Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Mapping of Agritourism Operations in Virginia

Chris Lucha[1], Gustavo Ferreira[2], Martha Walker[3], Gordon Groover[4], and Peter Caffarelli[5]

Over the past decade, Virginia has experienced a significant decline in its agricultural operations.  The decline in the number of farms has been coupled with a decrease in farming land as well as total crop land (VDACS, 2012).  Anecdotal evidence also shows that recent generations are becoming less interested in agriculture, which is leaving farm tasks to the older generations and explains the steady increase in the average age of the principal farm operator.  With agriculture being the largest industry in Virginia, it is important to seek ways to reverse this trend.  Agritourism has recently emerged as a valid alternative that could buttress economic development in many rural communities.  As this article will show, some areas and regions are better suited for agritourism operations than others, which is why clustering of operations occurs. Continue reading

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Virginia Tech Income Tax School

By L. Leon Geyer (geyer@vt.edu), Professor, Agricultural Law, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

 This year we offer two different seminars:  1) Introductory Tax Preparation Seminar  and 2) General Income Tax Seminar

1.  Introductory Tax Preparation Seminar

Three 1-day seminars offered as live instruction while space is available. These seminars are designed for those who wish to prepare tax returns and will focus on form IRS form 1040. It is designed for those who are new to taxes, or those who simply seek a refresher course. Continue reading

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Pricing Strategies for Virginia Wineries

Joao Ferreira (jp@mawamsolutions.com), Consultant, Mid-Atlantic Wine and Agribusiness Marketing Solutions.

Gustavo Ferreira (gferre3@vt.edu), Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

I. Introduction

This paper continues the discussion on the overall prices of Virginia wines, and seeks to provide local wineries some guidance on pricing strategy. According to the findings from our previous study (Price Analysis of Virginia Wines)[1] shown in table 1, all selected red and white Virginia wines are sold for prices that are either on the super premium ($10-$13.99) or ultra premium (>$14) market segments.  The analyzed wines are made from grapes that are widely produced in Virginia and/or often consumed in the United States. Continue reading

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Stockpiling Reduces Winter Feed Costs

By Peter Callan (peter.callan@vt.edu), Extension Agent, Farm Business Management, Northern District

Virginia Cooperative Extension livestock budgets show that winter feed costs comprise 60 percent of total costs for the typical fall calving cow/calf producers who feeds hay during the winter months.(1)  One way to lower total feed costs is by stockpiling forages for winter grazing.

Stockpiling is allowing forage to accumulated growth during the late summer and fall to be grazed by cattle instead of the normal practice of feeding hay after the growing season has stopped.   Continue reading

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Understanding the Value of Hay

Carl C. Stafford (ccstaffo@vt.edu), Extension Agent, Animal Science, Culpeper County

Buy hay while the sun shines, an adage that may help us understand that  hay will most likely never be any cheaper than at harvest during a surplus year.  This year is stacking up as one for the hay production record books here in the Northern Piedmont of Virginia.  Buyers seem to have many choices of cow quality hay, but horse quality is in short supply, thus buying now makes sense. Continue reading

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The Management Calendar

Gordon Groover (groover@vt.edu), Extension Economist, Farm Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Listed below are a few items that might be of interest to farm business managers:

  • A must read for all of us involved in agriculture is the current issue of “Choices,” published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and can be found at http://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine.
    • Third Quarter 2013 Theme Articles: Theme Overview: Transitions in Agriculture. Shannon L. Ferrell. Recognizing the growing importance of farm transition issues, USDA’s Economic Research Service and Oklahoma State University organized a Transitions in Agriculture Conference held in March of 2013, bringing together experts from a number of fields to share their perspectives on transition issues and to start a new conversation on how to address them. Continue reading
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Virginia’s Grain “Imports” by Rail: A Summary

Peter Caffarelli, Graduate student, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Dr. Gustavo Ferreira, (gferre3@vt.edu) Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Dr. Gordon Groover, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Dr. Kathryn Boys, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Connecting producers and markets (both domestic and abroad), transportation is critical to agriculture. Agriculture is the largest user of the transportation system in the U.S., moving 22 percent of the total tonnage and 31 percent of the total ton-miles in 2007.[1] The modes of transportation—truck; rail; and barge—complement and compete with one another in the shipment of grain.[2] Often, for example, producers will haul their grain by truck to an elevator, which then collects and ships the product via rail or barge to larger markets. Continue reading

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Calendar of Events

November

  • 4-5   Income Tax Seminar.  Richmond I.  General Session and Farm Session.  Contact Income Tax School Registrar by phone at (540) 231-3306 or by email at vttax@vt.edu.
  • 11-12  Income Tax Seminar. Abingdon. General Session and Farm Session. Contact Income Tax School Registrar by phone at (540) 231-3306 or by email at vttax@vt.edu.
  •  13-14 Income Tax Seminar.  Weyers Cave.  General Session and Farm Session.  Contact Income Tax School Registrar by phone at (540) 231-3306 or by email at vttax@vt.edu. Continue reading
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Proper No-till Wheat Seeding Rates

Keith Balderson (thbalder@vt.edu), Extension Agent, Crop & Soil Sciences, Essex County

With the adoption of no-tillage wheat, wheat seeding rates have increased in comparison to conventional tillage methods.  In some cases, producers are seeding 3 bushels per acre or more.  What are the optimum seeding rates for no-tillage wheat?

First, remember to plant seed according to seeds per row foot or seeds per acre rather than pounds per acre.  A harvest goal for wheat is 60-70 heads per square foot with an average of 30 seeds per head.  Seventy heads per square foot is just over 3 million heads per acre!  So, how many emerged plants does it take to get 3 million heads of wheat per acre? Continue reading

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