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Does preg-checking pay?

With the majority of North American beef herds calving in the later winter and spring, fall is the time for pregnancy-checking cows. Pop quiz: What percentage of beef herds in the U.S. use pregnancy checking? 95%, 75%, 50%? ... Nope, it is 20.2%. Are you surprised? I was.

When asked why producers do not pregnancy-check, the most common reason was lack of labor and time, and second was cost. I am going to tie those two together.

Let’s assume a producer has a 100-cow herd that averages 93% pregnancy rate. We will charge \$6 per cow for the service (veterinarian and owner labor) and add a \$50 trip charge. The total cost to the herd is \$650.

If hay is \$120 per ton and the cows consume 35 pounds per day and waste 5% (a very low estimate), the daily hay bill is \$2.40 per cow per day. Minerals, vitamins and salt will average about 9 cents per cow per day, for a total of \$2.49 per cow per day. Assume these open cows stay in the herd for 150 days before you discover they aren’t going to calve.

Our seven open cows are going to eat \$2,614.50 worth of feed (150 x 7 x \$2.49) and give you nothing in return. It only cost \$650 to “find” this \$2,614.50, so the net profit to the cow herd is \$1,964.50.

Let’s assume it took you an hour to gather and sort the cows, and three hours to pregnancy-check: \$1,964.50 ÷ 4 hours = \$491 per hour.

Do these figures make the labor, time and cost issues easier to make you say, “For \$491 per hour, maybe I can pregnancy-check my cows this fall!”

Beef cows are low-maintenance animals, and the majority of owners only walk their cows through the chute once or twice per year. It is convenient that we can provide best care while minimizing labor when working cows.

Here are a few more management tips to consider.

• Most parasitology experts would suggest springtime deworming of cows as they go to grass, but treating cows in the fall — or even twice yearly in some environments — can be an economically sound procedure. The key here is to check with your herd health veterinarian for timing and route of administration advice. A cow in Georgia has a far different parasite load than one in Wyoming.
• Many cows are vaccinated with an inactivated infectious bovine rhinotracheitis-bovine virus diarrhea (IBR-BVD) vaccine at pregnancy-check. This is especially important in cows that are only worked once per year. Heifers should have two rounds of modified live (MLV) vaccine before a year of age, as directed by your herd health veterinarian.

Recent work with pregnant heifers vaccinated with an inactivated IBR-BVD vaccine showed colostrum and calf serum after birth had higher levels of IBR and BVD antibodies than non-vaccinated heifers. This passive immunity increase could help to decrease bovine respiratory disease in young, nursing beef calves.

• You may ask your veterinarian to stage the pregnancies. If the bull was left in longer than desired, late-calving cows can be identified and sold.
• If calf diarrhea is an issue, giving a “scour vaccine” at pregnancy-check can be a valuable aide to your management strategy to help prevent the disease. Again, check with your herd health veterinarian for timing recommendations.
• If fly tags were applied in the spring, fall is the time to remove them. The tags can emit sublethal doses of insecticide that can lead to resistance issues. Remove them and place them in a container above ground level, so the farm dog does not steal them and then come down with insecticide toxicity (happened to me once).
• Cows need a dose of insecticide pour-on in late fall or winter to prevent lice. Be sure to pour from poll to tail head for best control. See the October 2018 Vet’s Opinion column (bit.ly/licecontrol) for more details.
• Trimming the hair from the tail switch can be a fast and beneficial procedure with a pliers-type cutting tool that has a razor blade. When it is muddy, cows can get a large “mud ball” on the end of the switch.

As cows are fed in closer quarters during winter, cows can step on each other’s tails; and when the stepped-on cow gets up, she can end up with a bleeding tail stub. Prevent these issues by trimming the switch. The hair grows back in time to be a flyswatter in the spring.

Other value-added procedures include performing a body condition score (BCS) evaluation and checking teeth, udders and feet for issues.

If you have a chute with a scale, getting weights can be eye-opening. If the ration is formulated for 1,250-pound cows and the average is actually 1,400, that is a big difference.

And remember, you get to make \$491 per hour working with your cows!

