Online Tool Helps Ease Farm Management

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I’m not a natural planner. Life gets busy, and timely farm management tasks seem to creep up on me. For example, I may need to start my fly mineral before the fly season, prepare a bull for the breeding season, or remember to switch my feeding schedule before the start of calving season (feeding pregnant cows at dusk increases the number of cows calving during the day time).

To help farmers keep management tasks on track, K-State Research & Extension and the Iowa Beef Center created a planning tool called Management Minder. This tool creates a customized management calendar for breeding/calving, weaning, grass turnout, or receiving cattle. Since farming is a little different in Kansas than North Carolina, the grass turnout and the receiving may be less useful, but the breeding/calving and weaning calendars are very appropriate for our use.

Start by creating a free user profile and logging into the site. Select the automated calendar you want to create. Enter the initial date, and Management Minder builds a customized management calendar. From this customized calendar, you can choose the individual management tasks that are important for your farm.

Once a calendar is complete, it can be saved, printed, or emailed. If emailed, the file can be added to Outlook, Yahoo, or Google Calendars. The email comes with instructions on how to do this. In addition, calendars can be rolled over from year to year, saving time on set up for next year if daily tasks remain similar.

I like how Management Minder works with tools like Google Calendar. I don’t have to use or learn a new planning tool. This saves time and makes this tool very practical. If there are tasks I want to add to the calendar that is not automatically created, I can add them, too.

Timing of management tasks on cow/calf operations is important for success. For example, getting timely vaccinations into cows/calves is critical, especially if marketing calves as preconditioned. In addition, remembering which day the bull was turned out, getting a reminder to remove the bull, and scheduling pregnancy checks is essential for a well-managed and profitable operation. Having a calendar with all the essential tasks listed in one place makes staying on track easier. If you are like me, more organization will make your work more efficient and enjoyable.

If you do not have a good system for planning and reminding yourself of important farm tasks, then check out Management Minder. Create a profile today at Management Minder and help yourself become a better farmer.

Seth Nagy is the Director for N.C. Cooperative Extension in Caldwell County. The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center, 120 Hospital Ave. NE #1 in Lenoir, provides access to resources of NC State University and N.C. A&T State University through educational programs and publications.