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  • Restructuring the Family Farm Business? See a Tax Lawyer Soon

    Planning the best tax structure deal for a farming business is not something to be rushed into at the end of the financial year. If your family business is looking to reduce or eliminate tax or stamp duty implications ahead of a looming restructure, farm succession manoeuvre, or sale, the chances are everybody involved needs to be much more familiar with the way their enterprise operates. more »
  • What Can Your Farming Neighbor Teach You About Your Alpaca Farm?

    I live in rural south-central PA, previously one of the top counties in the state for agriculture and most specifically for dairy farms and fruit orchards. Forty years ago, everyone in the dairy business followed the same business plan. Most milked a herd of 150-300 head per day, grew their hay and crops and sold their milk directly to a general buyer. There was a local farm veterinarian that would make calls for milk fever and calvings. Most farmers used the same reliable bull or contracted with a neighbor to use their animal. AI and Frozen Embryos were not part of our everyday vocabulary. more »
  • Alpacas and Ecosystems Management

    Alpacas are a species that present physiological, anatomical, morphological and behavioural distinctive characteristics compared to other species used in animal production. Empirical observation of a herd, grazing under time management controlled conditions, allowed to approximate some initial observations about the effect of alpacas in the management of ecosystems. Larger green matter availability in the paddocks grazed by alpacas, evident natural weed control, better plants distribution and increasing stocking capacity were the relevant observed issues. It is considered that the special behavioural characteristics of alpacas in terms of excretion habits, low hoof pressure, food conversion efficiency and grazing habits should be factors to be rigourously studied to explore the value of alpacas as an environmentally friendly species. more »
  • Pseudolivestock, Bogus Farm Animal

    We started in the alpaca business in 2005, just as the prices were beginning to surge and the excitement was building at the auctions. Alpacas sold like candy and we would feel sorry for the poor sole [sic] that sold their lot for a measly $12,000. We “drank the kool-aid” as did many and threw the same pitch to potential clients…”yes, we’re in it for the fiber, but first, we need more animals to create our US fiber herd, and that’s why we don’t cull any animals.” And then we learned of fiber stashes in basements and garages or worse yet, fiber being buried or thrown in the garbage…oh, and that merchants were not going to knock on our door to buy our fiber. more »
  • Value-Added/Agritourism and Taxes Tipsheet

    How does starting an agritourism or value-added venture affect my taxes—how does this get accounted for on the Schedule F? more »
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