Dairy and Beef Market Roundup as of October 2014 Beef surges, Butter slides

CEWN-MR-1-Market roundup graphby Sherry Bunting

It is fall roundup time, and cattle feeders are paying ever-higher prices for placements in the face of a bumper crop of corn, coupled with the smallest calf crop coming to market in at least five decades.

As of July 1, the U.S. All Cattle and Calf Inventory (beef and dairy) was 95 million head — down 3 percent from last year and the lowest since 1973. There were fewer cattle of all classes, except a 1 percent increase in milk cow numbers. [Read more…]

Using crop technology in 2015

by Sally Colby

Farmers are presented with an ever-increasing array of technology aimed at making them better at what they already do. Those who choose to incorporate technology in the field can expect better yields and profits.

“Crop technology hinges on GPS,” said Dr. Robert Nielsen, professor of agronomy at Purdue University. “It’s the driver of everything we do in precision ag.” Nielsen says equipment control, monitoring of equipment, spatial data and GIS software to manage the spatial data are also important components. [Read more…]

Planning for production

CM-MR-2-PlanningforProdby Tamara Scully

“It’s all about the consumer now. We’ve gone from a production-driven market to a consumer-driven market,” Dr. Robin G. Brumfield, Farm Management Specialist, Horticultural Economics, of Rutgers University, said in a recent webinar. “Try to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes when trying to decide what to grow and how much.”

Production planning means asking the hard questions before planting the first seed. The first step is to identify a need that isn’t being adequately addressed in the market. In today’s mature market, finding a niche to fill means doing something new, doing something better, and adding value by offering services. [Read more…]

Cream of the Crop

CN-MR-4-CreamCrop4by Laura Rodley

Jerald Reinford makes his dreams come true.

Five years ago, he bought 103 acres in Russell, MA with the dream of making it a farm and offering the goods at a farm store.

“I grew up on a farm. I have a furniture and kitchen business, and was looking for more of a family venture. Farming is in my blood,” he said. Reinford now divides his time between his successful business (Countryside Woodcraft, which employs 14 people and makes high-end furniture out of hardwoods, mainly cherry), and Cream of the Crop Farm. This arrangement allows Reinford to be more available for his seven children, ages 2 to 15, and his wife, Priscilla. [Read more…]