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MANAGEMENT

Manage employees, analyze yield drivers, explore forage markets, become more confident in preparing farm financial statements, and untangle farm succession issues.

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The primary agriculture enterprise in the Southern Great Plains (particularly southern Oklahoma and northern Texas) is forage-based beef cattle systems (e.g., cow-calf, stockers). These profitable operations perform well but not without obvious challenges.

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Since its early origins in south-central Asia, alfalfa has spread around the globe and is utilized as a top-quality forage for livestock. The feeding value of the crop has made it the most cultivated forage legume in the world. Despite this distinction, there has always been the desire by alfalfa workers to improve alfalfa’s performance to an even higher level.

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A while ago, I attended a conference on leadership in San Antonio, Texas. Whenever I think about leadership, I think about something a minister shared with me. He said the mark of a good leader is not how well things go when they are in charge, but rather how smoothly things go once they are no longer leading.

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This project was undertaken starting in 2009 in an effort to seek better varieties that will sustain yields and perhaps even thrive when grown under saline conditions. Salinity is a major challenge for alfalfa growers in irrigated regions and even in many non-irrigated regions.

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On the surface, agricultural profitability looks dismal for 2019 – corn and especially soybean prices are down; milk price is low; and while beef prices look steady from 2018, supply is high.

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I have been in this business for over 50 years and, other than the mid-’80s, when land (due to an agricultural economic financial crisis) had to be sold through foreclosure, most land sells because multiple family members have inherited the land and, due to various reasons, opt to sell the farm.

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