It’s that time of year again…National Farmers Day! It’s a chance for us to collectively take a step back and specifically thank all of the farmers who work so hard each day to feed the world.
…for all the early mornings and late nights.
…for all those cold winter mornings feeding and milking.
…for all those hot summer days baling hay.
…for all those dusty fall harvest days.
…for all the hard work that makes it so easy for the rest of us.
FROM THE BOTTOMS OF OUR HEARTS, THANK YOU, FARMERS – The team at Farmco
4 Livestock Feed Storage Ideas You Can Try Today
Your grain or other livestock feed is crucial to keeping your animals healthy during the winter — unfortunately, the animals in your herd aren’t the only ones who want a taste. Rodents and vermin like to turn your animal feed into a free buffet whenever they get the chance. Plus, the wintertime water and resulting mold can play a part in ruining the livestock feed you’re storing as well.
If you want to fight back against mold and pests, you need to check out these 4 livestock feed storage ideas. Some are DIY work-arounds you can try out — and others are long-term investments. Learn 4 ways to keep your feed and grains safe!
Grain Storage Ideas & Solutions
If you leave your feed in the plastic bags it comes in, rodents will chew right through them before you can say Mickey Mouse. Not only do vermin like to eat your feed, but they also pollute it with their feces. In fact, wasted and ruined feed is one of the biggest and most-preventable ways that farmers lose money.
Grain storage is your investment to prevent that loss. Your ideal
livestock feed storage solution needs to be stronger than vermin,
protected from the rain, and easy to transport and use.
Some large farms employ multiple 30-ton or 50-ton stationary grain bins. While that massive equipment works for them, it’s not right for most farmers since it is too large, too expensive, and not mobile. Let’s take a look at some innovative grain storage solutions instead:
1. Plastic Trashcans
A quick and cheap homemade feed storage bin, the thicker plastic of these trashcans will stand up slightly better to rodent teeth than thin plastic bags – but not nearly as well as metal. In addition, the lids won’t fit tightly enough to deter rodents, and they aren’t water-tight either. However, the wheels on this impromptu livestock feed storage bin make transport easier, even when it is full. Another plus to using this option is it’s extremely affordable – you can buy a plastic trash can in almost any hardware store for $20 or less.
2. Old Chest Freezers
Not exactly something you can go out and buy nowadays, but old chest freezers can make decent livestock feed storage bins in a pinch. The tight sealing lid ensures that your feed stays intact when the lid is closed, and the thick and insulated metal sides will best any determined rodent. However, old chest freezers are extremely hard to find as they haven’t been a popular style for decades. Plus, full or empty, they are tough to move from place-to-place – it’s not exactly like refrigerators come standard with D-rings.
3. 55 Gallon Metal Drums
These metal containers serve as the go-to to secure storage for a variety of industries. Since the sides are made entirely of metal, these drums are effective at repelling hungry rodents. In addition, since they are often used for transporting toxic manufacturing or auto waste, you can trust that the lids attach securely. For some farmers this is a cheap (around $100) and effective livestock feed storage idea to try right away. The only real drawbacks to using a 55 gallon drum as your livestock feeder are that it’s a challenge to move, and that scooping grain from the bottom can be difficult. That’s because these drums are meant to hold oil and coolant from auto shops, not serve as farm equipment.
4. Farmco Portable Grain Bins
Trust the equipment designed for one thing: safely storing livestock feed. Farmco grain bins are the most secure and easiest to use out of any of these livestock feed storage ideas – and the comparison isn’t even close. Our grain bins are designed to hold a large amount of bulk feed for as long as you need without contamination. In addition, using our grain bins make your job on the farm easier. Whether you are creep feeding calves on pasture or raising a flock of chickens, a portable grain bin will keep your feed protected while also keeping it easily accessible.
What You Need to Know…
Farmco grain bins are built with thick, rust-free steel that easily repels vermin.
The shape and elevated bin are nearly impossible for rodents to climb.
The tight sealing lid makes loading easy, but prevents moisture from infiltrating to cause mold.
The grain bin design makes pouring the right amount of feed from the bin easy – no more scooping and digging around.
The wheels and trailer hitch make Farmco grain bins easy to haul around your farm.
