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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
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Cleaning up and organizing the farm: Recordkeeping


By Michael Cruse

Mon, Dec 21st, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

With the end 2015 closing in on us, now is the time to plan for 2016 and look for ways to improve your farm operation. The predicted continuation of low commodity prices makes this year’s planning phase increasingly critical. At a recent financial training I heard an observation that has stuck with me, which is that the best farmers do everything about 5% better than everyone else. The question is how can we get all farmers to join this group? Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about a range of topics that can help improve farm efficiencies, including keeping accurate records.

Few people truly enjoy keeping records, but this one activity can substantially improve many aspects of a farm operation. For beginning farmers, annual records can provide the information they need to accurately price their future livestock sales. In financial negotiations, such as land rent agreements and in acquiring operating loans, accurate historical records of input costs and production levels can facilitate more productive conversations during negotiations. When farms are being transitioned between operators, historical data can help resolve disagreements between operating parties. If you want to transition from conventional to organic production, historical records are required during the certification process.

While commercial financial services and at home financial software packages are widely available, you do not need to invest in expensive software packages to begin reaping the rewards of note taking. With the availability of basic spreadsheet programs such as Excel, Google Sheets and Numbers there is little excuse for not keeping records of your operation. Becoming proficient in these basic programs is a necessity for today’s farm operations, and as your proficiency in these programs grows, you will find that you finish these undesirable tasks faster and you can get back to doing the things you really enjoy. It is important to point out that keeping good records is not just about keeping track of finances, but also about monitoring other aspects of your operation. Do you remember exactly when you planted the back forty last year? How about 5 or 10 years ago? What soil amendments have been added to a particular field in the last 30 years? Knowing historical trends in farm activities can help you more accurately make long-term plans for your operation.

My tips for record keeping:

1. Make note keepin .....
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Fillmore County Land Rent Survey results

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Dec 7th, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

By Michael Cruse Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s land rent survey. According to our survey results, 2015 land rental rates in Fillmore County averaged between $201.64- ..... 
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What does a Minnesota Extension Educator do?

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Nov 23rd, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

By Michael Cruse Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties After two months as the Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties, I keep hearing a re-occurring question from neighbors, friends and family. What is it you do aga ..... 
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Stay observant to prevent damage to stored agricultural goods

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Nov 16th, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates one third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted annually. While this reported loss can happen anywhere fr ..... 
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Farmers to receive documentation of USDA services Local offices issue receipts for services provided

Mon, Nov 9th, 2015
Posted in Preston Agriculture

Preston, MN, October 21, 2015 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director Jane Ray reminds agricultural producers that FSA provides a receipt to customers who request or receive assistance or i ..... 
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2015 Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention registration is open

Mon, Nov 9th, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

Hutchinson, MN (October 12, 2015) – The Minnesota Cattle Industry convention is an event that brings together producers and beef industry partners for educational opportunities, policy discussion and development, and a cattle focused trade show. ..... 
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Weed and Pest Profiles: Soybean aphid

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Nov 9th, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

Soybean aphids are a relatively new pest for Midwest agriculture and since their first sighting in Wisconsin in 2000 have been a significant problem for farmers. A native to eastern Asia, the soybean aphid shares many characteristics with other aphi ..... 
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2015 4-H results

Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

Aggen, Garrett - BL, Class 13 - Division II Crossbred Barrow (273-277) Aggen, Hunter - Reserve Grand Champion Cow/Calf Pair; Champion Simmental Cow/Calf Pair; CH, Reg Simmental (Purebred & Foundation)-Cow/Calf Aggen, Hunter- PA, Class 15 - Cow ..... 
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What is a fair & profitable farm rental agreement?

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Agriculture

Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties Negotiating a fair land rental agreement that satisfies both land owner and farmer is a challenge. While corn and soybean prices in 2014, 2015, and 2016 are significantly lower than recent reco ..... 
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