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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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In economics, the simplest you can get is supply and demand. These two items will just about determine a price for any commodity. The hay market is no different. Both the supply and demand side have their own factors that influence them.

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I know just enough about social media to be dangerous. I don’t spend a lot of time online, but I do belong to some forage groups, and I enjoy following some of the questions and debates. Recently, a fertilizer discussion caught my eye.

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Sound forage establishment and management practices are critical to realizing a profit in hay or forage-based livestock production. In many instances, the existing forage base may be adequate for a given enterprise, and fine-tuning management is all that is required.

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Taking advantage of planning opportunities now will set your forage/grazing operation up for success come spring. Here is a list of things you can do now that will help ensure a successful growing and grazing season.

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A proactive man will never get caught with his pants down in the bathroom…. why? A proactive man would take the step of locking the door to make sure any future problems would not occur, while the reactive man will go through an embarrassing moment that might set his initial goal back a little.

How does this pertain to Forages? Every producer has the opportunity to be proactive or reactive during the growing seasons. Year after year Mother Nature will start with a green spring, move to the heat of summer, cool off again for fall and put most things to sleep for a cold winter, speaking from the Midwest. Year after year you will have gaps in your forage production that will cost you money with purchased feed and hay that should be saved for the winter months. A proactive producer will see those gaps and plant a forage crop that will excel in that time of year to help carry production on to the next season.

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Soil fertility testing is a valuable tool to optimize forage production. Applying too much fertilizer is not an economically or environmentally sound practice, and inadequate fertility or improper soil pH can limit forage production.

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