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Volume 10, Number 7 - July 2004

This Month in Ag Connection

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Taxation Tidbits: Tax Treatment of Grain Storage Facilities

Grainbin Storage

The desire to maximize marketing opportunities and the increased interest in preserving identity of various grains has created a surge of interest in the construction of on-farm storage. The tax treatment of grain storage facilities varies because all grain storage facilities are not "created equally".

Grain bins are designed as single-purpose structures and are not easily or economically converted to any other use. Other facilities like flat storage can generally be converted to a multi-functional building with minimal expense.

General-purpose farm buildings and grain bins are depreciable assets. The former are depreciated over a 20-year cost recovery period, while the latter have a 7-year depreciable life. Annual depreciation amounts associated with grain storage facilities are deducted by a taxpayer involved in the trade or business of farming on Schedule F.

Additionally, single-purpose grain storage facilities, such as grain bins, qualify for the Section 179 deduction. Section 179 provides for the election to deduct all or part of the cost of qualifying property placed in service during the year (up to $100,000 in 2004). The Section 179 deduction can be claimed instead of recovering the cost of the property by depreciation deductions. If the cost of qualifying Section 179 property is greater than the amount of the Section 179 deduction claimed, the remaining cost can be depreciated over the appropriate recovery period, i.e. 7 years for grain bins.

(Author: Parman R. Green, Ag Business Mgmt. Specialist)

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Nutrition And Reproductive Management For Replacement Gilts

Modern sows are larger in mature body size, leaner, have increased milk production and continue to increase lean mass through their second or third parity (litters). These increased nutrient requirements for maintenance, lean growth and milk production requires specialized nutrition and management program for replacement gilts. In addition to feeding regimes, gilt development programs must manage the health and maturation of replacement gilts to allow for optimum growth, development, reproductive performance, weaning weights, and sow longevity.

Nutrition for Developing Gilts

Proper nutrition allows developing gilts to express their genetic potential in traits mentioned above. Finishing diets are adequate in nutrition until replacement females reach 180-200 pounds. Vitamin and mineral levels for gilt development need to be increased to match sow gestation diets. These diets should be formulated to contain higher levels of calcium, phosphorous, biotin, folic acid, and choline, than generally contained in finishing diets. Rations containing adequate vitamin and mineral levels help ensure proper bone growth and structural development.

Gilts should reach a body weight of 270 - 320 pounds at 210 - 240 days of age. From 180 to 280 pounds, they should be full-fed a diet that will allow bodyweight gain of 1.5 -1.7 pounds per day. Expected daily feed intake should be 5 to 7 pounds per head. Manage the rate of gain by adjusting the feeding rate and/or energy level of the diet. Gilts that are full-fed during development may over consume feed, resulting in excess body condition and weight in breeding. Adding high fiber, low energy ingredients to the diet, will reduce its energy level. Wheat middlings, soy hulls, alfalfa meal, or beet pulp are examples of acceptable ingredients. These diets should contain nutrient levels within the ranges presented in Table 1.

Table 1
Diet Specifications For
Properly Formulated Gilt Development
Metabolize energy 1400-1500 kcal/lb
Total lysine 0.70-0.80 %
Digestible lysine 0.55-0.65 %
Protein 14-16 %
Calcium 0.80-0.90 %
Total phosphorous 0.65-0.75 %
Available phosphorous 0.45-0.55 %

If gilts are limit fed, they should be returned to full feed three weeks prior to mating. Gilts on a high level of nutrition should have an increased ovulation rate.

First Parity (Litter) Lactation
Don't feed your first parity gilt like you would a sow. While sow lactation diets provide nutrients for milk production and maintenance, first parity gilt diets must also support continued growth. Gilt diets need to have higher energy and amino acid levels since they consume 10 to 20 percent less lactation feed than a mature sow.

Increasing energy intake during lactation will minimize weight and backfat loss, but has marginal effects on piglet growth and subsequent reproductive performance. Amino acid intake during the first lactation can have dramatic impacts on weaning weight, days to estrus, and on the subsequent reproductive performance.

Replacement gilts will comprise 10 - 20% of a farrowing group when they are moved into the normal production cycle. Often, it is only feasible to use one lactation diet, in which case a top dress needs to be fed. Crating gilts in one area of the farrowing room makes topdressing more time efficient. The result of these efforts will be to reduce second parity performance dip.

In the properly fed and developed first parity female, milk production will reach near maximum levels the first week after farrowing. Feeding in the farrowing house should be managed to increase feed intake rapidly after parturition. An example-feeding schedule is outlined below.

Table 2
Example Feeding Protocol to Achieve
Maximal Daily Lactation Feed Intake
0 Farrow    
1 3 lb 0 lb 0 lb
2 3 lb 3 lb 3 lb
3 4 lb 4 lb 4 lb
4 6 lb 6 lb 6 lb

This feeding schedule allows for full feeding by day. If feed remains in the feeder, the gilt is not fed until the subsequent feeding. If feed remains the following morning the feeder should be emptied and fresh feed supplied. It is not recommended to feed more than 6 pounds at any one feeding. This method simplifies the feeding process and allows the feeding management to be easily tailored to fit the individual gilt. The goal of the gilt-feeding program is to maximize intake the first week after farrowing. If maximum intake is not achieved until day 14, the gilt will have already begun to catabolize body tissues and significant body muscle and fat breakdown will have occurred between the seventh and fourteenth day.

Proper management of gilt nutrition through the first parity can have a dramatic effect on both short and long term productivity. Knowledge of the average daily feed consumption in lactation should be used to modify diets in order to assure adequate nutrient intake to support maintenance, growth and milk production of first parity females.

(Author: Mark Stewart, Livestock Specialist)

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First Aid Supplies For The Farm

UMC Guide 1950: Responding to Farm Accidents contains a list of supplies for a complete first aid kit. Many commercial first aid kits are available. At least a small, regularly maintained kit on should be kept on every major piece of farm equipment, truck, or auto. Display a larger kit in each farm building, shop, or home. A larger first aid kit should include:

Most commercial first aid kits do not address the farm needs for pesticide application. Make your own first aid kit using a sturdy box with a tight-fitting cover that can be securely latched. Tackle or toolboxes are a good choice. Store the kit where it will not become contaminated by pesticides. Label all containers clearly. Use a waterproof marker or nail polish to label plastic bottles. You should include the following items in your pesticide first aid kit:

Information for this article came from David E. Baker, Assistant Dean Agriculture Extension and former agriculture safety specialist, Rusty Lee and Jim Jarman, Agronomy Specialist.

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Estrus Synchronization Protocols On The Web

Beef and dairy producers can compare estrous synchronization protocols at the Iowa State University "Estrus Synchronization Planner" web site:

Producers can select protocols, compare costs between protocols, and plug-in values for associated costs such as labor, yardage, feed, semen if artificial insemination is used and many of the other costs associated with estrus synchronization (MGA, CIDR's, prostaglandin, etc.). The spreadsheet allows the producer to pick out specific breeding dates to print a "barn sheet". These barn sheets are especially helpful when multiple people are involved in the operation.

(Author: Wendy Flatt, Livestock Specialist)

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Publishing Information

Ag Connection is published monthly for Central Missouri Region producers and is supported by University of Missouri Extension, the Commercial Agriculture program, the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Managing Editor: Kent Shannon.