2011 User Conference Highlights, "Best Practices" for Livestock Production Centers, New Website, Q&A of the Month--Combined Crop Insurance Premium & Payment, FBS Users in the News, October Free Webinar Schedule
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 FarmSMART                                              September 2011

In this Issue:

2011 User Conference Highlights

  "Best Practices" for Livestock Production Centers

New Website

Q&A of the Month--Combined Crop Insurance Premium & Payment

FBS Users in the News

October Free Webinar Schedule

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Click here to learn about the Pork Profit Center Dashboard


Bedouin Nerd
Return of the Bedouin Nerds

They're baaaaack!  The server farm in California where our website is hosted was cyber-attacked again by Mideast hackers.  While site has been thoroughly cleansed, the result is that content was rolled back to....you guessed it, Groundhog Day, 2011!

We're restoring the content as quickly as possible, including presentations from this year's User Conference, and you can view photo highlights of this                                          event below.  

This month's Best Practices article addresses livestock production centers

Our Support Q&A tells how to handle combined crop insurance receipts and premiums

Also read about FBS Users represented in the Pork Powerhouses and the United Soybean Board. 

Finally, take a few minutes to visit and participate in our new blog site.     


2011 User Conference Highlights 

Celebration Belle leaving port
Off on our "gala" Mississipi dinner cruise.

"Really well done--good variety of topics."

"One of the best seminars I have been to." 

2011 Conference Attendees

 Thanks again to the speakers and attendees at the FBS 2011 User Conference co-sponsored by DTN/Progressive Farmer Magazine.  Your input and interaction increased the "take-home" value for us all.

 To maximize the value for everyone, we'll soon be posting videos of many of the presentations on our website and You Tube.  Watch our website and next month's newsletter for availability.   

Chris Whittinghill
DTN's Chris Whittinghill describes a new smartphone weather app.


Mike Paustian Farm Tour
Mike Paustian takes us on a "virtual tour" of his farm.


Son-D Farms Panel
David Bullerman and Vickie Lee from Son-D Farms share how they are implementing FBS integrated software.


Joe Dykhuis Keynote
Joe Dykhuis's outstanding keynote presentation will soon be on the web!


John McNutt crop benchmarks
John McNutt unveils the new Latta, Harris-Russell Consulting crop cost benchmarks database.


Moe Russell on the boat
"That's one if my land; two if by sea."  Moe Russell extends the conference on-board the Celebration Belle.


Technology panel
Bernard Peterson, Paul Hey and Ken Wedig preview breakthrough technologies.


Barbara Doster
Barbara Doster dispenses "peer advice" to husband Howard.

 You can view Powerpoint presentations from the Conference by clicking here.

 Full videos will be available soon.

Apply "Best Practices" to Livestock Production Centers

Editor's noteThis article continues a new series on the "best practices" FBS users have developed to improve effectiveness, efficiency, internal control and compliance from their information system. 

Just like cropping operations, Production Centers are the fundamental components for production reporting, inventory control and management accounting for livestock producers.  Modern, large-scale livestock systems can achieve "best practices" for accessible and meaningful reports and simplified data entry by organizing livestock production centers into a standardized hierarchy based on three levels.

Level I:  Type

Regardless of the species being raised, all livestock production centers fall within three general types of inventory tracking:  

Breeding (B) Centers.  This best practice has been followed for years in swine, beef and dairy breeding herds where management control and records can effectively be applied to individual animals.  Generally, the objectives and scope of the records are focused on genetics, health, reproductive performance and in dairy, nutrition.  Financial measures are rarely incorporated in these systems, and when they are, they tend to be "plugged" values not tied out with accounting data. PigCHAMP, FBS's Smart Breeder, DairyComp 305 and Cow Sense are examples of breeding center production software that track individual animals.

Group (G) Centers.  Most slaughter animals today are assigned to lots groups, based on current best practices for health, nutrition and marketing.  Because livestock groups, or "cohorts," are normally the same age, weight and health status, they can be managed and accounted for as a single unit, and ultimately "closed out" when they are sold or transferred to another stage.  This best production practice is also a best practice for inventory control, performance analysis and management accounting as inventories must be zeroed out between groups, beginning and ending weights are known and feed and expenses can be precisely assigned. 

As with the "crop year" associated crop production centers, the life of livestock groups will never match and often overlap accounting periods.  Groups can be open for as little as two months with broilers or pig nurseries to eighteen months for beef calf crop.  (Yes, in some cases a breeding center can also be a group center.)

Note that in FBS a group center is not synonymous with "group."  Rather, it allows you to assign an unlimited number of active and inactive groups underneath that center.  (We'll cover groups in a future article.)

Continuous Flow (F) Centers.  This last center type is a best practice only with breeding centers that are already managed with individual animal software (See Breeding Centers above.)  Since a breeding center is never "closed out" a continuous flow center utilizes "time slice" reporting for total animal inventory, feed consumption, cost assignments and work in process adjustments.  FBS can even assimilate individual animal data from Smart Breeder and PigCHAMP through a special "B" center.

Continuous flow centers are definitely not a best practice for feedlots, nurseries, finishers and gilt developers.  However, twenty years ago continuous flow was the best practice and many producers are stuck with dated facilities that combine animal flows and prevent them from accurately assigning feed or closing out groups.  The only way to compute performance metrics such as feed conversion or average daily gain is to estimate beginning and ending inventories and weights--a far-from-accurate practice. (For example, if beginning and ending weight estimates are each off by only 10% in opposite directions, combined performance will be skewed by 20%.)   Work in process adjustments also tend to be very rough and variable. The results are perpetuated unprofitable practices as continuous flow records mask poor performance from poor production environments.

In upcoming articles we'll cover best practices for Production Center Levels II and III. 

Visited Our Website Yet?
FBS Systems Home PageThere's a wealth of timely information waiting your inspection at our new website. Check them out now by clicking on the image or any of the links below.

To start your tour, click on the image above. 

Leave comments or suggestions regarding our website.

Q&A of the Month--Combined Crop Insurance Premium & Payment
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

Q.  I recently got a check from my crop insurance.  From the claim they took out 2011's premiums, so how do I record this so that it properly records the expense and the income? 

A.  You will need to make this deposit entry:
  1. For the amount of the deposit, enter the net amount of the check you received.  
  2. Then enter the total amount of this year'spremium to an expense account.  (You can split that value between one or more crop centers here if you like.)  
  3. Finally, enter the total income from last year's claim (which can also be split between crop centers is appropriate). 
  4. The amount to balance will change to $0 and you can save the entry.  Now you've recorded the crop insurance income and the expense in just one entry!
FBS Users in the News 

Congratulations to the FBS clients who have been recognized among Successful Farming's Top 25 U.S. Pork Powerhouses 2011The list includes Eichelberger Farms, The Carthage System, Wakefield Pork and Schwartz Farms.

 United Soybean Board Chairman Marc Curtis, Leland Miss. and Farmer-Director David Hartke, Teutoplis, Illinois, are quoted in the September 2011 issue of Beyond the Bean.  Hartke, who is also a livestock producer, says, "The future of animal ag is a necessity for a productive cropping operation."

October Free Webinar ScheduleWebinar Screen

Projecting Your 2011 Income, October 3.

Smart Feeder Reports, October 10.

To register, e-mail support@fbssystems.com by 9:00 am CDT on the day of thewebinar.



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