Farmco Manufacturing – Building Solutions to Help Farmers
Farmco builds livestock feed storage bins with the same precise manufacturing and experienced engineering we use to build our horse and cattle feeders. No matter what Farmco product you buy, you can feel confident it was constructed to resist rust and stand up to the elements – and vermin. We build all of our products to solve real problems that farmers face every day. Learn more about how the Farmco line can help you save time today.
When showing your cow, winning the judge’s favor requires a combination of the cow’s condition and your own skill in the ring. Whether you’re new or experienced, these crucial cattle showing tips can help you ensure your cow gets a proper look from the judges.
At Farmco, we help real farmers every day by building the cattle feeders they rely on —and by providing real tips and information. Read our blog to learn cattle showmanship tips you can use this year.
Cattle Showmanship Tips You Can Use
The primary thing the judges will be looking at are the composition, health, and temperament of your animal. These cattle showing tips are meant to help you ensure you show the judges exactly what they want to see.
1. Train Your Cow with Halter and Show Stick
Since the halter and show stick play the main role in guiding your cow through the competition, you should get your cow accustomed to them ahead of time. This improves your chances that your cow remains calm during the showing process. Work gradually when incorporating these tools into your routine. Many farmers ease the stress of introducing the stick and halter by brushing and talking to the cow when it’s first introduced.
2. Use a Scotch Comb to Fix Cow’s Fur after Judge’s Inspection
You know that show cattle grooming is a key point when showing your animals and you’re likely careful to make sure your cow looks good entering the arena. Maintaining your cow’s appearance during judging can actually help, too. If during the physical inspection, a judge messes up your cow’s fur, it is completely appropriate —and advisable— to fix your cow’s fur with a scotch comb. A good presentation can go a long way throughout the showing.
3. Pay Close Attention to the Topline
The topline is one of the primary factors judges will be looking at, so it should also have your attention, too. Use your show stick to keep the top line level. While all cows will have a slight bend, you can use your show stick to keep the cows back as straight as possible. Practicing this with your cow prior to the show is also beneficial.
4. Keep a Good Tempo
When walking around the showing area, maintaining an even tempo helps you in two ways. The measured pace shows your skill and it also allows the judges to see your cow well. If the participant in front of you becomes unable to move their cow, you should assist them.
5. Set the Cattle Feet Correctly for Different Positions
When you are setting your cattle in place, positioning their feet is important. Careful use of your show stick or boot can help position the cow’s feet correctly. In addition, many farmers find scratching their cows on the belly to be a good way to calm them down, which will help you to position their feet more easily. If you and other participants are setting cattle side-by-side, position all 4 of your cow’s feet evenly beneath them. If you and other participants are setting cattle up in profile, from head-to-tail, you’ll want to stagger the cow’s back feet to display the definition and composition.
6. Make Sure Your Cow is Visible to the Judges
This is a very crucial cow showing tip. Whether you are walking or setting your cattle, you should make sure that the judges’ line-of-sight to you is not blocked by another participant. It is your responsibility to make sure the judges can see your cow during judging — however, you should always remain respectful of other participants.
7. Show Sportsmanship and Professionality
Above all else, the judges are evaluating your cattle’s composition and behavior. However, your own actions and presentation can also play a role. You want to present yourself as a respectful and professional individual who respects the sportsmanship inherent in the activity. This can be demonstrated through your courteous behavior to other participants, your actions towards your cow, and finally, your dress. Although you don’t need to dress formally, you should dress professionally. Wear clean dark jeans or slacks and a nice button-down shirt or polo to convey your respect for the judges, the event, and the other participants.
Cattle Feeders for the Healthiest Cattle
At Farmco, our cattle feeders go hand-in-hand with raising show cattle for more than one reason.
Firstly, cattle health plays a massive role in cattle composition. Health is absolutely key to cows gaining weight and even being able to be shown at all.
In addition, preparing for shows can be time-consuming. If you have a large herd, you might not have the time to invest in training one individual cow. However, Farmco feeders and other equipment help farmers work more conveniently and save time every day.
Interested in bringing the savings and convenience of Farmco feeders to your farm? You’re in the right place.
Farmco feeders are sold nationwide — both online and through our dealer network. If you want to learn more or if you want a cattle feeder quote, contact us now.
