AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
417-881-8909
417-881-8058
burtond@missouri.edu

December 21, 2018


MU Extension Specialists Suggest ...
New Year's Resolutions for Southwest Missouri Farmers


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Research shows that about 50 percent of all American's resolve to make some change or improvement when a new year begins. The most common New Year resolution is to lose weight while the second most common is to pay down or get out of debt.

For farmers and landowners in southwest Missouri, University of Missouri Extension specialists have several profit-focused resolutions to recommend.

Jennifer Lutes, an MU Extension county engagement specialist in agriculture and environment headquartered in McDonald County suggests the following resolutions.

  1. I will visit with my Ag Lender before financing any new machinery through a third party.

  2. I will visit with my tax accountant to understand how purchasing new equipment or breeding stock will affect my tax liability.

  3. I will keep accurate financial records of income and expenses to lower my tax accountant bill.

  4. I will keep accurate production records on my livestock to be able to cull less productive animals - including parentage identification, birth date, birth weight, weaning weight, sale weight and price

  5. I will keep health records on my livestock to be able to cull more costly animals

  6. I will test my hay to ensure I am feeding my animals properly

Jill Scheidt, an agronomy field specialist with MU Extension headquartered in Barton County suggests the following resolutions for 2019.

  1. I will consider pest threshold levels and if weather conditions are conducive to pest development before applying a pesticide

  2. I will ensure correct application timing of pesticides before applying

  3. I will test my soil before applying fertilizer and lime

  4. I will check combine settings periodically to minimize harvest loss

Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with over 50 years of experience, says he would recommend the following New Year's resolutions for area beef producers.

  1. I will become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified.

  2. I will synchronize and artificially inseminate some of my virgin heifers.

  3. I will identify my old, Kentucky 31 fescue pastures that give my cattle problems with heat stress, low gains and reproduction and develop a plan to renovate them to novel fescue varieties in the next 3 to 5 years.

  4. I will get a forage analysis on some of my hay.

  5. I will help a younger person become a successful beef cattle producer.

Andy McCorkill, a livestock specialist headquartered in Hickory County, recommends these resolutions for 2019.

  1. I will go through Beef Quality Assurance training and practice the proper animal handling and health practices trained I the course.

  2. I will assess my stocking rate and make sure it is in line with what my farm and pasture management can handle

  3. I will assess my winter feeding practices, paying attention to both body condition of my herd and ways to reduce hay waste

  4. I will improve on my herd recordkeeping, starting with keeping track of calving dates and calf performance

  5. I will cull cows that aren't working for me: those that don't calve or don't wean an acceptable calf, those that are crazy, and those that are showing their age

  6. I will focus on harvesting hay that is harvested on time and properly cured

  7. I will have the vet do a Breeding Soundness Exam on my bulls before turning them out to ensure they are ready for the job

For more information on these suggestions, contact the nearest MU Extension center or the following MU Extension specialists:


Source: David Burton, (417) 862-9284

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