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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

The Management Calendar

Farm Business Management Update, April/May 2006

By Gordon Groover, (, Extension Economist, Farm Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

The price of energy has a tremendous impact on the overall profitability of farm business, e.g., price of diesel fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, transportation, and so on. Kevin Dhuyvetter (Professor and Extension Specialist, Farm Management, Kansas State University) has followed the trends in energy and their effects on agriculture and has regular post and articles on "Energy Prices" a web site found at To get monthly updates on projection for anhydrous ammonia and diesel fuel prices take a look at his article Futures-Based Price Forecasts for Anhydrous Ammonia and Diesel Fuel found at .

Once again talk has turned to drought. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Blacksburg reports that March 2006 was the driest on record. To view details about current conditions and short and long term forecast in the U.S. visit the Drought Monitor at

Farm financial records continue to play an important role in day-to-day management of a farm business. Farmers just getting started with computer applications should consider starting with a software package that will allow them to begin to see results for their efforts quickly and reduce the frustration of first having to learn the details of accounting. Consider Quicken® as an inexpensive product that has many instructional packages available on the web. Damona Doye

Extension Economist and Professor at Oklahoman State has an excellent web site devoted to Quicken® for farm and ranch applications. It can be found at

Farm Record Book: Expenses and Receipts, Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 446-017, will go to the print shop for printing sometime the first week on April. The order form Publication 446-016 will be sent to all extension offices and individuals on our waiting list as soon as the details are known about the pricing. Thanks for your patience.

Want to know the long-term outlook for the U.S. dairy industry and the forces that will shape its competitiveness in the world market place? Then take a look at U.S. Dairy at a New Crossroads in a Global Setting, by Don P. Blayney and Mark J. Gehlhar, Economists at USDA-ERS. The article can be found in the November 2005 issue of AmberWaves at

Listed below are the items that need to be included on the farm business managers' calendar for spring of 2006.

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