Low commodity prices and higher input costs have many farmers searching for answers on how to weather the current farm economy and still maintain a healthy farm operation for the long-term, according to Calhoun County Farm Bureau President Andrea Boughton.
And, she adds, many farmers have already exhausted all their options to reduce costs without sacrificing crop yields, and, ultimately, gross farm income.
“Volatility and uncertainty in the commodity markets, in light of several ongoing trade disputes and tariff battles with China, have even seasoned farmers second-guessing their marketing strategy,” Boughton explained. “And price increases for basic input supplies, such as fuel and fertilizer, are creating more concerns for farmers who will be headed to the fields in six weeks or less.”
According to Boughton, two local workshops, titled “Improving Farm Health,” are designed to provide farmers assistance as they consider all of their options for 2019. The day-long programs, running from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, are scheduled for:
- Feb. 28 in Albion at the Kellogg Community College – Eastern Academic Center
- March 1, in Battle Creek at the Kellogg Community College
The meetings are hosted by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and the Battle Creek Kellogg Community College/MSU Institute for Agricultural Technology’s Agricultural Operations program, with financial support from The Anderson’s to partially offset the cost of the meetings.
Topics to be covered include:
- Manure: An aMAIZEing Fertilizer Alternative — Erica Rogers and Sarah Fronczak, MSUE Environmental Management Educators
- Field Crops Management Update — Bruce MacKellar, Eric Anderson, Lyndon Kelley, MSUE Field Crop Educators
- Commodity Marketing Strategies — The Anderson’s Trade Group
- Farm Labor – Factors for Decision-making — Stan Moore, MSUE Business and Ag Labor Management and Dairy Educator, and Jon LaPorte, MSUE Farm Management Educator
- Utilizing Precision Tools to Make a Better Decision — Jake Isley, Climate Business Manager - Climate FieldView
- Farm Succession – Considerations for Passing on a Healthy Farm Operation — Roger Betz, MSU Extension Farm Management Educator
To register, visit the registration page at https://events.anr.msu.edu/IFHW19 or call the Calhoun County Extension office at (269) 781-0784. The cost is $10 per person, which includes lunch. One MDARD pesticide recertification (RUP) credit and five Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available.
Contact Eric Anderson at (269) 467 -5510 or [email protected] for more information.