Assessing Farm Equipment Efficiency

equipment effciency baner
Electric motor costs account for a large part of a farm’s monthly energy bill. If motors are not properly matched to the intended load, energy and money is wasted. Motor efficiency deteriorates over time, which also adds to energy and profit losses. Whether equipment is well worn, purchased used, or new, learning how to assess equipment efficiency and energy use is worthwhile. Assessment is best done on an annual basis to make sure your operation’s costs remain as low as possible. [Read more…]

Farm Calls: Sweet Corn Varieties & Postharvest Capability

Recently, a sweet corn grower considering new marketing opportunities asked:

“I don’t farm enough sweet corn acreage to support a hydro cooler or package icing equipment for rapid field heat removal at harvest. 
With less than ideal postharvest handling cooling equipment, which varieties should I consider growing if I want to maximize both marketable shelf life and eating quality in order to win repeat sales from direct market and wholesale customers?”

[Read more…]

Effective Political Communications

Farmers_go_to_TrentonIt is important that farmers be involved in policy decisions at the local, state, and federal level because quite often those charged with making policy do not farm and may not realize the impact their actions have on the viability of farms in our state.

Farm families feel frustration toward government institutions that seem unresponsive on a range of issues, from crushing regulatory burden relief, to agritourism legislation affecting the hosting of lifecycle events, to inadequate access to educational outreach programming.

The way to cope is to get engaged and get heard. Effective communication with elected officials allows you to be heard on issues affecting your ability to farm. [Read more…]

Farm Calls: Beginning Farmer Questions on Farm Leasing

Ivory-Harlow-Leasing-Land-Farm&Dairy

This month, a Rutgers grad from a couple of years back, called to say she was well on the road to fulfilling a dream she had talked about in Sustainable Ag class. She has worked hard to save up grubstake capital to begin her part-time farming enterprise, and located a rentable farm near her current “day job.”
Before entering into negotiations with the owner she asks,

“How do I properly value and negotiate farm lease terms that include using the owner’s working farm in addition to renting farmland.”

[Read more…]