UW Returning to the Farm Workshop

From Joy Kirkpatrick at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability:

Returning to the Farm workshop helps farm families plan for farm succession

Madison, Wis. – UW Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Extension are offering a workshop to help farm families plan for a son, daughter or partner to return to the farm and eventually take over the farm business. The four-day workshop will be offered on the UW-Platteville campus. The dates are Jan. 16 and 17 and Feb. 13 and 14, 2015.

Families looking toward the future of their farming operations have many issues to consider. Two issues of extreme importance to the future life of the business are the development of a son, daughter, or partner to be the future manager of the business and the creation of a succession plan. The Returning to the Farm workshop helps families make these plans.

Returning to the Farm is open to all farm families who want to learn more about planning for farm succession. Families are expected to participate in both sessions. At the end of the February session, families will have action steps to move forward with a plan.

Through this program, farm businesses will:
Determine if an existing operation is large enough to support an additional partner.
Uncover alternatives for the transfer of farm assets.
Recognize personalities and learn to work with each individual’s strengths.
Write long- and short-term business and family goals.
Learn how to address issues in a multiple generation farm business.
Hear the current issues and information on the tax implications of farm transfer.
Understand the tools of estate planning and business succession planning.
Receive business succession and estate planning resources.
The registration fee for this four-day program is $300 per farming unit (up to four people per farm). This includes materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks and lunches. The registration deadline is January 9, 2014. If more than four people attend from a farming unit, $75 will be charged for each participant over four.

For more information about the program or to register contact Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability Outreach Specialist at 608-263-3485 or by email joy.kirkpatrick@ces.uwex.edu . Returning to the Farm is funded by UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Platteville, and UW-Extension.

On the Bookshelf: 2015 Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops

Don’t miss this year’s “Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops” from University of Wisconsin Extension. This is a comprehensive guide to insect, weed, and plant disease management in corn, soybean, forage, and stored grain crops.

To obtain a print copy of the guide, go here. For a free electronic copy in pdf format, go here for the download. For mobile access, go to University of Wisconsin Extension’s Pest Management Mobile.

Resource: AgrAbility of Wisconsin

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Do you know a farmer with a physical, cognitive, or illness-related disability that needs help? University of Wisconsin Extension and Easter Seals Wisconsin sponsor the AgrAbility program that provides free services. For example, they will conduct “on-site assessments to identify barriers to completing tasks both in the agricultural workplace and the home”. Also, they will recommend appropriate “assistive technologies (equipments/tools/devices), modified work practices, and/or other possible solutions to overcoming disability-related limitations.”

Agri-View recently featured an AgrAbility client. The program has a 98% success rate over the past 23 years.

They are currently in the process of re-designing their website but in the meantime, check out their Facebook page. A Facebook account is not required to access most of the content.

More Winter Reading, the 2014 WCWS Research Report

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Yep, it is that time of year. Winter is setting in and the 2014 WCWS Research Report is here to chase away the winter blues. Print copies will be distributed at the Pest Management Update meetings and at the Wisconsin Crop Management conference. Check out our Documents page again in December for an updated report with yield data.

Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center Newsletter

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has released the Fall issue of the Wisconsin Farm Center newsletter. This issue contains articles on farm succession planning, harvest concerns, and an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill.

For an archive and to sign-up for email updates, go to this web page, the subscription icon is in the left-hand column.

App for Pricing Wet Corn

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UW-Extension has a smartphone app for pricing high moisture corn. For more information, keep reading the following the press release from UW-Extension’s Greg Blonde.

Contact: Greg Blonde, UW-Extension Waupaca County, 715-258-6230, greg.blonde@ces.uwex.edu

Pricing Wet Corn? UW-Extension has an app for that

Waupaca, Wis. – It’s that time of the year when Wisconsin dairy and beef producers and Wisconsin corn growers explore their options of buying or selling high moisture shell corn (HMSC). This is especially true this year in the northern two-thirds of the state with so much wet corn still in the field.

To help farmers better evaluate their options, the University of Wisconsin-Extension released a Smartphone app this fall to provide a simple way to help estimate the market value of HMSC based on three main variables – dry corn moisture, current corn moisture and price per bushel.

The HMSC$ app is free and available for Android smart phones and tablets on the Google Play store by searching for “HMSC”.

Farmers can use this app to help determine an equivalent value for wet shell corn when compared with a dry shell corn price – a link to current local elevator dry corn bid prices is built into the app. The equivalent wet price is then calculated and displayed in both price per ton and price per bushel. Additional costs for drying and/or shelling can be evaluated under the expense tab. The app also features the ability to email the results directly to others.

“Although a desktop Excel spreadsheet for pricing HMSC is available on the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability web site, it doesn’t have the ability to bring up current market information or automatically share the results”, said Greg Blonde, UW-Extension Waupaca County agriculture agent. “When you’re out in the field or on the go, the HMSC$ app is a great resource tool to have on your Smartphone or tablet computer.”

Blonde also noted the app may be useful to grain elevator managers, as well as Ag lenders and farm managers for valuing their grain or feed inventories.

Learn How to Apply for Agricultural Grants

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Farmers and value-added food entrepreneurs can get expert advice from USDA, USDA-SARE, and WI DATCP grant managers on how to apply for grants to improve their food production operations. For more information, see the University of Wisconsin Extension press release below.

Contact: Andrew Bernhardt, 608-890-0097, andrew.bernhardt@ces.uwex.edu

Workshops provide information about applying for agricultural grants
Madison, Wis. – Farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs can learn strategies to access state and federal grants by attending workshops sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in partnership with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, DATCP, SARE, USDA Rural Development, FSA, NRCS and several farm credit agency banks.
The workshops, being held during October in Janesville and Montello and during November in Ashland and Shawano, will provide information about potential grants, the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, cost share programs and other financing options.
Each workshop consists of five main components:

  1. An overview to agricultural grants, grant writing and what makes a strong grant proposal.
  2. A lunch-time presentation from a local grant awardee talking about his/her grant experience.
  3. Description and overview of Ag Grants from grant managers for USDA Value Added Producer Grant, USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and WI-DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant.
  4. A group exercise that allows participants to review actual proposals and gain hands-on experience at grant-writing.
  5. Specific info on other financial options (such as FSA loans, traditional bank loans and NRCS cost share programs) specific to Wisconsin.

Dates, locations and registration:
Oct. 28, 2014 – Janesville; contact: Kim Mork kim.mork@ces.uwex.edu or 608-757-5696
Nov. 4, 2014 – Montello; contact: Lyssa Seefeldt lyssa.seefeldt@ces.uwex.edu or 608-297-3136
Nov. 5, 2014 – Ashland; contact: Jason Fischbach jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu or 715-373-6104 ext. 5
Nov. 12, 2014 – Shawano; contact: Jamie Patton jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu or 715-526-6136

A registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. Please register at least one week in advance.
For more information about:
VAPG, please go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vapg.htm
ADD, please go to: http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/add/index.jsp
SARE, please go to: http://www.northcentralsare.org/
SCBG, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Crops_and_Specialty_Crops/index.aspx
BLBW, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants/index.aspx

On the Bookshelf: Desert Farming

The journal Science just reviewed a new book discussing farming methods used at the fringes of the Gobi desert. The book, “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty” by Gary Paul Nabhan details growing practices for those farmers that produce crops with less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. For reference, the average yearly rainfall in Madison, Wisconsin is 32 inches. In the drought years of 1988, 1989, and 2012, the precipitation totals were 25, 23, and 27 inches per year.

Funding available from Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection manages the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program for farmers and other members of the food industry who want to develop local markets for their products.

For more information, please visit the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin website