Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday April 16 Ag News + Crop Progress NE - IA - US


For the week ending April 15, 2018, there were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 16 short, 78 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 22 short, 73 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn planted was 1 percent, near 3 last year and 2 for the five-year average.

Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 poor, 38 fair, 43 good, and 12 excellent.

Oats planted was 35 percent, well behind 65 last year and 61 average. Emerged was 4 percent, behind 23 last year and 17 average.


As cold, wet weather persisted yet another week, statewide Iowa farmers had only 1.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 15, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. When conditions allowed, farmers in the southern two-thirds of the State were busy applying fertilizer and seeding oats with isolated reports of tillage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus. Recent heavy snow and rain have left northern Iowa with surplus soil moisture.

Twelve percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 9 days behind last year and 10 days behind the 5-year average. While one-quarter of the oats have been planted in east central and southwest Iowa, northwest and north central Iowa have yet to get planting underway.

Livestock producers continue to experience challenges with snowfall and below normal temperatures stalling spring pasture growth and making tending to calves difficult throughout much of the State.

Corn Planting Progress Frozen

Cold, snowy weather across much of the Midwest and Northern Plains kept farmers from making much progress on corn planting last week, according to USDA's latest weekly Crop Progress report issued Monday.  As of Sunday, April 15, only 3% of U.S. corn was planted, up just 1 percentage point from the previous week and behind the five-year average of 5%.

Meanwhile, there was both good news and bad news for winter wheat in Monday's report. The good news was that the percentage of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition was up 1 percentage point from 30% the previous week to 31% last week. The bad news was that the percentage of the crop in very poor-to-poor condition increased 2 percentage points from 35% the previous week to 37% last week.

Sorghum was 20% planted, compared to 21% last year and a 20% five-year average. Oats were 29% planted as of April 15, compared to 43% last year and a 44% average. Oats emerged was at 26%, compared to 29% last year and a 30% average.

Cotton planting was 8% complete, compared to 8% last year and a 7% average. Rice was 32% planted, compared to 52% last year and a 35% average. Fifteen percent of rice was emerged, equal to the average pace.

Cold Germination Test for Corn and Soybeans

Steve Knox - Manager of the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association

A cold germination test is used to evaluate the emergence of a seed lot in cold wet soils, which can cause poor field performance. The cold test was developed to simulate adverse field conditions and measure the ability of seeds to emerge. It is the most widely used vigor test for corn and soybean.
soil paste applied to paper

Cold germination testing not only measures the percentage of viable seed in a sample, it also reflects the ability of those seeds to produce normal seedlings under less than optimum growing conditions like those which may occur in the field. Seeds grown under optimum conditions including temperature, moisture, and light usually produce normal seedlings. However, seeds grown under adverse conditions, such as a wet/cold environment, can cause seeds with low vigor to produce abnormal seedlings that are unable to grow to a mature plant or not grow at all. Generally, seeds start to lose vigor before they lose their ability to germinate. Therefore, cold germination testing is an effective way to learn how the seeds will preform under adverse field conditions.

A cold germination test is conducted similarly to the warm germination test. First, a soil paste is made and applied on a wet thick paper towel. Then the seeds are counted and placed on the towel and covered with a wet thin paper towel. The rolled paper towel is placed in a chamber with cold temperature of 50°F for seven days. It is transferred to a chamber with ideal temperature, humidity, and light for an additional seven days. When the test is completed, seedlings that have emerged with the necessary plant parts to develop into a normal plant are counted and the cold germination percentage is calculated.

Nebraska Crop Improvement Association (NCIA) is the only AOSA/SCST official seed laboratory in Nebraska. A Registered Seed Technologist (accredited by the combined organizations of the Association of Official Seed Analysts and the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists) conducts all official tests.

For more information, go to the NCIA website at and click on the Seed Lab Services for more information on testing seed.

Nebraska Extension Field Scout Training at ENREC

A May 9 Nebraska Extension training course is scheduled for industry representatives and corn and soybean growers wanting to learn how to better manage corn and soybean pests.

