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Northeast Missouri Ag Connection Newsletter, June 2017

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Northeast Missouri Ag Connection

Volume 4, Number 6 - June 2017

This Month in Ag Connection

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Financial Measures-Even More Critical in Today's Ag Climate

Most experts are expecting prices to remain lower than they were in 2014 to 2016. This is due to the high stocks of grain and higher livestock numbers. Producers will need to take a close look at their farm business finances, especially younger and higher-leveraged producers. Granted, this is Missouri and while a weather disaster is never far away, it would take a nationwide drought to bring back the higher prices. This article will discuss the most critical financial measures producers should consider. These measures vary depending on which lender or farm financial standards are utilized.

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Custom Rate Guide - Updated

Guide 302, Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri, has been updated for 2016 figures. It is one of the most requested guides and can be printed online at:

Source: Joe Koenen, Ag Business Specialist

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Shortening the Postpartum Interval

Multiple studies have concluded shortening the breeding and calving seasons will pay off in heavier and more uniform groups of calves to sell at weaning time. 2010 data from Oklahoma Beef Quality Network sales indicate if a cow operation can market a sizeable number of calves together in one lot, they will realize a greater price per pound (on the average) than similar calves sold in singles or small lots. A premium for uniform, multiple head lots is generally associated with the convenience of filling orders for cattle of a specified description on the part of an order buyer. Premium price per cwt rises rapidly as lot size increases from singles or doubles and tends to flatten out as they reach 50-60 head.


Using reproductive best management practices can increase calf value; however, these reproductive management strategies can also affect profitability on the cow side. Integrated Resource Management (IRM) data shows one of the biggest indicators of herd profitability in a beef cow herd is a high percentage of calves born in the first 21 days of the calving season. A cow who calves in the first 21 days for her production life will have the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 more calves, due to additional weight gained by earlier born calves. Additionally, cows calving in the first 21 days of the calving season are 30% more likely to have a calf the following year compared to cows that calve past 100 days into the calving season. For those producers who feed out their cattle, data also shows that calves born early in the calving season, on average, will grade a higher percent choice than their later born counterparts.

Utilizing Timed AI is a proven method to increase the percentage of calves born in the first 21 days of calving season. However, even if artificial insemination is not used, several estrus synchronization protocols can be practical in shortening the breeding and subsequent calving season.

Source: Zac Erwin,, Livestock Specialist

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Garden Tips for June





Source: Jennifer Schutter,, Horticulture Specialist

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MDC Asks Public Not to Plant Invasive Bradford Pear Trees

The invasive Bradford pear tree can cause problems for Missouri native plants and animals. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages homeowners and landscapers to avoid planting Callery pear trees this spring. Better known as Bradford pears, the Callery pear tree is an invasive species known to multiply quickly and crowd out Missouri native plants. While it has been a popular landscaping tree for decades, cultivated forms have spread aggressively throughout the state.

'Different varieties of Bradford pear trees were planted close to each other, which allowed them to cross pollinate and take over natural areas," said Forestry Field Program Supervisor Russell Hinnah. "But they're also a poor landscaping choice because they don't do well in storms, often losing limbs or splitting apart." Stopping the spread means selecting alternate trees for yards and forested property. "The best plan is to select a native species to Missouri, and there are several great options," said Hinnah. "Serviceberry trees produce similar showy white blooms in the spring and have small red fruits that attract wildlife." Eastern redbuds and Missouri's state tree, the flowering dogwood, are also good alternatives. The redbud tree grows quickly with eye-catching lavender flowers in the spring. Dogwoods do best in shady areas but can be somewhat difficult to grow.

To learn more about native trees that are great for landscaping, visit MDC's website at

"Missouri's Urban Trees" booklet is a great guide for finding the right tree for the right place.

Source:Missouri Department of Convservation


Remember to fly your USA flag proudly on June 14th for National Flag Day

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.