Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Management Calendar

By Gordon Groover (, Extension Economist, Farm Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech 

Selective information available that might be useful for fall reading:

  • 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
  • Fourth Quarter 2013 Theme Articles: Theme Overview: Current Issues in Risk Management and U.S. Agricultural Policy. Risk management issues have taken a central focus in the current agricultural policy debate. This six-article Choices thematic issue focuses on current issues in risk management and agriculture policy and provides an assessment of important issues surrounding the ongoing farm bill negotiations. Continue reading
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New Publications from AAEC and Extension

Hard Cider? – Assessing the Economic Feasibility of Growing Specialized Apple Cultivars for Sale to Commercial Hard Cider Producers, authored by  Jarrad Farris, Research Assistant, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Greg Peck, Assistant Professor, Horticulture, Alson H. Smith Jr. AREC  and Gordon Groover, Extension Economist, Agricultural and Applied Economics, all of Virginia Tech. This publication describes a set of associated budget spreadsheets that utilize a systematic means to assess the feasibility of growing specialty apple cultivars for sale to commercial hard cider producers. This publication supports two spreadsheet decision aids for growers to individualize for their own situation. This publication and spreadsheets can be found at Continue reading

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Should I sell or background my feeder cattle

Peter Callan (, Extension Agent, Farm Business Management, Northern District and Kelly Liddington (, Extension Agent, Animal Science, Richmond County

The recent decline in corn prices has some Virginia cattle producers feeding 600 pound weaned calves to higher weights.  Furthermore, this management decision has been supported by the strengthening of cattle prices in September with premiums on cattle futures in deferred months.  Calculation of the cost of feed for an animal to gain one pound of weight is key to determining the profitability of retaining ownership of these cattle. This article discusses the profitability of keeping 600 pound feeder calves by feeding them simple and complex rations as compared to just taking the calves of the cows and selling at the sale barn. Continue reading

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So you want to establish a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) partnership in Virginia?

Kimberly L. Morgan (, Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

csa-1As reported in the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture, a total of 12,549 U.S. farms indicated they had marketing products through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangements, of which 334 were located in Virginia.  As of today, there are 176 Virginian CSA farm listings on the Local Harvest ( ) portal, and another 42 listed on the Eat Well Guide ( site.  As one of many forms of direct-to-consumer marketing opportunities available to Virginia’s producers, the CSA model allows growers and buyers to share in the management of risks inherent to agricultural production. In general, CSA contracts are developed by the grower that outline the product varieties, volumes and formats s/he intends to plant and process, expected availability, pickup days and Continue reading

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Geomarketing Opportunities for Virginia Wineries

Joao Ferreira (, Consultant, Mid-Atlantic Wine and Agribusiness Marketing Solutions. Gustavo Ferreira (, Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Because Virginia wineries sell more than the 65% of their wines at their tasting rooms, it is imperative that they attract more visitors to their premises. In this sense, the development of a geomarketing strategy could help Virginia wineries increase their wine sales, save costs, and build brand awareness. Geomarketing can be defined as a business tool in which geographical information is used to analyze market and customer information, determine investment strategies, implement tactics, and follow-up activities executed. Furthermore, given the surge of agritourism, Virginia wineries should seek to use geomarketing to build strategic alliances with other tourism-based businesses. Continue reading

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