How Farmco Saves Farmers Time & Increases Farm Efficiency
For farmers, time is money. Whether you raise cattle or board and train horses, doing anything you can to increase farm efficiency is worth it. That’s why Farmco designs products to offer labor-saving benefits to the farmers who use them.
So when it comes time to replace your old feeder, look for a feeder that can save you time. Learn more about all of the ways in which Farmco can help increase farm efficiency with our convenient and tough equipment.
Increase Farm Efficiency with Farmco
Farmco has been manufacturing agriculture equipment since the mid-’80s and has focused on making farm work a little easier from the beginning. Farmco equipment can increase your productivity and make feeding your animals easier with their many different feeder models. Other equipment can assist with moving hay and storing grain. All focused on maximizing your time!
Here’s how Farmco makes your farm more efficient:
1. Hay Feeders on Wheels
Using a cattle feeder with wheels can actually make feeding your herd much quicker. For farmers with several different pastures, loading a feeder with hay and hauling it to the herd is easier than hauling the individual bales. This can save time on large properties with many different pastures for cattle. Check out our 700DRB series feeders with wheels for easy transport.
2. Horse Feeders That Prevent Waste
Farmco designed a horse feeder to save money and save labor, too. Our 608SF Slow Feed Horse Feeder uses a net with 2 ½” openings that restrict how much a horse can eat and waste.
Since the horses don’t waste as much feed, you don’t need to spend as much time reloading your feeders. Also, since less feed is wasted, you don’t need to spend time cleaning up the wasted feed either. You can see the 608SF Slow Feed Horse Feeder here.
A hay bale ring is one of the simplest pieces of farming equipment and is still important to many cattle farmers.
A Farmco bale ring comes apart at the sides and is able to be transported to a fresh bale. This makes transport far easier compared to bale rings that don’t come apart. This is just another way the right equipment can make your farm run more efficiently. See our hay bale rings for sale.
4. Eliminate Mold or Vermin Damage in your Feed
Depending on how you store grain, mold and vermin can destroy it before you have the chance to feed your cattle. Since feeding cattle spoiled or vermin damaged grain causes health problems, farmers must make sure that their grain is dry and free of mice or rats.
Allowing your calves to have unrestricted access to grain promotes all-important weight gain. However, you don’t want to give all of your cows unlimited access to the feed. That’s why purpose-built creep feeders can be such an important tool when creep feeding calves.
Whether you’re a cattle farmer or a horse enthusiast, Farmco has developed the equipment to make a tough job a little easier.
Farmco sells its equipment nationwide through a large network of dealers. If there is not a dealer in your area, Farmco can ship directly to your farm or ranch. Farmco also specializes in custom-built feeders and other equipment.
Contact us to get a quote for your Farmco equipment.
How to Find the Right Cattle Feeder or Hay Feeder for You
When you’re buying equipment for your farm, you want it to lessen your workload, be durable, save you money in the long-run, and meet your budget. In short, when you’re investing in new equipment – whether it’s a tractor or a hay feeder – you want it to be right for the job.
When investing in a hay feeder or a cattle feeder, there are a ton of options. You want to be sure you’re making the right choice. Farmco Manufacturing builds ALL of our horse and cattle feeders to last. Choosing the right Farmco cattle or hay feeder is a matter of matching the model to your needs and finding a model that fits your budget.
Let’s explore the Farmco models.
5 Farmco Cattle Feeders
Here are 5 Farmco cattle feeders that offer different features and are good for a variety of tasks.
1. 700SRB Series
The hay feeder for farmers who want to save money by saving hay and don’t need to move their feeders as frequently.
This hay feeder is used to efficiently feed large square or round bales of hay to your cattle. Since cattle are wasteful when eating hay directly from the ground, the 700SRB is useful for making your bales of hay last longer.
In fact, the 700SRB offers an optional hay rack that attaches to the center bars and can reduce hay waste by 30%. In total, the 700SRB reduces hay waste by 40% to 50% as compared to ground feeding. As a result of the hay savings, this feeder pays for itself over time.
While this feeder can be moved if need be, it is less mobile than feeders that come with built-in wheels. As a result, the price of the 700SRB is more budget-friendly than the wheeled models. You can see the 700SRB Series here.
2. FL Series
The feeder for farmers who know they will only need to feed cattle from one side of a feeder.
