Increasing Farm Profitability Through Whole Farm Record-Keeping and Analysis

Project Overview

LS18-295
Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2018: $43,000.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Elizabeth Young
Southern SAWG

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, business planning, labor/employment, marketing management, risk management

    Abstract:

    The purpose of this project is to provide at least 190 more small-and mid-scale diversified producers with tools and management training that will help them improve their record-keeping systems and business analysis skills so they can make better, more data-informed business decisions that improve their profitability.

    We will deliver training to farmers and farm service providers through an 11-hour Growing Farm Profits course at the 2019 Southern SAWG Conference. Producers will be educated on how to track expenses, make better business decisions based on records, appropriately price products, and calculate profitability. During the course we will also equip ag professionals with knowledge, techniques and tools that will make them better equipped to conduct their own trainings or to incorporate new techniques and tools into their on-going outreach and assistance.

    By the end of the project, we expect that 90 percent of the producer participants will begin to implement a record-keeping and cost analysis system, or improve their existing record-keeping systems, leading to better decisions that increase farm profits.

    This project was developed as a direct response to farmers who have asked for more information on record-keeping, business analysis, and profitability, and farm service providers who requested this training. It builds on past Growing Farm Profit courses, but introduces three important improvements: management tools for livestock producers as well as horticultural crop producers; the combined training of farmers with service providers supported by an online learning group; and facilitation of one-on-one assistance for 13 producers for a year after the course.

    Project objectives:

    1. At least 40 producers will gain the knowledge and tools to track and analyze the economic impacts of their production and marketing decisions so that they can improve future decision-making toward increasing overall farm profits.
    2. At least 90 percent of producer participants will begin to implement a record-keeping and cost analysis system, or improve their existing record-keeping and analysis, leading to better decisions that increase overall farm profits.
    3. At least 30 agricultural professionals who assist commercial producers will improve their functional understanding of tools that producers can use to track farm financial data, analyze the data, and make business decisions that lead to increased farm profitability.
    4. At least 25 of these agricultural professionals will incorporate more effective record-keeping and business decision-making tools into their farmer assistance programs by the end of this project.
    5. Another 150 producers will receive assistance from agricultural professionals or producers who participate in this project on systems for tracking and analyzing the economic impacts of their production and marketing decisions so that they can improve future decision-making toward increasing overall farm profits.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.