How to market calves in up and down price cycles

In my last BEEF magazine Market Adviser, I suggested that selling backgrounded calves was more profitable over the complete beef price cycle than selling at weaning. My study rancher raised this question: Is this true both up the price cycle and down the price cycle?

Let me try to answer my study rancher’s question. Figure 1 presents the summary table I generated to compare my study rancher’s marketing alternatives over the rising years of the price cycle versus the downward years of the price cycle.

The top two lines in Figure 1 present the 10-year data for 2009 through 2018. This was presented in my last Market Adviser.

The middle section is new and presents a similar three-line market analysis of the upward price years 2009 through 2014. The bottom three lines present analysis of the downward years, 2015 through 2018.

The last two columns — sell backgrounded calves and retain ownership — include the profit from the beef cows when selling calves at weaning.

Marketing “up” the price cycle. My conclusion from this expanded analysis is that my study rancher should sell backgrounded calves during the upward years of the beef price cycle.

Over those six years (2009-14), my data suggest a six-year average profit of \$256 per cow per year. This compares to a six-year profit of \$189 average per cow per year by selling at weaning. Selling backgrounded calves added another 20% profit per cow.

On the upward side of the price cycle, selling backgrounded calves even exceeded retained ownership.

Marketing “down” the price cycle. The combined average profit per cow per year for the four years (2015-18) for selling backgrounded calves was 18% less than just selling at weaning.

My conclusion is that my study manager should background his calves on the upward portion of the beef price cycle and should not background on the downward portion of the beef price cycle.

Another conclusion from this data analysis: Retained ownership of calves targeted toward a May harvest date — not an easy target — is the most profitable marketing program in the downward portion of the beef price cycle.

During the downward phase (2015-18), profit per cow per year was increased 92% via early weaning, retaining ownership and selling in May, over selling at weaning.

In the upward part of the beef price cycle, my analysis suggests that retained ownership only raised profit 5% over selling at weaning. Probably not worth the risk.

Other side of the price cycle

What did my study rancher say after my review discussion of this with him? “Wow! That is food for thought. OK, I traditionally have not backgrounded my calves. So, what should be my target backgrounded weight on the upward portion of the cattle price cycle?”

Using value added as a marketing tool. I hope my readers have been reading Doug Ferguson’s articles on the webpage of Beef Producer, BEEF’s sister publication. He puts a lot of emphasis on the value of added weight.

Value of added weight is a very important marketing factor. You should put on added weight only as long as the cost of gain for each weight increment is less than the market value of that incremental weight.

Value of added weight. Each midmonth I do a price analysis of eastern Wyoming-western Nebraska sale barn prices. My week of mid-August 2019 price table is presented in Figure 2.

The value of the last pound, the column on the right, is the statistical slope of the price line. It is expressed in dollars per cwt. I calculate this value of last pound table monthly for my study rancher. This is the value of added weight that Ferguson refers to in his articles.

Let’s assume my study rancher is backgrounding a 577-pound weaned steer calf to 800 pounds. At 600 pounds in mid-August, the value of the last pound was \$1.13 per pound.

At 700 pounds, the value of the last pound was 96 cents per pound. And at 800 pounds, the value of last pound was 79 cents per pound. Clearly, the value of the last pound went down as the weight went up.

Cost of gain. The other side of the coin is that the cost per pound of gain goes up as the animal gets heavier. This is primarily due to the maintenance cost of the current weight of the animal as it grows.

In summary, as the animal gets heavier, the cost of gain goes up and the value of gain goes down.

Economic theory tells us that profits are maximized at that weight where “cost of last pound of gain equals the value of that added weight.” Sounds reasonable to me, but easier said than calculated.

Over the years, I have been working on a computerized model that identifies the backgrounding weight that maximizes backgrounding profit. I have a prototype of that model operational now. Remember, profit is maximized at that weight where “cost of gain equals the value of added weight.”

I used this model to predict the optimum selling weight, and the results are summarized in Figure 3.

The gold line in Figure 3 is my model’s calculated value of added weight in mid-May 2019, and the maroon line is my model’s calculated cost of gain at the various animal weights.

Economic theory says that where the increasing marginal cost line crosses the decreasing value of the last pound line is the maximum profit weight.

The two lines cross at 721 pounds, suggesting that profits should be maximized at 721 pounds rather than the 800 pounds that I had previously been budgeting. Of course, there is no guarantee that this is positive profit — only that is the highest profit possible.