This cattle feeder is specifically designed for use in a feed lot or when set against a barn or a fence. While most cattle feeders allow feeding from both sides, the FL Series of cattle feeders only allows feeding on one side. This feeder eliminates the need to ground feed in feed lots. Like all Farmco feeders, the FL Series is tough enough to stand up to rough treatment from cattle. You can see the FL Series here.
3. Calf Feeder
The feeder for farmers that have an effective solution for feeding adult cattle, but need a convenient way to grain and hay to young calves.
This feeder is specifically designed to feed calves grain and hay separately until they are at a size to eat with the rest of the herd. Generally, the Farmco Calf Feeder is used for calves ages 3 months to 10 months old.
In addition, the Calf Feeder features adjustable legs to adjust the trough height as animals grow. Since there is a significant height difference between cows that are 3 months old vs. 10 months old, the adjustable trough is an important feature. You can see the CF Series of calf feeders here.
4. 700DRB Series
The hay feeder for farmers that have a large property and need to transport the feeders from pasture to pasture.
The 700DRB has the same features as the 710SRB hay feeder, but it has built-in wheels for easy transport. The 700DRB offers the same 40% to 50% hay savings as the SRB model, meaning that it will pay for itself in time, too. In addition, several Farmco 700DRB feeders can be towed at once with the optional rear hitch.
The easy transport of the 700DRB can be useful to farmers with a lot of property. Some farmers choose to load the feeders full of hay and haul them out to their herd rather than transporting the hay itself. The added mobility makes the 700DRB priced higher than the 710SRB hay feeder, but that mobility can be priceless to some farmers. You can see the 700DRB series here.
5. Bale Ring
The product for farmers that want to protect their large hay bales during feeding with minimal upfront investment.
The Farmco Bale Ring is a budget-friendly way to contain a hay bale, but it is less efficient than our other hay feeders. By keeping the bale in the ring, the hay won’t get dispersed or wasted by cattle. However, it does not offer the same hay savings as a 710SRB or 700 DRB model.
The Farmco Bale Ring is easy to use, as the unit comes apart at the sides. This allows the bale ring to be pulled apart and easily placed around a fresh bale of hay in a new location. Since the bale feeder has fewer features, it is the most budget-friendly option. You can see bale rings here.
Cattle and Horse Feeders for Sale
Farmco Manufacturing offers a wide variety of horse and cattle feeders for sale and through our large dealer network. We build the durable feeders that make farmers lives’ easier and conserving feed. Whether you’re creep feeding calves, keeping show horses, or raising a herd of sheep, Farmco has tools to make the job easier.
If you are still deciding on the best feeder for your needs and your budget, contact us and we can help you decide.
5 Ways to Increase Cow Weight
To cattle farmers, every pound of beef is precious, especially when you’re raising cattle without hormones or antibiotics. That’s why at Farmco, we provide farmers with the tips and equipment that can promote herd growth, for both weaning calves and adults.
Here are the effective tips we’ve learned through decades in agricultural — and how our creep feeder can be a game-changer during the weaning process.
Tips to Increase and Maintain Cattle Weight
The best cattle farmers put the right strategies in place throughout their cow’s entire lives. The right choices help you pack on the pounds and keep them there, from weaning stages to market weight.
1. Add Grain into Their Daily Diet
While your cattle likely make their primary diet of hay and grass forage, adding some healthy grains too can increase their weight substantially over time. Grain won’t from the basis of your herd’s nutrition, but the calorically-dense food can provide a boost to cattle weight.
2. Prevent Illness and Parasites
Healthy cows weigh more than unhealthy ones — simple as that. Certain types of illnesses affect cattle appetite and digestion. Whether the sick cattle are not eating or simply not gaining, you’re losing money.
In addition, common cattle parasites can directly reduce cattle weight — young calves, in particular, are susceptible to this.
That’s why recommend cattle farmers use a cattle feeder rather than choosing to ground feed. In addition, making sure hay stays dry and mold-free is an important step to safeguarding your cow’s health.
When Farmers really want to boost cow weight, they add supplements to their herd’s diet. Protein supplements work to pack on the pounds in cows just like they do in humans. Another popular supplement is beet pulp, which causes cattle stomachs to expand. This makes more room for food — and directly increases cow weight over time.
