Ron Lemenager, Extension beef specialist
- Resolve to take feed samples and have them analyzed for nutrient content. "Work with a nutritionist to formulate rations that will minimize cost and optimize performance."
- Resolve to adjust rations for cold stress, to minimize losses in weight and body condition. "For each 10-degree drop in wind chill factor below 30 degrees, the maintenance energy requirements increase by 13 percent for cows in moderate body conditioned with a dry, winter hair coat and 30 percent for thin cows or cows with a wet or summer hair coat."
- Resolve to create a business plan of where you want to go and how you plan to get there. "It can help not only when you go to the bank for a loan, but also when the IRS does an audit."
Brian Richert, Extension swine specialist
- Resolve to closely monitor your feeding program, since feed is 70 percent of your swine costs. "This includes sticking to your feed budgets, being vigilant in your feeder adjustments, monitoring your feed particle size and analyzing your feed ingredients. Analyzing your feed ingredients is critical when you feed more byproducts with their increased variability, and with a bad growing season this year even our corn and soybean meal needs to be analyzed."
- Resolve to collect and use records. "You should be culling the lowest-producing females, monitoring drug use, conducting timely euthanasia and evaluating all your costs across all phases of production."
- Resolve to re-evaluate vaccination and medication plans. "Meet with your herd veterinarian to ensure they are meeting your herd's health needs."
Chris Hurt, Extension agricultural economist
- Resolve to never say, "It can't happen to me." "The 2012 drought was a stark reminder that bad outcomes can come to our farms and businesses. Evaluate and use the tools to help reduce the terrible financial consequences that can come from bad outcomes. Start with a re-evaluation of crop insurance alternatives."
- Resolve to make 2013 a learning year. "New technology is coming at us quickly. There will be a new farm bill to learn about. Tax laws will likely change. New farm products are emerging. Brand new opportunities will be presenting themselves. Be sure to commit time to increasing your knowledge and to the improvement of your decision-making skills."
- Resolve to review your family's succession plan and update your estate plan. "Even if you have a great plan, remember the laws are changing. At the very least, learn about those changes and how they affect your plan. If you don't have a plan, the new laws will give you a great reason to get started."
Other crop and livestock management tips are available at Purdue's Agricultural Producers information page, https://ag.purdue.edu/pages/producers-index.aspx