“The training is designed for entry-level scouts who are working for crop consultants, industry agronomists or farm service centers in Nebraska and neighboring states”, said Keith Glewen, Nebraska Extension educator. Glewen says the training course is also ideal for growers who scout their own fields or are interested in improving productivity, as well as for students being employed by agribusinesses.

The course is from 8:55 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Nebraska’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead.

“Past participants have consistently given the training high marks and state that the knowledge gained from attending improved their scouting skills,” Glewen said.

Topics and presenters include: Corn and Soybean Insect Scouting, Identification and Management; Crop Diseases; Identifying Weeds - Plant Morphology, Using a Key to Identify Weed Seedlings; Nutrient Deficiencies in Corn and Soybeans; and Understanding Corn and Soybean Growth and Development.

“Some of the benefits registrants stated the training provided included practical/working knowledge and better accuracy in field scouting,” Glewen said. “Other participants appreciated the hands-on, practical format.”

Cost for the program is $165, which includes lunch, refreshment breaks, workshop materials and instruction manual. Updated reference materials are included in this year’s take-home instruction manual. For those attending the daylong training without the resource book, the fee is $50. Attendees should preregister to reserve their seat and to ensure workshop materials are available the day of the training session.

Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits are available with 6 in pest management, 1 in crop management and .5 in fertility/nutrient management.

For more information or to register, contact Nebraska Extension at (402) 624-8030, (800) 529-8030, e-mail Keith Glewen at, or online at

Extension is in the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Download the flyer at:  

Nebraska named among world’s best colleges for precision agriculture

Joe Luck, UNL Associate Professor and Precision Agriculture Engineer

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been named one of the world’s best four-year colleges for precision agriculture. PrecisionAg released their top 25 institutions based on feedback from peer institutions, industry experts, and internet searches.

Nebraska’s efforts in precision agriculture span its teaching, research and extension missions. Field research projects focus on the application of state-of-the-art technologies for improving input use efficiencies in cooperation with Nebraska producers and on university research farms. Results from these projects are communicated regularly through Nebraska Extension workshops and field days and are used in the classroom to teach students about site-specific crop management strategies.

“Precision agriculture will continue to play a critical role in the industry’s efforts to sustainably meet the food and fiber needs of a growing world population,” said Joe Luck, associate professor of biological systems engineering and extension precision agriculture specialist. “For the group working in this space at UNL to be recognized on PrecisionAg’s list of the institutions making strides in this area is a great honor.”

Project SENSE, for example, consists of a multidisciplinary team of precision agriculture research and extension personnel led by Richard Ferguson, professor and interim head of the  Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The team has worked for three years with local producers to examine how one new technology— crop canopy sensors —might benefit producers in the future. The project has identified the opportunity for reductions of up to 25 percent in nitrogen required with minimal losses of 2 to 3 bushels per acre in corn yield.

Another project demonstrated the potential application of multi-hybrid planters in corn and soybean production. The planter can plant at least two seed varieties in one trip through a field or manage multiple seed treatments from separate bulk tanks on the planter. Preliminary results indicated the potential for improved management in soybean fields with sudden death syndrome; drought tolerant hybrid placement studies produced inconsistent results. However further analysis may highlight the potential for risk mitigation in drought years. Results from the field sites have been distributed through extension’s On-Farm Research Network.

According to Luck, cooperation with local producers to conduct field research is a great opportunity for both parties involved to learn. And, he added, “The technological needs of a producer farming 1,000 acres are very different from a producer farming 10,000 acres.”

PrecisionAg is a diversified, independent media enterprise serving the global community using precision agriculture techniques. PrecisionAg includes multiple industry publications and a web presence.

To learn more about precision agriculture efforts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, visit

Record-breaking "I Believe in the Future of Ag" Program Results

Last August, 18 corporate sponsors challenged Nebraska’s FFA members to raise $300,000 at the local level. The results are in and Nebraska’s FFA chapters rose to the challenge by raising over $343,000.

