NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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2013 Agriculture Producers Workshop & Census of Agriculture

agriculture, producers, workshop, census

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources

The 2013 Agriculture Producers’ Workshop is set for February 12, starting at 9:15 a.m. at the Beulah Civic Center.  The morning’s program will have a major focus on cropland values and rents, cash rental options, and ways to have successful land rent negotiations.

Rising land values, strong commodity prices and high production costs have made it more difficult for operators and landowners to successfully determine appropriate farmland lease arrangements. The workshop is offered to help landowners and renters identify and manage the risks associated with the topics listed above.

Dwight Aakre and Andy Swenson, Extension farm management specialists, and Willie Huot, Grand Forks County Extension agent, will be the main presenters. 

One of the topics is a historical perspective on farmland values and rents. Concepts and practical examples of how to determine equitable rents will be presented. The main session will help participants better understand various rental arrangements.

There will be a session on how producers can improve their land rental negotiations by enhancing the communication process with landowners. This includes the use of résumés, portfolios and frequent communications to keep landowners informed and educated.

After lunch sponsored by Mercer County Agriculture Improvement Association, we will conduct our county commodity elections for corn, lentils, and sunflowers. These elected representatives will represent our county at the state association district meetings.

The afternoon program will feature topics on NRCS programming opportunities, a round table discussion lead by Mercer County producers on how to use cover and cash crop rotations to reach maximum benefits, an update on the 2012 crop variety trial test plots conducted by NDSU, future agronomy testing options for Mercer County, and how to select corn varieties based on climate conditions. Speakers for these topics will be Carlee Elke, Mercer County Soil Conservationist; Bryan Aaland and Jeff Ellwein, Mercer County Crop Producers; and Roger Ashley, NDSU Area Extension Agronomist.

The annual Mercer County Agriculture Improvement Association meeting will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. and will conclude the day’s program.

The program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested by February 8 to allow enough time for printing handouts and a meal count. You can register by calling 701-873-5195 or emailing craig.askim@ndsu.edu.

Census of Agriculture

This census is conducted every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture. The census is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them.  A farm defined by the census is any place from which $1000.00 dollars or more of agricultural products were produced and sold within a year. The census looks at land use, ownership, production practices, income and expenditures.

The census provides the only source of uniform, impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. The census is the producer’s voice to provide the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture. The census data is used by all people who serve farmers and rural communities on the federal, state and local levels.

 All producers that receive a census report are required under United States law (Title 7, U.S. code) to respond to it even if they did not operate a farm or ranch in 2012. The deadline to file the census report is February 4, 2013. If you want more information or need help completing the census you can call 1-888-424-7828 or go online to www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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