Ag & Hort News: January, 2019

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Among the many tasks with rural living – check your well
Testing the water quality of a domestic well should be part of its regular inspection and maintenance. Seeing why this is so important is easy, with over 90,000 rural wells across Wyoming supplying 75 percent of residents with drinking water. While the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office regulates permitting and construction requirements, homeowners are responsible for inspecting their wells regularly for damage and testing water quality.   …to read more click here

 
Getting on track: Better management through basic financial statements
Constructing basic financial statements for a farm/ranch/agribusiness is an important key to management success, offering solutions to problems and risks before they become severe and to take advantage of potential opportunities. The Basic Financial Statements course (as part of the three-part Getting on Track series) from RightRisk.org helps new and smaller-scale agricultural producers get a firm grip on their finances.…to read more click here

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Ag & Hort News: December, 2018

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Producers face significant stress; help is available
Agricultural producers have a long culture and self-image of being strong, flexible, and adaptive, allowing them to weather climatic, financial, and personal challenges. As one ranch wife explained to a teacher, “You, too, for a multi-million dollar investment and 150 hours a week, can make money one year, break-even one year, and lose money one year.”
     Many producers, especially those just getting started, work off-farm jobs as well. Producers have dealt with increased production costs, multiple disasters, reduced prices, tariff and market pressures, and increasing regulations, in addition to the stresses normal families endure. This last 24 months has been critical with farm income down over 50 percent since 2013, according to the USDA Economic Research Service.   …to read more click here

 
Getting on track: Better management through basic ag records
The Getting on Track: Better Management Through Ag Records course, from RightRisk.org, is part of a three-course series to help agricultural managers improve recordkeeping. The online course offers informative and self-paced lessons, with numerous resources and farm family examples. There are five content modules, with four family farm business examples, that highlight the importance of recordkeeping. Resource materials include recordkeeping forms for crop and livestock enterprises, the complete Agee Hand Record System, and links to other courses.
…to read more click here

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Ag & Hort News: November, 2018

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New invasive annual grasses in Wyoming: Why you should care
When many in Wyoming think of invasive winter annual grasses, they think cheatgrass (downy brome, Bromus tectorum) and/or Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus). Every county has at least some of these species, but unfortunately, these are no longer the only winter annual invasive grasses for which to be on the lookout. Two new invasive winter annual grasses, medusahead (Taeniatherum caputmedusae) and ventenata (Ventenata dubia), have been identified in the state. Much like our winter annual grasses, both are able to germinate in the fall allowing them to effectively utilize early spring moisture, possibly to the disadvantage of native species. The result is, in highly invaded areas, a decline from desirable vegetation ranging from perennial grasses to flowering forbs to shrubby species, greatly reducing the diversity and value of the land. These impacts are reported by some to be worse than cheatgrass.  …to read more click here

 
Tool helps gauge monetary risk of operations change
Partial budgeting can be helpful in evaluating management decisions for any agricultural operation. The
technique examines potential changes in costs or returns associated with adjustments in strategy or business operations. The Risk Scenario Planning (RSP) tool from RightRisk.org, is a risk analytics tool that helps agricultural producers use a range of values when making budget projections or production decisions. The RSP tool can help a manager include the risk associated with a particular decision or change and may help eliminate some of this uncertainty by assigning a range of probable outcomes associated with the selected variables. Here we use the RSP tool to evaluate levels of Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) insurance coverage and whether the potential financial benefit of cutting back coverage outweighs the decreased insurance coverage and associated increased risk.   …to read more click here

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Ag & Hort News: October, 2018

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Pulmonary arterial pressure testing helps show brisket disease susceptibility
How well suited cattle are to grazing at high altitude is becoming a bigger part of discussion among producers in Wyoming. Pulmonary Arterial Pressure (PAP) testing gives high-altitude beef producers a prediction of how adapted the cattle’s heart and respiratory systems are for Wyoming’s high places. Too low of oxygen levels for some cattle causes arterial walls to thicken and decrease in diameter, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood into the lungs. This extra effort eventually causes the right ventricle of the heart to enlarge and lose its ability to contract. Once visual signs are noticed, it’s often too late. Cattle are commonly found dead with no visual symptoms. Even if cattle survive or are only moderately affected, expect economic losses due to poor performance.  …to read more click here

 
2017 Wyoming Crop Insurance Summary
Wyoming crop insurance use for 2017 in Wyoming was relatively steady for crop policies (2,081), down slightly from 2016. The 2017 overall loss ratio was lower at 0.60 (losses divided by premiums paid) and significantly lower than 2016 (0.95). Producers insured 2,470,837 acres, which was over 400,000 more acres than 2016. Most of this growth was in Pasture, Rangeland, Forage – Rainfall Index (PRF-RI) policies. The total crop acres insured by PRF was 49 percent of all acres reported (797,296 acres) compared to 48 percent in 2016 (820,621 acres). The loss ratio is at its second lowest level, as well as the number of reported losses, when comparing current values to the previous five years. This, along with the net acreage increase, seems to indicate producers are making these insurance programs an established part of their year-to-year risk management planning.   …to read more click here

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