The I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign educates the public on the importance of agricultural education in Nebraska’s schools through an educational marketing campaign and serves as a fundraising campaign to grow the capacity of Nebraska FFA at both the state and local levels.

18 corporate partners participated in the 2017-18 campaign providing funds to develop the campaign, fund the educational marketing piece and provide $35,000 in matching funds for Nebraska’s FFA chapters.

“The beauty of this campaign is that it gives a local FFA advisor the opportunity to ask for a tax-deductible donation to do things they couldn’t otherwise afford. It also helps them develop a group of community supporters,” says Stacey Agnew, Executive Director of the Nebraska FFA Foundation. “We’re seeing some really unique initiatives in our FFA chapters.”

Anyone can donate to their local FFA chapter through the I Believe program. Contact the local FFA advisor or visit to learn more.

ISU:  Feed Cows to Meet Requirements of Early Lactation

Prolonged winter weather has limited forage growth thus far this season, which means many producers are still feeding cows. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Chris Clark reminded producers of the importance of feeding cows appropriately this spring. Nutritional requirements are significantly greater during lactation and it is critical for producers to adjust rations appropriately.

“Energy and protein requirements are significantly greater during lactation. Many spring calves have been born but because of the weather, pastures are not yet growing well,” Clark said.  “It is important to realize that whether they're in a lot setting or already on pasture, cows need to be fed well enough to support early lactation.”

Typical winter diets, balanced for gestational requirements, may not offer enough energy and protein to meet requirements of early lactation. Producers may need to supplement with some type of concentrate or at least strive to use high quality hay.

“To help cows milk well and maintain condition, we need to feed them well as we are waiting for the grass to grow,” Clark said.  “They really need some good hay and in many cases some additional supplementation to keep them on a good plane of nutrition. The challenge is that not everyone has a good handle on the quality of their hay, plus at this point in the season, hay inventories may be running pretty low.”

Corn coproducts are low-starch feeds very compatible with forage-based diets, and Clark said distillers grains can work well to supplement and stretch hay supplies. Other feeds such as soybean hulls, corn and corn silage also can be used for supplementation. Whatever feed is used, supplements must be fed appropriately to optimize rumen function, digestibility and animal health.

The Iowa Beef Center website has numerous resources available on beef cow nutrition, forages, and many other topics. Iowa State University beef specialists are also available to answer questions and help with feeding and supplementation decisions.  Feel free to contact Clark or a regional beef specialist for assistance.

U.S. Grains Council Releases Seventh Corn Export Cargo Quality Report

The quality of corn assembled for export early in the 2017/2018 marketing year was better or equal to U.S. No. 2 on all grade factors, based on the information aggregated and reported in the recently-released seventh edition of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Corn Export Cargo Quality Report.

“An advanced infrastructure system and robust inspection and grading standards bolster the United States’ reputation as the world’s largest and most reliable supplier of corn,” wrote Deb Keller, USGC chairman and farmer from Iowa, in the report’s greeting. “However, members of the U.S. corn marketing system also understand the importance of consistent quality to food and feed end-users.”

Average test weight found by the analysis was the same as 2016/2017, indicating overall good quality. Chemical composition attributes indicated similar protein, lower starch and higher oil concentrations than 2016/2017. The early 2017/2018 corn exports had larger kernels and higher stress cracks, true density and horneous endosperm, but lower whole kernels than the prior year. Importantly, all of the samples for aflatoxin and deoxynivalenol (DON) or vomitoxin were below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration action and advisory levels, respectively.

The export cargo quality report is based on 430 yellow commodity corn samples collected from corn export shipments undergoing the federal inspection and grading processes at export terminals.

The report is a companion to another analysis, the 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report, which provided information about the quality of the most recent U.S. corn crop at harvest as it entered international merchandising channels.

Together, the two reports provide reliable information on U.S. corn quality from the farm to the customer based on transparent and consistent methodology. These reports provide an early look at the grade factors established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), moisture content and additional quality characteristics not reported elsewhere. Examining both reports is important to identify and understand any noticeable changes occurring between these two time periods.

