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MANAGEMENT

Read how to improve your supervision of employees, financial matters, identification and record keeping. Learn more about land use issues that affect your operation.

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Across the nation, farmers and ranchers work tirelessly to overcome unpredictable variables like weather, commodity pricing, tariffs, and governmental regulations. These variables place an immense amount of financial strain and mental burden on farmers and will often have long-lasting impact on their farms’ profitability. Over the past decade the U.S. has lost an average of one percent of farms on an annual basis. In a study performed by the American Farm Bureau Association, they found that U.S. farm bankruptcies are at their highest rate since 2011—marking four consecutive years of rising bankruptcy rates as a proportion of the farm population.

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Earlier this year, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) released data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

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The stocker cattle segment of the beef industry takes young, lightweight, weaned calves and develops them for the finishing phase. This gain is accomplished by utilizing pasture and range grazing, as well as other forage-based diets. Calves enter the stocker operation at 300 to 650 pounds and are grown to greater than 750 pounds. The growth of these calves is focused on frame, muscle and bone development, not fat deposition. Typically, moderately framed calves work well in stocker operations. Stocker enterprises are margin operators that capitalize on low-cost weight gains, compared to the finishing phase in a feedlot. The three most important factors of a successful stocker enterprise are management, calf health, and nutrition.

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These days, undeveloped American land is a scarce commodity, so if you’re preparing to sell, there’s good news: Ranch owners are on the advantageous end of a supply and demand imbalance. Use this to your advantage: You are in control of a business that many want but few own in 2019.

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It was supposed to be me – I was supposed to be the first to go. Statistically, the husband dies first, so Pam and I made provisions for that far off, but seemingly inevitable, event. 

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The actual transfer of farm ownership as well as the transition of management control to the next family farming generation is often a journey with many emotional struggles and potential conflicts involved.

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