The optimum backgrounding weight is going to vary from year to year depending on that year’s cost of gain and that year’s market prices.

What do you think my study rancher’s reaction to this is going to be? Stay tuned.

Hughes is a North Dakota State University professor emeritus. Reach him at 701-238-9607 or [email protected].

5 resources to combat the cattle & climate change link

The erroneous cattle and climate change link continues to plague our industry, and I know I probably sound like a broken record in my attempts to approach these discussions from every angle to appeal to every consumer and value system. However, I think we have a lot of work to do as an industry, so this topic cannot be overstated.

In my research, I have found some really solid resources that really help support beef in the diet and cattle in the feedlot and pasture. While I have different topics slated for the rest of the week, today I want to share some of these articles and reference materials with you.

Hopefully, these materials help you build your own knowledge and develop your own talking points if and when someone approaches you to talk about the environmental impact of beef production. I, too, will be referring back to this blog post as a useful tool when I need strong arguments to support the message I am trying to share.

Here are some recent articles and videos that I think help build the case for animal agriculture:

1. “No, four pounds of beef doesn’t equal the emissions of a Transatlantic flight,” by Frank Mitloehner

My pal from UC Davis hits the nail on the head once again with this blog post. He writes, “Solving the world’s climate change crisis is a weighty topic, and it is highly improbable (if not ‘impossible’) that an imitation beef burger is our savior.

“It is also a dangerous assertion, because it takes away focus from major polluters and our progress toward climate solutions.

“Maybe – just maybe – American farmers and ranchers deserve some credit for efficiencies that for decades have decreased greenhouse gases while improving food production at unprecedented levels,” he writes.

“In short, for doing what the fossil fuel industry hasn’t figured out yet.”

2. VIDEO: “Myth — Livestock raised for meat primarily use land that could grow other crops” featured on Meat Myth Crushers

This is timely for me as last week, a well-intentioned vegan asked me if I could convert my ranch to a fruit orchard. Obviously, this would be difficult since I live in the cold northern plains; however, this is a common question from folks that is sometimes difficult to explain.

Meat Myth Crushers is a project of the North American Meat Institute that does it well. In this video clip, they say, “In the U.S., around half of all land is used for agriculture. Livestock land use is approximately 70% of the agricultural land in the U.S., while around 30% is used to grow crops.

“However, USDA says only 1.6% of the land used to raise livestock could also be used for crops, so it would be difficult and not economical to transition the vast majority of the land livestock graze on to grow crops. The U.S. data are also reflective of worldwide agriculture, where most of the land used for livestock is not conducive to growing crops other than grasses for grazing,” the video says.

“There have been some concerns about the amount of land used to grow corn, since corn is a key component of livestock feed. However, USDA data shows that corn is used for many purposes, particularly ethanol production for use in cars. Other uses include sweeteners, cereals, flours and other foods.”

3. “Stop this foolish war on meat! Eating it could help save the planet” by Tom Parker Bowles for the Daily Mail

While not perfect (I don’t like the disparaging of larger farms), I do think Parker Bowles captures public sentiment as he tries to explain why eating meat is not an issue with morality. Nor does eating meat destroy the planet as so many claim.

He says, “The arguments against meat are so widespread, it’s no wonder they seem overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that we must drastically cut our meat consumption to save the planet. We must shift towards ‘healthy and sustainable’ diets ‘based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds’.

“The EAT-Lancet Commission, set up to look at how the world’s growing population can eat healthy, sustainable food, goes further still. Over three years, 37 scientists came up with the ultimate ‘plant-focused’ diet ‘for planetary health’. They argue this diet, which contains virtually no meat, would ‘transform’ the planet’s future.

“Under it we’re ‘allowed’ no more than one serving of red meat, a couple of servings of fish and an egg or two. Per week. It’s an argument that meat is bad, plants are good. But not everything is quite so black and white. Far from it.”

4. “Cattle Do cause climate change” by Alicia Halbritter for the University of Florida Extension

Halbritter’s article is full of great facts to share, but here is an excerpt, “If eliminating beef from the diet (or meat in general) won’t help reduce climate change, what will? Did you know that 20% of edible beef produced in the United States is wasted every year? That’s millions of pounds of beef heading straight to the landfill every single year!