The Council will roll out the new report's results during a series of crop quality seminars around the world, beginning in the next two weeks in Mexico. These outreach activities help to establish clear expectations with buyers and end-users regarding the quality of corn this marketing year in addition to providing information on grading, handling and how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through export channels.

“The Council is committed to continuous export expansion based on the principles of mutual economic benefit and increased food security through trade,” Keller said. “Our global staff serves as a trusted bridge between international corn buyers and the world’s largest and most sophisticated agricultural production and export system.”

Read both reports at

Perdue Applauds President Trump’s Selection for USDA’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Donald J. Trump’s selection of James Hubbard to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

"I am very excited by the selection of Jim Hubbard for this leadership role at USDA. Congress passed and President Trump signed into law meaningful reforms and forest management tools that will help us better maintain our national forests. Under Jim Hubbard's leadership, we will put these tools to use, restore our forests to health, and get them back to work for the taxpayers. Jim's service with the Forest Service and the Department of Interior makes him exceptionally qualified for this post, and I am eager to have Jim join the team.

"At the same time, there are several other qualified USDA nominees still awaiting Senate confirmation. I urge the Senate to take up these nominations as quickly as possible.”

Growth Energy Congratulates Andrew Wheeler on EPA Confirmation

On Friday, Andrew Wheeler was confirmed as Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In response to Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement:

“We congratulate Mr. Wheeler on his confirmation as Deputy Administrator of the EPA. We are encouraged by the fact that Mr. Wheeler has extensive experience in matters relating to the EPA, and trust that he will work to uphold the president’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“The ethanol industry has played a crucial role in reinvigorating the American heartland, supporting American jobs, and giving consumers access to cleaner burning, renewable biofuels. We will continue to work with the administration to ensure that biofuels can continue to move America forward.”

Midlevel Ethanol Blends Key to More Efficient Engines, Meeting Future Vehicle Standards

Growth Energy today released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Revised Final Determination Regarding Model Year 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards.

“For several years, Growth Energy has strongly emphasized the fact that fuels and engines are a system and that high-octane fuels – such as ethanol blends like E25-E30 – should be part of this discussion,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said.

“We have provided a wealth of data to show that midlevel ethanol blends can be used by automakers to produce smaller, more efficient engines that will help meet future vehicle standards. We will continue to remain engaged with automakers and government stakeholders to ensure that biofuels are part of any long-term plan for engine efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction.”

In October 2017, Growth Energy submitted comments to the EPA in support of the use of higher biofuel blends in the Final Determination of the Mid-Term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emission Standard for Model Years 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicles. Growth Energy also filed comments in August 2017 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to inform its preparation of an environmental impact statement to analyze the potential environmental impacts of new CAFE standards for model year 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles.

Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation Launch Fire Relief Fund

A relief fund has been established by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation (OCF) to help Cattlemen who have been affected by on-going wildfires in Western Oklahoma.

"Oklahoma wind and drought conditions spurred several large fires on the western side of the Oklahoma yesterday effecting many cattlemen," said Tiffani Pruitt Coordinator of the OCF, a charitable arm of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. "One thing we've learned from the wildfires in the past few years is that folks are quick to want to help those in unfortunate situations, and that is truly humbling. The OCF is happy to provide a place for funds to be held. We will coordinate with the Extension Offices in the effected areas to organize relief efforts and to identify ranchers that are in need."

According to Michael Kelsey, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, "OCA is coordinating with Extension, The Farm Service Agency and others to bring information to ranchers about disaster assistance. We humbly ask for prayers for ranchers, firefighters and folks in the paths of these devastating fires."

100% of donations will be distributed to ranchers who have been affected by the fires. You may donate to this relief effort by mail or online. Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, with "Fire Relief" in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395., Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit

CWT Assists with 2.1 million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 13 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Tillamook County Creamery Association and United Dairymen of Arizona. These cooperatives have contracts to sell 1.435 million pounds (651 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese and 639,341 pounds (290 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from April through July 2018.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 31.848 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 7.011 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 25 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 451.697 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

Farmer Co-ops Applaud Introduction of S. 2641, the American Food for American Schools Act

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives today applauded the introduction of legislation in the Senate that would strengthen monitoring and enforcement of “Buy American” provisions of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. The bill, S. 2641, was introduced by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and is a companion bill to legislation introduced in the House, H.R. 1241.

