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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.

Recent posts

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.

The last three c…

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…

Women in Ag Network's April Feature

By Megan Roberts and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educators

Our April Women in Ag is Liz Stahl, an Extension Educator in Crops from southern Minnesota. In this Q&A, Liz shares about her passion for assisting Minnesotan crop farmers.

WAGN: Tell us about your career as a Crops Extension Educator?
Liz: I work as an Extension Educator in Crops out of the Worthington Regional Extension office.  I focus on corn and soybean management issues including pesticide safety education, weed management, and the agronomic side of soil health including cover crops.  I started with Extension in 2004 after working 10 years as a research agronomist for a seed company, a crop production specialist/agronomist for a farmer’s cooperative, and with a non-profit focused on alternative crops.   

WAGN: What challenges are your audiences facing today? Why is Extension relevant to these challenges?
Liz: Economics are very tight right now in agriculture.  Along with this, farmers are facing increasing issues with res…

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