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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

The Management Calendar

Farm Business Management Update, June - July 2008

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

There’s been ample rain so far this spring; not enough to recharge the ground water and get the ponds back to capacity, but enough. So far in the New River Valley, we are behind our normal hay harvest schedules with limited days of clear skies to allow for cutting, curing, and baling. Along with weather uncertainties, there are many more. For example, what will happen to fuel, fertilizer, feed, and chemical prices? Will higher commodity prices offset the high input prices? What will happen to the dollar? What about the Farm Bill? All this adds up to more questions with no clear answers. Yet we know managers who keep focused on their costs-of-production and know their breakeven points for major inputs, and have business strategy in place to adjust the production plan survive uncertain times in a more favorable position. For example, most heavy field operations use about ¾ - 1 gallon of fuel to complete. At $4.00/gal diesel, it is more important than ever to know your costs. Fuel alone will cost $4.00/acre. It might pay to schedule fuel supplies when prices are more advantageous. These strategies need to be thought through in advance using family members, employees, and other advisors as a sounding board.

Selective information available that might be useful in planning your management strategies:

Listed below are the items that need to be included on the farm business managers' calendar for spring of 2008.

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