“On behalf of America’s farmer co-ops, I would like to thank Senators Sullivan and Cantwell for their leadership in introducing this bill,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. “While USDA has distributed multiple guidance memos to schools across the country on how to comply with the Buy American provisions of school nutrition programs, the last several years has seen an alarming increase in the amount of foreign-produced food served in schools when comparable American-grown products are readily available and competitively priced.”

Beginning in the late 1980s, provisions were added to the school lunch and breakfast programs that require schools to purchase domestic commodities and food products; the provision has become known as “Buy American.” Only two exceptions to these requirements were provided by USDA in the regulations: for when a product is not produced in the United States in sufficient quantity or quality (such as bananas) or for when competitive bids reveal that U.S. products cost significantly more than foreign ones. Numerous recent media reports have found troubling disregard for the Buy American provisions.

In particular, Conner noted that examinations of relevant data by several industry groups have found that 50 to 60 percent of fish served in U.S. schools is caught on Russian ships and processed in China; that 81 percent of apple juice served in schools in 2014 was imported; and that Chinese canned peaches are served to students in 26 states, including major domestic producers like California and Georgia.

“NCFC believes that the legislation introduced today will help to shed light on the extent of this problem and help ensure that taxpayer money is used in the way the Congress intended,” concluded Conner. “We hope that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will take up this legislation soon and advance it to the Senate floor for action.”

Five Agronomy Insights That Could Boost Yield in 2018

With a challenging market and an uncertain spring, farmers want to feel confident they’re choosing the right crop inputs and the right management strategies. Using insights derived from two decades of data from thousands of field trials across the U.S., the WinField United agronomy team has released five recommendations for the 2018 growing season that can help farmers increase yields and improve return on input investments.

-    You could be leaving 90 bushels on the table. Response-to scores help farmers manage input decisions with a clear understanding of potential ROI. The Answer Plot program measures crop response to management strategies, including plant population, nitrogen application, continuous corn and fungicide application. The bottom line: Nearly 90 bushels could be at risk on any acre every year if farmers are not using all the management strategies at their disposal.
-    Plant with confidence. To help farmers choose the right seed for each acre, WinField United collects data on 240 corn hybrids and 360 soybean varieties at nearly 200 Answer Plot locations each season. That information populates the R7® Tool by WinField United Top 10 feature, which finds the best 10 products for any fields and expected growing conditions, including geography, soil type, crop maturity and irrigation.
-    Let fungicide data do the talking. Beyond guiding hybrid or variety selections, response-to-fungicide (RTF) scores indicate where to scout for conditions that favor disease growth to best predict return on investment from fungicide use. The Answer Plot program gauges RTF scores on 240 corn hybrids every year. In 2017, based on data from 41 locations, average yield response after fungicide application was 11.2 bushels per acre.
-    Keep nitrogen in its place. Nitrogen stabilizers slow the rate of nitrogen conversion so nutrients are ready and waiting for developing plants. The Answer Plot team is actively applying learnings from more than 400 independent research trials, which found treating fields with NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager increased corn yield by an average of 10.0 bushels per acre compared to untreated plots.1,2
-    Seed treatment stops small pests from becoming big problems. A well-chosen seed treatment can prevent damage from soybean yield threats including soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and sudden death syndrome (SDS). Based on testing at 25 Answer Plot locations with moderate to high SCN pressure, combining Warden® CX and ILeVO® seed treatments boosted soybean yield by 2.8 bushels per acre.

Applying 20 Years of Insights

The Answer Plot® program is an industry leader in agronomic research and demonstration initiatives. Celebrating its 20th year, the program includes trials conducted at nearly 200 locations across 30 states and in five countries. Every year, more than 6 million data points are collected and analyzed by location, hybrid or variety, management strategy and more to uncover timely information farmers can use to get more from every acre.

