Ag agent describes risks and ways to reduce them

Ag agent describes risks and ways to reduce them "What are your risks? What can you do to reduce them? Does reducing costs always reduce risk?"

These are questions Larry Madsen of Gettysburg, area Extension farm management educator for South Dakota State University, is asking his farm clientele these days.

Madsen says that production risk management can be described as spending now to avoid later expenses associated with unfavorable events in the future.

It can be associated with a more conservative management approach, which emphasizes on survival rather than high returns.

"Your list of risks should match your financial ability to carry risk, your probability of event occurrence and your attitude toward risk," Madsen declares.

Madsen listed some ways of managing production risks:

Crop Species Selection:

* Avoid high-risk crops.

* Use proven varieties with winter hardiness.

* Plant varieties with resistance to disease, insects and chemicals.

Production Practices:

* Perform off-season machinery maintenance.

* Practice scouting for disease and insects.

* Use fertilizer.

* Plant in rows.

* Clean grain storage before harvest.

* Soil test, seed test.

* Combine crops with livestock to make it possible to market perishable crops through livestock.

* Hire experienced people.

* Prepare written history of weed problems. Treat accordingly.

Livestock Production:

* Vaccinate.

* Pregnancy test.

* Winter feed easily accessible near wintering areas.

* Clear manure from lots.

* Groom lots so they will drain.

* Do not bring in outside animals.

* If you do bring in outside livestock, quarantine from present animals for an extended period of time.

* All-in, all-out confinement feeding.

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