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Budgeting assistance available

John Grimes-
The gloomy weather this week serves as a reminder that winter weather is just around the corner. You have heard me often complain about shorter daylight hours during this time of year.  However, there is a bright side to the increased hours of darkness. It gives us a chance to admire the Christmas displays and lights in the area that serve to brighten up those long hours of darkness.  Christmas shopping ads remind us that the clock is ticking for purchasing those gifts for those special someones.
2010 Ohio corn, soybean
and wheat budgets
    Budgeting helps guide you through your decision making process as you attempt to commit resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm.
    Crops or livestock? Corn, soybeans or wheat? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought-out budgets that include all revenue and costs.
    Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprise’s progress, you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise(s) and if you’ve met your goals for the farm.
    Budgeting is often described as “penciling it out” before committing resources to a plan. Ohio State University Extension has had a long history of developing enterprise budgets that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process.
    Newly updated enterprise budgets for 2010 have been completed and posted to the Farm Management Web site of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    Updated enterprise budgets can be viewed and downloaded from the following web site:
    Enterprise budgets updated so far for 2010 include: Corn-Conservation Tillage; Soybeans-No-Till; Wheat-Conservation Tillage, (Grain and Straw).
    Our enterprise budgets are compiled on downloadable Excel spreadsheets that contain macros for ease of use. Users can input their own production and price levels to calculate their own numbers. These enterprise budgets have a new look with color coded cells that will enable users to plug in numbers to easily calculate bottoms lines for different scenarios.
    Detailed footnotes are included to help explain methodologies used to obtain the budget numbers. Starting this year, we will be updating these enterprise budgets periodically during the year is large changes occur in price or costs. Budgets will include a date in the upper right hand corner of the front page indicating when the last update occurred.
    (Source: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.)
Heart of America
Grazing Conference
coming to Wilmington
    A multi-state meeting of grassland farmers, “Heart of America Grazing Conference,” is coming to Roberts Centre, northwest of Wilmington on Jan. 20-21.
    The annual meeting rotates among five states from Ohio to Missouri. The conference combines research information along with talks by producers from the Midwest, said Bob Hendershot of Lancaster, an NRCS state grassland conservationist, who is helping to coordinate the program along with Jeff McCutcheon, of Mt. Gilead, an OSU Extension educator. The keynote presentation at the opening banquet on Jan. 20 will be “International Grazing.”
    The speaker, Ben Bartlett, a Michigan State University Extension educator, has led several groups on international trips to observe their grazing operations.
    The presentations on the second day, Jan. 21, will feature Dr. Justin Sexten, State Extension beef specialist, University of Missouri. Dr. Sexten, an Ohio native, will talk about the eight steps to stretching your pasture. Justin was recently highlighted in Successful Farming magazine. Howard Straub, a pasture-based dairy farmer from Michigan, will be sharing the economics of his grazing operation. Howard has three grown children who also are grass based dairy farmers. Howard is vice-chairman of the National Grazing Land Coalition Imitative Committee and vice-president of the American Forage and Grassland Council.
    Ben Bartlett will also be presenting in the morning on “Low Stress Livestock Handling.”
    The farmers’ favorite parts of grazing conferences are reports from other producers.
    There will be breakout sessions focusing on beef, sheep and goat, dairy and advanced grazing management.
    One farmer will be Katherine Harrison of Blystone Farms, discussing direct marketing. She has been named a director to the American Goat Federation. Jake Wolfinger, Ohio Young Cattleman of the Year, will be discussing his use of oats as late summer and fall forage crop.
    Curt Cline, sheep producer whose farm was selected for the 2008 American Sheep Industry Environmental Stewardship, will be talking on his grazing operation. Ohio State University specialists Dr. Steve Loerch and Dr. Dave Barker will each be discussing forage and grazing management. The Ohio Forage and Grassland Council will be having their annual meeting as a breakfast meeting on Jan. 21.
    An exhibit of grassland vendors will be available at the conference center. Roberts Centre is located at Exit 50 on I-71 and U.S. 68. Conference registration fee will be $65, which includes dinner, lunch and breaks. Registration for OFGC members will be $60.
    For registration send check, before Jan. 13, to Jeff McCutcheon, OSU Extension, 871 West Marion Road Suite 102, Mt. Gilead, Ohio 43338-1088, call Jeff at 419-947-1070.[[In-content Ad]]

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