“We have packed a lot of learning into the first two decades of the Answer Plot® program,” says Kevin Eye, vice president, WinField United. “The insights we’ve discovered are helping farmers get more from their input investments by making more confident decisions. We are thrilled to play a role in that success.

“At the same time, there is so much left to evaluate and learn. We’re already well into the 2018 season and we look forward to the insights we can discover and share from this year’s trials.”

To learn more about the Answer Plot® program, including agronomic insights and information on events in your local area, go to

Seven Tips to Consider for Investing a Tax Refund on Your Acreage

Acreage owners who have a tax refund check coming their way may want to consider using it to make improvements that can boost the value of what is likely your largest asset - your acreage.

1. Regardless of the property, bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. Your home is likely the largest asset on your acreage and if your kitchen or bathroom needs updating, Helen Saylor-Kimes of Saylor Realty in Osceola, Iowa, recommends spending money in these two rooms. According to 2018 remodeling statistics, a homeowner will recoup approximately 81.1 percent of the costs of a minor kitchen remodel and 70.1 percent for a midrange bathroom remodel.

2. Pay down your mortgage. With low interest rates there's the argument that you should invest extra cash in the stock market where greater returns are possible. But there are benefits to paying off your mortgage early, including fewer financial obligations in retirement and peace of mind. While paying off your mortgage early won't eliminate your housing costs entirely - you'll still have property taxes, insurance and maintenance - it lessens the burden. While mortgage interest is tax deductible, in the long run you can save a bundle of interest costs by paying off your mortgage early.

3. Enhance the curb appeal of your house and grounds.  According to Saylor-Kimes, that includes landscaping or possibly adding a pond. Not to mention the enjoyment you'll get from these projects, they typically add value to an acreage. It could be as simple as improving the plantings around the house or adding landscaping throughout the property. For larger projects, spending money upfront to have a landscape designer develop a master plan is good place to start.

4. Plant trees. Do not underestimate the aesthetics of your property. Planting trees can add value, beauty and privacy as well as add value as timberland. If you live in an area of the country where snowdrifts can block driveways and roads, consider planting a live snow fence. It may qualify for cost-share under the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program if planted into an area that has a previous cropping history. Check with your local NRCS or FSA office regarding this possibility.

5. Invest in a tractor. Living on an acreage often means work that you didn't have when you were an urban dweller. Maintaining a yard, removing snow and mending fences are just a few. A tractor is often an acreage owner's new best friend. Before purchasing one, Roger Harrod, a Massey Ferguson compact tractor dealer in Roopville, Ga., recommends customers test-drive the tractors they are considering buying.

“I strongly recommend customers test-drive the tractors they are considering buying,” says Harrod.  “A consumer shouldn’t make that investment without getting a feel for its maneuverability, ease of operation, comfort and power.” Harrod adds that before purchasing a new tractor (or beginning a test drive), customers should ask their dealer for a full explanation of the tractor and the controls on the model they are interested in purchasing.

Before visiting a dealership, make a list of what you need and want in a tractor to ensure you purchase the right tractor for the jobs on your acreage. For more buying tips, check out this list of  top 10 things to consider when buying a tractor.

6. Improve an existing structure or add a building. Another capital investment is to use the money toward building a shed, garage, a workshop or to make improvements such as fixing a barn roof or replacing siding on an existing building. Few people every say they have too much storage and now you may have room to store your SUV, ATV and snowmobile. While building structures can add value, remember that doing so may add to the cost of property taxes.

7. Add fencing. Whether it's fencing to protect valuable landscaping or to establish the perimeter of the property, fencing will almost always enhance the value of the land. Make sure to choose the right type of fencing based on what the land is used for. Regardless of the type of fencing used, it should be well-maintained, and the maintenance cost should be a consideration when selecting the fencing.

To learn more about Massey Ferguson products suited for use on acreages and small farms or to find a dealership near you, visit 

No comments:

Post a Comment