“Food waste is a major issue, between 30% & 40% of food is wasted in the United States. Wasted food goes to landfills where its decomposition increases GHG emissions, in fact landfills account for roughly 2.2% of the U.S. GHG emissions. If just 50% less beef was wasted annually, beef sustainability would increase by 10%!”

5. “Setting the record straight on cattle and climate change,” featuring Sara Place on NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen

Sara Place, senior director of sustainability for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, explains what NCBA and the Beef Checkoff are doing to correct the misinformation about the relationship between cattle and the climate.

Watch the video by clicking here.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

Cattle markets after the fire

“The market did exactly as I would have expected, doing what it needed to do to fix a serious problem,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

He’s referring to price reaction following the Aug. 9 fire at the Tyson beef processing facility at Holcomb, Kan., which temporarily shuttered approximately 30,000 to 35,000 head of fed cattle harvest capacity and has upended cattle prices along the way.

“Markets manage supply so we don’t run out of things, and we never think about that in this country — because we never run out of things because the market works so well,” Peel says.

In this case, markets rationed the lost harvest capacity, as well as the reduction in available harvested beef supplies.

“With fresh beef production suddenly decreased, boxed beef prices rose sharply to ration a suddenly limited supply,” Peel explains. “With less supply available, the market uses higher prices to determine how limited beef supplies will be allocated. It is a common market reaction.

“When a freeze hits Florida, orange juice prices begin to rise immediately, not because there is an immediate shortage of juice but to make sure that the current supply continues to be available over time. Markets will never tell a consumer that they cannot have a product, but prices will rise enough to convince some consumers not to consume as much of the product at this time.”

Plenty of cattle producers were less than pleased to watch cattle futures and cash fed cattle prices plunge, while wholesale beef values rocketed higher. For those who believe more than market forces drove the price divergence, USDA is conducting an investigation.

By the second week in September, despite apparently gargantuan logistical contortions to accommodate the capacity void, fed cattle prices had yet to fully recover.

Peel doesn’t think fed cattle marketing had been delayed, but says at-capacity harvest levels mean the industry is treading water.

“One of the concerns I have going forward is that most of the offset to lost capacity is coming with Saturday kills at the other plants. You can’t maintain running double shifts on Saturdays for long before there’s a labor problem,” Peel explains.

During a presentation at the early-September Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference, Noel White, Tyson Foods president and CEO, said, “By the time we get through our Q1, which would be December, we expect that issue to be behind us and to resume business as usual.”

Assuming the lost capacity returns by the end of the year, any other bottlenecks are avoided until then and that no other capacity is lost, odds favor little to no price reaction when capacity is restored.

“Reopening the plant will enable the industry to return to a more normal sense of processing, which in turn would remove one of the many sources of uncertainty weighing on markets,” says Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist at Kansas State University.

“In that sense, the plant can’t reopen soon enough. That said, broader market developments before early August reflected ongoing pressure on feeder cattle prices that are not envisioned to change drastically when the Holcomb facility returns to full operation,” Tonsor says.

Among those are lousy cattle feeding margins, the early-summer spike in corn prices that delayed a seasonal bounce in feeder cattle prices, and the fact that the volume of calves coming to town this fall should be similar to last year.

“A lot of cow-calf producers are still concerned about the price impact from the fire. I think that impact will be gone by October into November, so you have to look at where you believe the market will be seasonally,” Peel says. He adds that means calf and feeder cattle prices this fall will likely be 6% to 7% less than last year.

MIDDAY Midwest Digest, Sept. 30, 2019

Boeing has found structural cracks in wing supports of some aircraft.

There's a charity that provides beds to families in need.

It can take 30 years to develop a new onion. A new one is coming out soon.

In two weeks, a memorial service will be held for a long-time farm broadcaster in Iowa.

Beef Checkoff spurs demand

An extra dollar invested in Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) Beef Checkoff-funded activities returned \$11.91 to beef industry profit for 2014-18, according to independent research conducted by Harry M. Kaiser, Gellert Family professor of applied economics and management at Cornell University.

