Nebraska Livestock Expansion Policies

Livestock expansion in Nebraska is often contentious. Supporters of livestock expansion accomplished a major policy objective in the 2016 legislative session with the adoption of LB176 which authorizes swine processors to contract with producers to grow processor-owned hogs. In addition, the draft LB106 livestock site assessment zoning matrix was released this summer. This newsletter explores the possible impact of these developments for expanded livestock production in Nebraska.
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Working Capital is Disappearing

Why is everyone talking about working capital? It seems just about every farm management topic/article/presentation is talking about working capital these days. We’ve heard experts talk about “Cash is King” for years but why is it really important?
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June Dairy Budget

The June IA-NE dairy budgets improved slightly but both freestall budgets are in negative territory. Total income rose slightly, $0.16 per day, as did feed costs, $0.011 per day. The 20,000 pound freestall budget was $2.32 per cwt underwater, the 24,000 pound budget was $0.85 per cwt underwater. 85% of gross income was used up in variable costs not including labor costs. Adding in hired labor, $2.53, total costs are above gross income by $0.21 per cwt. Thus dairy farms are having difficulty pay all cash expenses.
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Nebraska Farm Custom Rates

Every two years a survey of custom operators is conducted to determine the current rates charged for specific machinery operations. The survey is divided into two parts. Part I includes the spring and summer operations such as planting and harvesting of small grains, and Part II includes information about fall and miscellaneous operations.
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Part I
Part II

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May Iowa-Nebraska Dairy Budget

The returns to milk production worsened by 84 cents/cwt. for the 20,000 pound freestall budget and 89 cents for the 24,000 pound freestall budget. The reason is a combination of higher feed costs and lower income. The 20,000 pound freestall budget had almost $0.50 less gross income per cwt. Even though most prices making up the milk price rose from April to May, the protein price declined by $0.3515 per pound. Rising feed costs also drove the worsening budget. The 20,000 pound budget had $0.311 per cwt. higher feed costs than in April.
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April Nebraska-Iowa Dairy Budgets

The April dairy budget improved compared to March, the budgets are an annual calculation both per cow and per cwt. Using the 20,000 pound freestall budget, total income rose $48.49 per cow, total feed costs were $46.92 lower and total expenses down $47.98. Income rose due to an increase in the PPD, higher butter fat price and cull cow income although protein income declined. SCC income increased because of a drop in SCC by 26,000. Total feed cost dropped by $46.92 per cow with that drop coming from a decline in hay price even though corn and protein prices increased.
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Pasture Lease Considerations

Pasture Lease Considerations


Here are some of the typical concerns about pasture leases, and some ways to deal with them. Understand that there is no official database for these answers. The responses pertain to what we understand to be usual and typical for Nebraska. However, if you have different arrangements, and you are happy, then don’t worry if you don’t conform to exactly these thoughts.

Cost and labor for fence repairs
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March Dairy Budget

The NE-Iowa dairy budget deteriorated during March by up to 44 cents per cwt. Most of this decline came from a drop in revenue. For instance, the 20,000 pound freestall budget dropped by about $113, $0.565 per cwt., in annual gross income coming from the drop in butterfat and PPD income. Protein income rose by $114, $0.56 per cwt, annually but was not enough to offset the drop in butterfat and PPD income. Total annual feed costs were only $17 per cow lower, not helping much either.
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So, You’ve Inherited a Farm, Now What?

Anyone that owns farmland may want to participate in this seminar to be provided information and education about that ownership. Learn management strategies for this asset by attending one of the meetings in this series in early April. Events are being planned for Norfolk on April 4th, 1:30 p.m.; Hastings, April 6th, 1:00 p.m.; Kearney, April 15th, 9:30 a.m., and North Platte, April 15th, 2:00 p.m.
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February Dairy Budget

All the Nebraska-Iowa dairy budgets are now in the red. Last month’s 24,000 pound freestall budget was positive by 44 cents/cwt but is now 3 cents negative. Very little change has occurred with feed costs, corn down 1 cent/bushel, SBM up $10/ton, cottonseed down $7/ton, and hay up $10/ton, with total feed costs up only 16.9 cents per head daily for the 20,000 pound freestall budget. Income for the 20,000 pound budget dropped 12.8 cents/head daily. Thus feed costs and lower milk income led to the drop in net income for all four budgets.

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