Two University of California Cooperative extension county offices in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley are teaming up with a major farm lender to teach producers how to make it easier to keep track of day-to-day expenses by sponsoring workshops entitles “Business Tools for Tough Times.”

Next Monday (March 10) at the Madera County Farm Bureau office and the following day at the Fresno County Farm Bureau office three economists will teach farmers how to meld UC-created crop budgets with computer software programs to organize and analyze cost study data.

UCCE Fresno County farm advisor Mark Freeman said these workshops will cover all crops. UC has developed comprehensive cost and return budgets for the major crops in California.

“These budgets are ideal for tracking costs and running ‘what if’ scenarios daily and yearly so growers can determine quickly and accurately where they are in their crop budgets,” said Freeman.

The UC crop budgets are guidelines for tailoring budgets to each individual grower’s operation.

“If you are in the middle of bloom and have applied three fungicide sprays and are thinking about putting on three more, computer software programs set up with UC crop budgets will tell you quickly what the impact of those three sprays will have on your annual crop budget,” said Freeman.

At these workshops, Freeman said speakers will show how these tools can:

  • Determine the relative value of different operations or inputs;
  • Show trends or costs over time
  • Assist with making decisions about the present and the future.

Making presentations will be:

  • Karen Klonsky, UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • CPA Ken Awbrey
  • Fresno Madera Farm Credit senior vice president Tim Leach.

The March 10 meeting will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the county Farm Bureau office. Call 559/674-871 for reservations.

The March 11 workshop will be from 9-11 a.m. at the Fresno Farm Bureau office. Call 559/237-0263 for reservations.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com