Specifically, the additional return is what’s termed the marginal benefit-cost ratio (BCR). “If the CBB has one more dollar to invest in its domestic and international demand-enhancing activities, doing so would increase industry-wide profits by \$11.91,” Kaiser explains.

The study, An Economic Analysis of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Demand-Enhancing Programs, considered all CBB activities: generic beef advertising, public relations, beef safety research, channels marketing, industry information, new product development, product enhancement research, nutritional research and foreign market development.

“Had there not been any domestic CBB marketing over the latest five-year period (2014-18), total domestic beef demand would have been 2.6 billion pounds per year lower than it actually was,” according to the study. That would have been 14.3% less total domestic beef demand.

Likewise, Kaiser explains: “Had there not been any CBB contributions to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and U.S. Meat Export Federation’s foreign market development program over the past five years, U.S. beef export demand would have been 5.5% lower than it actually was in the eight foreign markets studied here.” Markets considered were Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, the European Union, and Russia and surrounding regions.

The objectives of the study were two-fold. First, to measure whether CBB promotion, educational and research activities increased consumption of beef products in the U.S. and foreign markets, compared to what would have occurred in the absence of these activities.

Next, to measure benefits of the CBB activities in terms of incremental profitability for the entire industry, and compare these benefits with the cost of the Checkoff to compute a rate of return on investment of this campaign to its stakeholders.

Now, consider a forthcoming study to be published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, which estimates how increased or decreased domestic and international beef demand are transmitted throughout the beef industry. In this case, how changing demand affects feeder cattle and fed cattle prices.

The study, Impacts of Retail and Export Demand on U.S. Cattle Producers, was conducted by Melissa G.S. McKendree, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Michigan State University, and others. BEEF will share more detail on this study once it’s published.

When domestic retail-level beef demand increases by 1%, real (inflation-adjusted) fed cattle price goes up 1.52% and real feeder cattle price increases by 2.48%, according to the study. Additionally, when export demand increases by 1%, real fed cattle price rises by 0.05% and real feeder cattle price increases by 0.08%.

In other words, McKendree emphasizes the benefits of increased beef demand flow throughout the supply chain, all the way to cow-calf and stocker-backgrounder producers.

“Quantifying how changing primary beef demand is shared among production and marketing channel members is essential for an economic assessment of demand enhancing investments,” she explains.

Tempting as it is, demand results from the first study mentioned cannot be used as a multiplier to the effect on cattle prices mentioned in the latter. Much as the different gauges in a pickup assess different aspects of overall engine health, these are different barometers.

The first study assesses how CBB activities affect beef demand. The second one estimates how differences in demand, no matter what causes them, affect cattle prices.

However you slice it, though, cowboy math suggests the \$1 Checkoff assessed on cattle trading hands boosts per-head revenue exponentially more.

Is uncertainty a new normal following U.S./China dispute?

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Is market uncertainty the "new normal" following trade war?

After more than 400 days of a trade war between the United States and China, have markets begun to factor in the rumors of a deal or the threats of escalation?

That’s one possibility, according to University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture economists Aaron Smith, associate professor and Extension crop marketing specialist, and Andrew Muhammad, professor and trade policy specialist.

“At more than 400 days from the official start of the trade war, we don’t see the initial or at least the same amount of volatility we saw based on the latest press releases than we did when the trade war first started,” Smith said. “At the outset, positive or negative news would make dramatic differences in futures markets, creating substantial increases or decreases in prices based on the nature of the news being reported.”

Markets appear to have grown somewhat complacent to the back and forth news reported between the disputing parties.

“Recently, the potential for additional Chinese purchases of agricultural products was in the news. The markets didn’t move at all, and if we had that same news nine months ago, we would’ve seen a market reaction,” Smith said.

Data and commitments

“Markets want to see sales data and commitments, not speculation at this juncture, as past developments have not matriculated in agricultural sales. So, I think some of that is being factored in. I don’t know if it’s a combination of not believing that trade negotiations are progressing accordingly or just complacency with this as the new status quo. Until we see something concrete, we’re not going to react.

Smith said international trade has changed a little bit since the start of this trade war, with less volatility based on positive or negative trade news.

He said rumors of improved prospects of a deal, or signs that the parties would get back together, early on would have created “a sort of itchy market with any positive sign. I used to follow the ups and downs of that, but I’ve kind of stopped at this point.”