4. Use Creep Feeders During Weaning
Creep feeding calves can be a great way to boost cow weights by taking some of the nutritional pressure off of the dam. A creep feeder allows your calf to have unrestricted access to rich solid food, without giving the adult cows the same free access. This allows your calves to stay near the heifers, reducing stress, without giving these adult cows a buffet on your dime.
5. Prevent Cattle Shrink and Stress, Especially During Transport
Cattle shrink is a phenomenon where cows undergo stress and lose weight as a result. Primarily, this occurs from rough-handling and during long transport. Cattle shrink actually causes the cow’s muscle tissue to get smaller, hence the name. Essentially, the longer the cows are exposed to the stress, the more severe the cattle shrink can be.
Especially as it concerns market weights, farmers who know about it are conscious to reduce whenever possible.
Explore Farmco Creep Feeders
Creep feeders are a crucial piece of equipment for many farmers, and we build sturdy and easy to use options.
Built of heavy-gauge steel, Farmco Creep Feeders are strong enough to prevent tough-full grown cattle from having access to the feed you’re offering to younger calves. The bars that limit access can be adjusted, meaning your creep feeder can provide an economical feeding solution for multiple sizes of animals.
Like all of our cattle feeders, our creep feeders are easy to load and transport. In addition to helping farmers solve problems, we also strive to make their hard work a little easier.
Meet Farmco Manufacturing
With over 30 years of building products that solve problems for farmers every day, Farmco is still dedicated to helping farmers in both the cattle and equestrian world. While our feeders can be found coast-to-coast, we are still a family-owned company hailing from the farm country of Lancaster County PA.
In addition to providing solutions to our customers, we also provide farming insight and support on how to use our feeders. Whether you want to order your feeder or ask us a question, we’re here to help. Contact us today!
Why Ground Feeding is Bad for Horses, Cows & Farmers
While most savvy farmers know that ground feeding is an outdated method, some still hold onto this old tradition—and that’s a bad thing. Some classic farming traditions have unfortunately stuck around.
Still common among both cow farmers and equine enthusiasts, ground feeding is actually counterproductive, as it wastes hay (and money) and exposes both types of animals to entirely preventable parasites.
At Farmco, we build the world’s best cow and horse feeders, so we know the difference a sturdy feeder can make for your herd. It’s one of our missions to educate all types of farmers about the waste and the danger caused by ground feeding hay to your animals.
Why Do Some Farmers Still Ground Feed?
There isn’t just one answer for this question. From what we’ve heard talking to real farmers, it comes down to four things:
Misconceptions about their animals—We’ve heard some farmers say that their animals, particularly horses, are just happier eating with their nose in the ground, which they consider a more natural position.
Misinformation — Some farmers have simply never gotten the facts about ground feeding and take the downsides for granted. That’s where we come in.
Ease of ground feeding — While using Farmco feeders isn’t challenging, ground feeding is simpler. However, once you switch to a feeder you’ll know the extra minute of work is worth it.
Desire to put off buying a feeder — Buying a feeder is an upfront cost. While the investment will pay for itself with saved hay, some farmers are hesitant to spend the money. (By the way, buying a feeder can be one way to get a farm tax deduction!)
How Ground Feeding Wastes Hay
Some farmers say that ground feeding is the most natural way to feed animals. That might be true, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
Here are the most common ways we see ground feeding waste hay:
If the ground is damp, the hay will get wet and begin growing mold. Unfortunately, some animals will still eat moldy hay, which can lead to serious medical problems. (Learn more about the dangers of moldy hay.)
Animals soil the hay, by urinating or defecating on it. Animals won’t consume hay ruined in this way.
Animals trample the hay, crushing it and grinding it into the mud. Trampled hay is difficult to eat and horses, in particular, are discerning enough not to eat it.
As a 21st century farmer — whether it’s your job or hobby — you need to find ways to save money wherever possible. Hay and other feed isn’t cheap. This is no place to let superstitions and old habits undercut your bottom line.
How Much Can Ground Feeding Waste Cost You?
Numerous agricultural studies show that ground feeding wastes approximately 50% of feed placed on the ground. That 50% holds true for both horses and cattle.
Essentially, you need to buy 2 bales for every 1 bale you feed to your herd or your horses. That wasted hay (and money) adds up.
