Prairie Grains is the official
|Farm relief in hand, NAWG turns attention
to 106th Congress
With the recent passage of the FY99 Farm Disaster Relief Bill, the National Association of Wheat Growers is looking ahead to the challenges of the 106th Congress.
"Although we are pleased with the outcome of the Farm Disaster Relief Bill, more work is needed to protect farmers from such future crises," says Bill Flory, NAWG president. "We must compel Congress to fulfill promises made during the 1996 Farm Bill discussions, which would promote free trade and reform unilateral economic sanctions." NAWG priorities include:
Passage of fast track authority and exempting food and food products from economic sanctions.
Federal crop insurance reform to improve coverage levels and affordability.
Review of USDA producer credit programs.
Reauthorization of the Commodity Exchange Act, to establish reasonable regulatory authority and promote the use of innovative marketing tools.
Transportation issues, such as addressing rail pricing and competition through re-authorization of the Surface Transportation Act, as well as increasing public funds for improvements and maintenance to inland waterway and port systems.
Tax reform measures: increasing federal estate tax credits and eventually the repeal of death taxes, and immediate and full deductibility of health insurance premiums for the self-employed.
Use strategies to reduce farm debt risk
Debt is a necessary part of doing business in many farming operations. With debt comes debt risk the risk of not being able to repay borrowed money.
Jim Christensen, extension educator in farm management with the University of Minnesotas Extension Service, lists the following strategies for reducing debt risk:
Get advice from farm management associations and consultants.
Share machinery through joint ownership with other producers.
Periodically set goals, measure achievements, and redirect resources to the most profitable enterprises.
Develop a business plan and discuss it with your lender.
Communicate often and well with your lender.
Liquidate unused assets, retire debt, and improve your working capital.
New publication on whole farm planning
Should you expand your livestock operation? How about direct marketing or a value-added enterprise? How can you bring children into your farm business, or spend more time with family? The University of Minnesota Extension Service offers a publication, " Whole Farm Planning: Combining Family, Profit and Environment" to help with these and other questions for comprehensive farm planning and developing a vision for your farm 10, 20 or 50 years into the future. The publication is available from MN county extension offices or call 1-800-876-8636, or 612-624-4900. Single copies are $2.50 plus sales tax and shipping charges.
Software analyzes price and production risk
AgRisk, a new, easy-to-use software program, can be used to evaluate the returns and risks of preharvest risk management strategies. It projects the distribution of a farms gross revenue at harvest for alternative strategies that may involve one or more marketing tools and insurance products. This comparison enables a producer to better select the appropriate strategy.
AgRisk, developed at Ohio State University, is available free on the Internet at: http://www-agecon.ag.ohio-state.edu/agrisk/agrisk.htm. It can also be ordered on diskette for $15 by writing to: AgRisk Project, Department of Ag Economics, Ohio State University, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210.
AgRisk runs on Windows 95. Help screens show you how to use the model, which interprets results and statistical concepts. Terms used are defined, and examples are provided. The model presents distributions of gross revenue for different strategies.
The results derived from AgRisk must be regarded as unique to the example farm and a particular time period. Producers must analyze individual situations, and use results only as a guide, says George Flaskerud, NDSU extension ag economist.
Additional information on marketing tools and insurance products available on the Internet: http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/
SGI and RRV Potato Expo to be held Feb. 9-10
The Small Grains Institute and the Red River Valley Potato Expo will be held jointly at the Fargodome Feb. 9-10, 1999. Program topics will include small grain weed control, best crop rotation choices, and fungicide application tips for controlling diseases in small grains. Speakers will include Agweek columnist Ryan Taylor, with "Cowboy Logic Live."