Muhammad said if the tariffs continue, or if more are added, more than agriculture will feel the bite.

“What we don’t think about,” he said, “is double taxation. For example, the tariff on textiles coming in, which then indirectly impacts Chinese demand for U.S. cotton, and the taxation on wooden bedroom furniture, which is indirectly impacting Chinese demand for U.S. forest products.

Hurt on both sides

“Couple that with their tax on our product, and you can see that cycle where U.S. products are hurt by tariffs on both sides. We don’t hear a whole lot about that.”

He said a recent report on a European retaliatory tariff on spirits created a ripple effect on U.S forestry. The spirit industry uses forestry products for barrels. “Tariffs on spirits can affect the forestry sector.

“Few people are making those connections,” Muhammad said, “but some have; it’s a domino effect”

Smith said the tariffs’ effect on a specific commodity is difficult to quantify accurately. “It can be challenging because of the many moving parts involved, in addition to the regular market fluctuations.”

In addition to the Chinese tariffs, soybean markets move with issues such as Brazil production and African swine fever, which affects feedgrain demand as herds are culled to prevent further spread of the disease.

“Markets don’t stop operating just because of a trade disruption. Some continual market forces are independent of trade and are influencing what’s going on as well.”

Those usual factors make trying to calculate direct trade impacts challenging, Smith said.

Price differences

He added that looking at the price differences of a commodity like soybeans at different ports may offer a clue as to trade impact — comparing prices out of Paranaguá, a port in Brazil, to New Orleans, for instance.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s a way to look at how the trade dispute affects the current or the local prices for each country.

“If you ended up having higher prices in Brazil, for example, you’d end up seeing a potential shift in demand from countries other than China to the U.S. However, the price difference should be capped by whatever that tariff is. There are many other factors to consider though, so, it’s not accurate to say that the price differentials you see at a port in Brazil and in New Orleans, are 100 percent a result of that trade disruption.

“You’ll get some back filling. If China buys a whole bunch of soybeans, prices go up in Brazil; all of a sudden, the EU isn’t going to buy from Brazil. They’re going to buy from us because the prices are cheaper. And that’s a new source of demand. Does it replace the Chinese demand? No, but some back filling goes on in terms of other sources of demand that wouldn’t necessarily go to us, without having increased Chinese tariffs in place. But because of lower price relative to Brazil, they’ll purchase soybeans, or it can be any product.

“The more countries you add into the mix, on the supply and the demand side, the more difficult it gets to estimate what that true price impact is.”

Who hurts most?

Who hurts most from this trade war?

“Certainly, the trade has contributed to the slowdown of the Chinese economy,” Muhammad said. But it is an especially hard blow to a country that relies as much on exports as a part of their GDP as China.

“[China] has always been an export-oriented economy, far more than we are. So, in one sense you could argue a trade war would hurt them more than it hurts us, they being more reliant on exports.

“But U.S. firms are also hurt. Aside from the fact that consumers pay more for what we import, even final products go through value added chains and tariffs have a negative impact on U.S. firms that import.”

He said global linkages and how they may affect even the smallest farmer was not fully understood. “But now people are starting to understand more about the global economy and all the linkages between both domestic and international production and consumption and how trade affects everybody, whether or not they actually engage in trade.

“I’d be hard-pressed,” Muhammad added, “to find someone who would say with certainty that it’s harder on one side than the other.

“There’s no guarantee,” he said, “that when you impose a tariff, it actually punishes the other country and not U.S. consumers or businesses.”

MORNING Midwest Digest, Sept. 30, 2019

Some listeners are waking up to fog this morning, and some have flooding after weekend rains.

An assault on mosquitos in Michigan was cancelled due to weather.

Commodity speculators have turned cautious.

A Minnesota man as 18 drunk driving citations.

An long-time Iowa farm broadcaster has passed away.

Farm Progress America, September 30, 2019

Max Armstrong offers more insight on dealing with the economic stresses for farmers. From those who get too much rain, to others seeing more drought, to the economic challenges. Max shares insight from a safety expert who talks about one way to escape the very negative issues facing your farm. The answer is ‘getting away.’

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.