Need some good news? Our top-of-the-line feeders are specifically designed to prevent feed waste.
Round Hay Bale Horse Feeder
The slow feed net panels keeps your horses from overeating — and from pulling their food out and destroying it. This feeder is designed to allow your horses to consume an optimal 1 lb to 1.5lbs of hay per hour. Learn more here.
Bale Ring Cattle Feeder
This solid round bale feeder eliminates the need for ground feeding. Simply place your hay bale in the feeder and secure it in place. Learn more here.
Parasites from Ground Feeding
One other way that ground feeding nickels and dimes the average farmer is through the added exposure to parasites. Ground feeding increases the risk of internal parasites for both horses and cows.
When animals eat directly off the ground, they are at risk to consume parasite larva or eggs along with their feed. Young calves, in particular, are susceptible to parasites.
Consistently having to deworm your horses or your herd is an added expense — the more animals you have, the more expensive it becomes.
Find the Feeder That’s Right for Your Farm
Ground feeding is an outdated practice that will waste your money every year until you make an upgrade.
While nearly ANY slow feeder on the market is an improvement over ground feeding, you want to make a good investment and get your money’s worth. Besides assessing whether a feeder will save hay, it’s important to also consider whether your preferred slow feeder will protect your horse’s teeth. Not only does Farmco build the sturdiest feeders on the market, but we also build the smartest feeders specifically designed to prevent feed waste and protect your animals.
How to Stop Mold and Vermin from Ruining Cattle Feed
During the wintertime, both mold and vermin can contaminate your cattle feed. When cattle eat infected feed, it can lead to a series of issues including feed rejection and even sudden death.
When animals are your livelihood, you need to ensure that they are healthy and productive. You also need to make sure that your feed is not being undermined by preventable sources. Unfortunately, both mold and vermin can damage your feed at various stages of use.
The right feeders and feed storage units can prevent mold contamination of cattle feed in both the storage and feeding stages. Explore how Farmco Feeders can prevent costly and dangerous damage to your feed over the winter.
How Does Mold Form in Livestock Feed and Why is it Dangerous?
Your cattle feed is susceptible to mold until it is eaten by the cattle, including during the harvest, storage, and feeding processes. Mycotoxin-producing mold requires moisture to thrive (most potent at 7% moisture and above), so preventing moisture is the primary way to prevent mold.
The mold itself isn’t the dangerous ingredient —after all, some people love blue cheese — but the Mycotoxins created by certain mold strains can be extremely harmful.
Ingesting feed infected with Mycotoxins can cause the following consequences in your cattle:
Reduced appetite and food intake
Reduced weight gain
Death (occurs in calves)
How to Prevent Mold During Livestock Feed Storage
When storing feed, you need to take precautions to keep it off of the ground in a rain-proof container. Unfortunately, the bags that the feed is shipped in are not even close to water-proof. Instead, immediately transfer the feed out of the bags and keep it in a storage container.
A tough and sealed Farmco 3-ton grain bin protects your feed from ground moisture and precipitation until it is ready to be used for feeding.
Eliminating ground feeding solves this mold problem as well as reduces the risk of parasites. Instead of ground feeding, use a cattle feeder so that even if the ground is wet with snow or rain, the feed will remain dry.
Unfortunately, even if feed is administered using a cattle feeder, some feed can possibly fall to the ground, beginning the mold growth process. Farmco feeders are designed to prevent your herd wasting feed, saving you money and eliminating the risk of mold.
How to Prevent Mold During Feeding
Mold can also begin to develop as a result of ground feeding. If mold can grow in a feed bag, it can certainly grow in feed left on the ground. Here’s how it happens:
You ground feed cattle and they eat a majority of the food
However, some feed will be left on the damp ground, which will begin to grow potentially-toxic mold
Your cattle re-discover the now moldy feed days later and ingest it
The best way to prevent mold during feeding is to get the feed in a cattle feeder up off the ground. Ideally, the feeder will also have a roof, which will keep the majority of moisture off the feed while it’s being eaten. Several Farmco cattle feeders are available with roofs, like the 710DRB model.
How Do Vermin Infest Livestock Feed?
