Pesticide, record keeping Winter School's focus

By KEENAN BISHOP Extension Agent for Agriculture Published:

The first in the annual series of Winter Schools at the Franklin County Extension Office, 101 Lakeview Ct., will focus on two topics of interest to farmers: accurate record keeping and pesticides.

The class begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2.

Anyone trying to make a living off the farm or supplementing their income with farming knows that the profit margins are tight. How many of us keep accurate farm business records? How many that do have them broken down by enterprises so you know which activities make you money and which ones cost you? As tax time rolls near we also realize the needs for at least the most basic records to keep everything straight and organized.

If you want to do a better job of keeping records and tracking your profits and losses then you would benefit from the Kentucky Farm Business Management Program (KFBM). KFBM helps member farmers track financial performance, determine the profitability of individual enterprises, improve management practices, complete tax returns, set business and personal goals, and make sound management decisions through direct consultation.

The Kentucky Farm Business Management Program, a joint effort of University of Kentucky Agriculture Economics and five Area Farm Management Groups, provides a records-based information system to assist Kentucky farmers in best utilizing their resources to accomplish their goals and objectives.

Members receive information and assistance with what many consider the most difficult part of farming. Some of these benefits include: Use of a detailed farm record keeping system designed to help with farm management decision-making. Counsel with a trained specialist to develop business and family priorities, compare costs and returns, and examine alternative plans for management of the farm business.

Computerized economic analysis of the farm business, including financial statements, cost and returns analysis, crop and livestock enterprise analysis and comparative benchmarking with similar size and type of farm business. Information to use with lenders and tax professionals, including balance sheets, accrual income statements, depreciation schedules, and completed income tax returns. Personal contact with an area specialist in farm management through on-farm visits, phone calls, newsletters, and office visits. UK and member farmers share in the cost of the KFBM Program.

R. W. Eldridge, KFBM Area Specialist from the Peaks Mill area, will explain how and why to participate in this farm management program. A participating farmer who can explain the benefits from his experiences and how it affects his decisions and his business will accompany him.

While were on the subject of record keeping we should mention the recording requirements for anyone who sprays chemicals on their farm. The KDA requires that accurate records be kept. The extension office has a pesticide record book, provided by the KDA for just that purpose. Everybody that deals with farm, home or commercial chemicals should also understand how to use the product and practice safe handling and disposal methods.

Ken Franks, KDA Pesticide Inspector, will discuss safety and record keeping from the compliance point of view after the KFBM presentation. After hes done, anyone interested in becoming certified for Category I is welcome to stay and watch the two-hour tape. This certification allows you to purchase restricted use pesticides and apply them to your own farm operation.

As in years past, Farmers Bank and Farm Credit Services will sponsor refreshments during the break.

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