help you decide the milk price you need to fully cover your farm costs. You can calculate this on a per cow or per hundredweight (cwt) basis. Cost of production will vary by farm and by size of the farm. If you do…

Woman in Ag Network's June Feature

By Megan Roberts and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educators

Our June 2019 "Woman in Ag" feature is Kristi Oberdieck. Kristi has been involved in farming all her life and chose to pursue a career in agriculture. Kristi shares her perspectives below as a young professional starting her career in agriculture.

WAGN: Tell us a little about your background and career.
Kristi: I was raised on a crop and hog farm just northeast of Truman, MN. As a kid I never thought that agriculture was the career that I would have a passion for. I hated the busy spring and fall because it didn’t leave time for other activities. It wasn’t until I was 16 that my interest in the field began to grow. I attended South Central College in Mankato and received my associate degree in Agribusiness Service and Management with an Agronomy emphasis. 
I am currently working at Anez Consulting in Willmar, MN as an Ag Nutrient Technician. My main responsibility is in CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program) consulting. …

Comparing Corn and Soybean Cash Prices with Average Southern Minnesota Farmland Rental Rates

By David Bau, Extension Educator

The average cash price for corn and soybeans each calendar year since 2003 is listed in Table 1 below. Columns 2 and 3 list the average cash prices each year in Worthington for corn and soybeans.  The Column 4 lists the average percent change in corn and soybean prices from the prior year.  Column 5 lists the average rent paid by 1200 farmers in Southern Minnesota who are part of Adult Farm Management Programs. Column 5 multiplies the price percent change by previous year’s actual average rents to determine the farmland rent each year. Column 7 starts with the average rent $127 in 2003 and then multiplies this by the corn and soybean price change (17.26%) to determine a rental rate of $148.93 for 2004. To determine the 2005 rental rate, start with the 2004 rate of $148.93 and multiply this by the price change (-25.28) and to determine an average rent of $111.28 for 2005. This process was repeated to determine rentals rate through 2018.
Comparing Cash Co…

Women in Ag Network's May Feature

By Megan Roberts and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educators

Our May 2019 "Woman in Ag" feature is Christy Kallevig.  Christy wears many hats, including farmer, wife, mom, and Extension Educator. This past February, Christy spoke at our 4th Annual Conference, leading a breakout session on stress management. Below Christy shares more about herself and some good tips for keeping positive in the face of agricultural challenges.

WAGN: Tell us about your career and farm.
Christy: I have been involved in agriculture my entire life.  I grew up on a dairy, hog, and crop farm between Comfrey and Sleepy Eye.  I am the fifth generation to be involved in the farming operation that is now dairy, beef, and crops.  I was active in 4-H and the Brown County American Dairy Association to help educate others about the value of agriculture in our communities and the care that we give our animals and the land.  I went on to marry a farmer, Allan, and we have a grain and hay operation outside of Belgrad…