During the winter, colder temperatures drive rats and mice inside. Barns and storage sheds are among the places that often harbor vermin. In addition to staying safe from dropping temperatures, rodents infiltrate your cattle’s feeding areas to help themselves to the feed you have stored for your herd. Master climbers, rats, and mice can even manage to eat the feed you have stored on shelves above ground.
How common and how destructive are vermin?
Rodents destroy approximately $52 billion of livestock feed worldwide every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
So, how do rodents cause this much damage?
It’s true that rats and mice are small animals. The issue is not that they consume a lot of food, but that they contaminate far more than they eat. When they infiltrate your feed, rodents cause contamination with their urine, feces, and various parasites.
In fact, studies show that as a byproduct, rodents contaminate ten times the amount of food they eat. If your animals eat food that has been infected by vermin, they can contract one of the following diseases.
If you store your feed inside, vermin can infect it. No matter where in your barn you store the feed, they can find it and chew through the shipping bag like it’s made of cheese.
For grain or creep feed, a Farmco grain bin is the solution. One of our grain bins allows you to keep your feed outdoors in a durable steel container until you’re ready to administer it to your cattle. Keeping your food elevated in a steel container means that vermin don’t stand a chance.
Farmco is a family-owned company from Pennsylvania, dedicated to helping farmers save money and protect their animals. We build relationships with farmers all across our country. Learn more about our values today.
Can You Write off a Cattle Feeder on Your Taxes?
As a farmer, you work hard to make a living — and you’re always watching your bottom line. When you choose an investment, you do your research because you need that investment to pay you back.
That’s the reason Farmco cattle feeders are a good match for farmers — our feeders hold their value and they’re designed to save you money.
In fact, Farmco Cattle Feeders help you save money on your farm in more ways than one. First and foremost, Farmco feeders and livestock feeding equipment reduce the amount of feed your cattle waste, reducing how much you have to pay to feed them. That’s savings you’ll appreciate year after year. Furthermore, Farmco feeders make ground feeding of hay a thing of the past, which drastically reduces wasted hay. From creep feeding calves to finishing stock cattle, our feeder can help you get the job done.
Finally, if you purchase your Farmco feeder this year, chances are you can count it as a deduction on your Federal Income Taxes. This is just another way Farmco helps farmers save and another reason why December is a popular time to buy farm equipment.
Equipment Exemptions on Your Federal Farm Income Taxes
Chances are you have a very clear idea as to what the past year’s profits from your farm look like — and what you owe in taxes as a result. Purchasing equipment during the current tax cycles is a great way to cut down on what you’ll owe for the profit you made. If that equipment just so happens to save you money for the next few decades, you win twice.
Here are a few basic requirements you need to know in order to write off your cattle feeder on your federal income taxes.
1. Maximum Deduction
The maximum deduction possible for business owners or farmers under Section 179 is $510,000 (as of 2017) — your Farmco feeder or feeders (along with your other equipment purchases) likely won’t come close to that amount.
2. Farm Classification
In addition, you need to guarantee that your operation qualifies as a farm in the eyes of the IRS. In their official documentation, the IRS defines this as: “You are in the business of farming if you cultivate, operate, or manage a farm for profit, either as owner or tenant. A farm includes livestock, dairy, poultry, fish, fruit, and truck farms. It also includes plantations, ranches, ranges, and orchards and groves.”These definitions are fairly generous. A vast majority of agricultural occupations are recognized. As a livestock or dairy farmer, you can be certain that you are covered.
3. Hobby vs. Business
The final thing you will need to consider is whether your operation is viewed as a “trade or business” or as a “hobby.” Essentially, the IRS defines a “trade or business” as a venture performed to make a living — whereas a hobby is seen as a secondary occupation that is done for entertainment. If you are a hobby farmer, however, you likely don’t have sufficient farming profits on which to pay taxes, to begin with.
Chances are you likely know how your farm should be classified. If you aren’t certain, a tax specialist with a focus in agricultural tax law can help you understand your unique situation.
Learn More about Farmco Feeders
If you’re interested in learning more about whether a Farmco cattle feeder is right for your farm, don’t hesitate to contact us. Farmco products are sold by a large network of agricultural equipment dealer and are shipped nationwide. We’d love to help you find the perfect feeders or equipment for your farm!
note: all tax information is presented as a general resource — not as professional advice. Consult with a tax professional for guidance specific to your farm or financial situation.