Market Maker Webinar

From Dr. Kim Morgan and Ben Garber.

Learn what Market Maker is, how it can help your operation, and how to use it!

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AgCache: When Geocaching meets the Ag Sector

Fostering rural and agricultural tourism: exploring the potential of geocaching,

Read the new agcache publication by Kathryn A. Boys, Katherine DuBreuil White, and Gordon Groover.

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Value and implications of corn stover removal from Virginia fields

Gordon Groover, Extension Economist.

Read the full corn stover publication.


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2017 Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade





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2016 Snapshot of Virginia Agriculture


Info graphic courtesy of the VT Ag Econ Club.

View larger:


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The Great Debate: Harvesting vs. Grazing Forage

Contributed by Carl Stafford, Senior Extension Agent, Animal Science, Culpeper County

Wintering cost is one of the biggest expenses in producing beef cattle. John Howe, Spotsylvania Extension Agent, explained the difference in the cost of a pound of dry matter from pasture vs. that from harvested feed. He found that the equipment harvested feed can run 3 to 4 times the cost of that harvested by cattle.  Gordon Groover supports Howe in his article, “What I Know about Forage Economics,” Virginia Forager, Fall 2016, page 7.  He finds that each ton of hay could have more than $200 per ton equipment depreciation before “out-of-pocket” expenses are added.

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Overhead Costs to Employ Agricultural Guest Workers

***Update: The Event has been cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew. We hope to reschedule for the Spring Semester.

Jillian Broadwell, Communication Specialist, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Please join us this Friday for a webinar with Dr. Derek Farnsworth, Ph.D.!

Dr. Farnsworth is an Extension Economist at the University of Florida and we look forward to sharing his insights as we broadcast the event live! Please find details for accessing the webinar below.


Friday, October 7, 2016 

3:00 – 4:00 pm, EST

How to join the meeting

Step 1.   Go to the meeting URL:

The WebEx meeting room will open by 2:30 pm EST for testing.  Enter your name and email address.  The meeting will begin promptly at 3:00 pm EST.  First-time WebEx users will be prompted to download and install the WebEx plug-in.  Once installed, you will be taken to the meeting Quick Start screen.

Step 2.  After joining the meeting, choose an audio option to hear the audio portion of the meeting.  Use the Call Me option with a telephone or the Call Using Computer option with your computer’s speakers or a headset.  You will not need a microphone or webcam for this meeting.

See the links below for more details about WebEx audio options.

A note about the WebEx plug-in for VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The WebEx plug-in will not install if you do not have administrative rights on your PC.  To confirm you can install the WebEx plug-in, go to to join a WebEx test meeting.

If you do not have the correct privileges to download and install the WebEx plug-in, you should see a link on the WebEx set-up screen that says, “Run a temporary application to join this meeting immediately.” If you click that link the WebEx Meeting window will display without the plug-in being installed.

Consult with the IT professional for your organization for assistance.



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2016 NASS Cropland and Pastureland Rental Rates

Gordon E. Groover and Lex Bruce, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech;

This fall USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) released cash rental rates for irrigated and non-irrigated cropland and pastureland for Virginia counties and cities.

To view the 2016 rental rates click here 2016_Rental Rates.

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Managing Debt in Lean Years

Peter Callan, Extension Agent, Farm Business Management, Northern District

As a former dairyman and agricultural lender, I have sat on both sides of the table when a producer is faced with low milk prices and/or drought conditions. This has been the story during the spring and summer of 2016 with depressed milk and grain prices.  Many producers have been unable to pay their farm’s operating expenses and loan payments on a timely basis. Speaking from experience, this should not deter producers from communicating with their lenders.  Agricultural lenders understand that agriculture is a cyclical business. They realize that current milk and grain prices are below the breakeven costs for many producers. It is during these times that communication between lender and producer is most critical.

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What I Know about Forage Economics?

Gordon Groover Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

First, the key assumption behind this article is that the farm business in managed to make a profit. A second assumption is that the environment farm business managers face is not constant, or to quote Heraclitus, (535 BCE), “The only constant is change.” That is, as prices and technology change then management strategies, enterprises, and capital investments must change for the farm to remain profitable.  For example, few cow-calf producers harvest and feed corn silage to their beef cow herd as opposed to what was a common practice 40-50 years ago. Corn silage was and is still a high quality feed for ruminants, yet the capital investment to plant, harvest, transport, store, and feed has increased the total costs of corn silage. On a relative costs basis and with the help of round bale technology the cost of making hay was less than corn silage, leading to wholesale Continue reading

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