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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Resolutions for a farmer

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The beginning of a new year typically is a time for setting resolutions.

For many, those resolutions might mean going to the gym more often, eating healthier or spending more time with family.

For a farmer, they may look something more like these:

* To improve my pesticide recordkeeping.

There are many reasons to keep good, accurate records of when you use pesticide. For instance, it helps aid in management decisions in the future, can help if an individual needs medical attention after being exposed to a pesticide and may even be requested in real estate transfers.

For individuals using restricted use pesticides (RUPs), it is a law that you maintain records on all RUPs for a minimum of two years after applying them.

A good way to make sure your records are accurate is by filling in the majority of the record before heading to the field.

Information that needs to be maintained in the records include location being sprayed, applicator name and permit number, date, crop being treated, pest being treated for, number of acres being treated, what rate is being used, the total amount of product used, brand name and formulation of product, name of manufacture and EPA registration number.

Your local Purdue Extension Office can make copies for you of pesticide record sheets you can utilize if needed,

* Decrease the number of assisted births in my livestock.

One way to help decrease the number of assisted births on a farm is by ensuring your animals have the proper body condition score (BCS).

Body condition scoring is an important management practice that allows producers to optimize production, evaluate health and assess nutritional status of their livestock.

It is done by careful visual examination of eight important anatomical points.

These points include brisket (sternum), shoulder, ribs, loin, hooks, stifle, tail head and pins.

At these points, you look for the amount of muscle present, skeletal features and fat cover.

When doing this, remember to consider the amount of hair or wool present and muscling.

For a more in depth look at BCS, check out the Purdue publication, "Body Condition Scoring in Farm Animals," AS-550-W.

You can locate it off of your county's Purdue Extension website or by contacting your local Purdue Extension Office,

* Be more prepared for when it is time to plant my crops, cut my hay or harvest my crops.

Before you start any equipment up on the farm, go through a checklist.

Start by making sure your equipment has working lights (front, rear and turn signals), and that your slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign is posted where everyone can see it.

Ensure that every hose fitting is secure and tight.

Change the oil and do any other routine maintenance tasks that needs done.

In the case of hay harvest, I suggest buying some extra rake tines and string to have on hand in case of an emergency.

Lastly, make sure all the needed items are in your first aid kit and that they are not outdated.

Whatever your resolutions are, I wish you the best of luck in obtaining them.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Jan. 16 -- Extension office closed, holiday,

* Jan. 17 -- Start of the Master Market Program, Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall, 7-9 p.m. Cost is $20. For more information, call 448-9041. Register by Jan. 10,

* Jan. 17-19 -- Indiana Horticulture Congress, Indianapolis. Register by going to http://www.inhortcongress.org,

* Jan. 17 -- Getting Started in Fresh Fruit/Vegetables/Other Specialty Crop Enterprises, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 765-494-1426 to register, and

* Jan. 18 -- Indiana Beef Cattle Association Area 5 Meeting, Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall, 6:30 p.m. RSVP by calling 448-9041 by Jan. 12.

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