Extension Notes …

Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:28 am

Reduce stress with good record keeping

Sources: Steve Isaacs, extension agricultural economist

Record keeping may not be every farmer’s favorite activity, and probably not the reason someone chooses farming as a career. With time, patience and a commitment to get it done, it can make your financial life a lot less stressful.

Record keeping doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s a way to keep track of things about your operation that will help you make better long-term decisions. You can use a ledger book or a computer—whatever helps you maintain consistency. Software programs can make your data more meaningful.

Software has become more user-friendly over time, and while it may not make the record keeping process fun, it could help you see the overall picture of your operation. Some programs track purchases and how you use each item on a particular enterprise or field. You’ll be able to keep track of repair and maintenance records for specific farm equipment and produce balance sheets, income statements and cash flow budgets.

For many livestock operations, a good time to start keeping records is when the veterinarian comes to check your animals. Vets usually charge per head, so that data can help you develop a list of animals that need attention. You can use the same data to develop health histories of your animals, which will lead to more informed exams and diagnosis in the future.

Make record keeping a team effort for your family. Sit down and work on the records and budget together. Perhaps one person can read the information while another person types it into the software program or writes it in the ledger book. Also, if you do a little bit each day and don’t save it all up for the end of the year, you won’t become overwhelmed.

If you’ve done the work throughout the year, year-end procedures can feel more satisfying. You can generate year-end reports with a few simple clicks and not have to sort through stacks of bills lying around the home or office.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Agricultural Economics has several tools online that could help with budgeting and decision making. Visit http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/extbudgets.php to see what is available.

For more information about record keeping and a variety of other farm management topics, contact the Clinton Cooperative Extension Service at 606-387-5404.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Upcoming Meetings

Tobacco GAP


The Clinton and Cumberland County Extension Services are partnering to host a Tobacco Production meeting and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 15th at 5:00 pm CST at the South Kentucky RECC office. UK Tobacco specialist Dr. Bob Pearce will be presenting topics on tobacco production and conducting the GAP training.

Tobacco producers needing to become GAP certified or renew your GAP certification should attend this meeting, for more information contact the Clinton County CES at 606-387-5404.

Twin Lakes Cattle

Association Meeting

The Twin Lakes Cattle Association will meet Tuesday, January 22nd at the First United Methodist Church in Albany. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. CST with a meal. Dr. Charles Townsend DVM.,with Burkmann Feeds will be the guest speaker. Dr. Townsend will discuss pre-breeding vaccination protocols for cows and heifers, and discuss issues that can affect conception rates. To help prepare for the meal, please call 387-5404 if you plan to attend.

Private Pesticide

Applicator Training

Private Pesticide Applicator training will be held on Wednesday January 23rd at 1:00 pm at the Clinton County Extension Office. Producers needing to purchase restricted use pesticides will need to have a current private pesticide applicator number. Space is limited. Please call if you plan to attend.

Beef Cow/Calf

Production Series

The Clinton and Cumberland County Extension Services are partnering to host a beef cow/calf production series. The series will have four sessions designed to help improve cow/calf efficiency on your operation. The first session will be held on Thursday, January 24th at 5:30 pm at the South Kentucky RECC office. Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK Extension Beef Specialist, will discuss winter hay feeding nutrition and evaluating co-product feeds to help stretch hay supply.

Beef Quality and

Care Assurance Meeting

A Beef Quality and Care Assurance (BQCA) training will be held on Tuesday, January 29th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm at the Clinton County Extension Office. Producers that will be receiving cost-share through the CAIP program will need the BQCA number for the large animal investment area. The training cost is $5 for materials and will be valid for three years. If you plan to attend the training, please call the Extension Office at 606-387-5404 due to limited space.