Dairy cost study deadline coming up very soon

Producers need to submit before Jan. 15 deadline

Submitted by Alberta Agriculture

The Dairy Cost Study is open for applications for the 2018 production year. The next study starts in January, and there is no cost to participate.

“The Dairy Cost Study is a program specifically for dairy producers. It provides them with a tool to better understand their business costs and profits,” says Pauline Van Biert, research analyst, Agriculture and Forestry. Similar to the AgriProfit$ program, participants receive a detailed business analysis for their farm.

Understanding the relationship between profit and costs can help producers determine targets and goals for continuing to improve their business and improve profit margins. “Participating in the program will give dairy producers a better understanding of their farm’s performance,” says Van Biert. “In times where margins are tight, it’s good to have as much information as possible at your fingertips when making important business decisions.”

Participants provide monthly information about their dairy activities over the course of a year. Information includes livestock numbers, feed usage and cost, labour and expenses. “Much of this is already kept, in one form or another, at the farm,” says Van Biert.

At the end of 12 months, the data is rolled-up into their farm business analysis. Participants also receive easy-to-read charts showing their farm results, and a report showing how they compare to others in the study and to the provincial averages. “The ability to compare their results to others can help producers set goals or targets for improvement,” says Van Biert.

“I have heard from past participants that their time is well invested in this program, and the results are useful in decision making and starting conversations with family, feed nutritionists, and bankers alike,” says Van Biert.

The deadline to sign up for the study is January 15, 2018. Sign up online (https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/softdown.nsf/main?openform&type=AgriProfit$&page=download) or contact Pauline Van Biert for more information.

Communication towers

The Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) has created a document (http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/ofa16535) that outlines what landowners need to know about communications towers in Alberta. Communications towers include cellular towers, wireless internet towers, and oil/gas communications towers.

“Many landowners assume that communications towers fall under the Alberta Surface Rights Act,” states Jeana Schuurman, rural engagement and communications specialist, Farmers’ Advocate Office. “Communications towers are actually federally regulated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, so the provincial Surface Rights Act does not apply.”

“Since the Surface Rights Act does not apply to communications towers, there is no right-of-entry or expropriation for communications towers. A company may approach you if they are seeking coverage for that service area, but you have the right to say “no” if you are not interested,” explains Schuurman.

“Landowners should also be aware that the compensation structure and mechanism for periodic review in the Surface Rights Act does not extend to communications towers,” explains Schuurman. Contracts for communications towers are negotiated directly between the landowner and the company. The FAO does not provide advice on compensation amounts.

More information on the federal regulation of communications towers is available on the FAO’s website.http://www.farmersadvocate.gov.ab.ca/ Please call 310-FARM (3276) if you have any questions.

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