You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive.
These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website
(through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only.
As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.
To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at
Newsletter Archive index:
The Management Calendar
Farm Business Management Update, June 2002
By Gordon Groover
Summer is here as the temperatures across the state reach the 80 and 90's. This time of year you spend a lot of hours on the tractor seat, and when you are inside, the focus is on weather forecasts and prices. You should devote some time over the summer to keeping informed on the 2002 Farm Bill. Many provisions will provide payments and support to Virginia's crop and livestock farmers. Jim Pease's article in this issue gives an excellent overview and lists web sits to keep up-to-date. Your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office will be the major point of contact for most of these Farm Bill benefits so staying in touch will be a benefit.
Farm business managers should consider putting the following activities on their management calendar for June-July.
- Half of the business year will soon be behind you, so a 6-month financial record checkup is in order. Updating your records through the month of June allows you to quickly gauge financial progress by comparing the farm's actual expenses and income to your budgeted amounts. If you did not develop a budget, compare your mid-year expenses and income to half the items reported on your 2001 Schedule F. Flag any items that are different from budgeted amounts. These differences are not necessarily problems, just items that need to be examined and explained.
- Production records for livestock and crops should be updated for the first half of the year. Look for big changes from last year and make sure to cross-reference these with production expenses.
- Update your marketing plan by collecting information on prices and world market situations. Be sure to check with your local Farm Service Agency for changes in government programs and signup deadlines. Review USDA and other crop and price forecasts. The following web site shows the dates for USDA Agency Reports Schedule Calendar release with links to the appropriate agency web sites: http://www.usda.gov/news/releases/rptcal/may2002.htm
- Apple growers should check with their local FSA office to get the details on the 2000 Apple Market Loss Assistance Program (AMLAP-II). Signup began April 29, 2002. The AMLAP-II will provide about $75 million to eligible growers for their 2000-crop apple production. The payments will help offset economic losses due to low prices in the U.S. apple market. To receive cash payments, eligible apple producers must (1) have produced and harvested apples during the 2000-crop year; (2) not have received compensation from any other federal program, other than crop insurance, for the same market loss; and (3) apply for cash payments during the application period for each apple operation. The deadline for application under the AMLAP-II program will be announced later.
- Even with the time constraints of spring planting and getting ready for hay harvest, plan regular staff meetings with family members and employees to discuss work plans and set priorities for the next day/week. Consider brainstorming about alternative ways of to resolve time and/or labor bottlenecks.
- With much of Virginia still dry, you need to continue monitoring conditions and explore alternatives for securing backup feed supplies if the drought continues.
- Part of being a good manager is keeping up to date on new alternatives, news items, and educational opportunities. A new e-mail newsletter for Virginian's interested in agricultural looks to be an excellent way to keep informed. Preview the new agricultural newsletter VaAgInfo at http://www.VaAgInfo.com. Signup for the free newsletter to be e-mailed at the VaAgInfo web site.
- I often get calls about agricultural related software, and I'm still looking for the definitive web site listing all Ag software. I have not found it yet, but the Alberta (Canada) Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has a web site called "Roping the Web." It provides one of the better listing of agricultural software offered to North American farmers at http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/agdex/agsoft/index.html. Business.com has a good site as well at http://www.business.com/directory/agriculture/software/
- Looking for a good all-round agricultural web site to browse for a broad range of topics? Try the Agrisurf.com at, http://www.agrisurf.com/
June-July mark the end of spring and the flurry of summer activities, enjoy!
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Cooperative Extension