How do you measure a farm’s success? – RealAgriculture


Is a worthwhile farm probably the most profitable farm? Or is it the most important land base, the one with the most recent tools? Or is it the one whose operator takes a trip yearly or has the bottom debt?

Earlier this week, we talked to Dr. Greg Ibendahl, of Kansas State College, and we talked about whether or not a much bigger farm results in greater earnings. I believe one of many questions from that’s ‘how do you truly measure profitability?’ I bought a tweet from John, who says “I’d like to listen to extra about farm profitability going ahead. Making extra of something doesn’t assure a revenue,” and the analysis out of KSU would assist that notion.

I actually began to consider John’s assertion, and I re-listened to the interview with Dr. Ibendahl, and I believe one of many questions from me to you is: how do you measure profitability in your farm? Numerous the time we’re cynical and say ‘I hope simply to make a revenue’, however I believe a few of you might be doing higher than that. Is it a greenback quantity? Are you attempting to internet X quantity? Is it based mostly on a return on funding? Is it return on property? Do you even take into consideration these issues, or are we simply attempting to do our greatest, and what comes out the top of the funnel is what it’s? That’s very doable as properly. We attempt to handle our price, we attempt to maximize our income, whether or not it’s rising nice livestock or producing nice crops, or attempting to do the most effective we will on the advertising and marketing finish, and what shakes out shakes out.

A few of you’ll in all probability say that we’re doing okay — however what will we truly do with that revenue? Will we simply reinvest in additional land? We attempt to make sufficient cash so we will get that further quarter, we’re working our method to enhance the dimensions of the farm, as a result of we all know we’ve bought three children, they usually all wish to farm, so we in all probability are going to have to separate it up in the future and it must be large enough to allow them to all succeed going ahead; I believe that’s a quite common situation.

I discovered myself asking ‘is development at all times good? Have we been misled?’ A number of the analysis popping out of Kansas State is saying perhaps we have now. Typically we’re capped by what our assets are when it comes to farm measurement, as properly. You hear it throughout our Farmer Fast Fireplace that we do right here on a weekly foundation, that there are quite a lot of range within the measurement of the farms. Some farms have twenty workers, and a few farms are a one-man band the place you do every little thing. All of these fashions are okay, they will work, and I believe that’s what’s actually cool about our business; there’s range within the measurement, and there’s alternative to make earnings it doesn’t matter what the dimensions is. There are some individuals who consider that it’s a must to frequently try to be a bigger farm, to attain some kind of economic system of scale. (column continues under tweet)

We’ve seen some farms through the years transfer out of range the place they’d livestock and a grain farm, and transfer extra towards specialization. I ponder if we’re beginning to see extra of a development going again to the place we have now livestock and cropping in the identical operation. I ponder if we’re getting extra of a really feel towards the advantages of a few of that. 2003 with BSE actually modified quite a lot of the panorama with folks having cow-calf pairs blended into their operation. My grandfather farmed in Sundial, Alta., and cows had been his winter exercise; it added some money circulate and he made it work — however it was a unique time than in the present day.

So we have now range versus specialization on this equation, as properly. A lot about this business is predicated on visible success. How will we consider success? How do we all know who’s doing it proper (and by ‘proper’ I imply ‘getting cash’), and who’s doing it improper? Typically we make wild assumptions that somebody is a progressive grower as a result of they’ve all flashy, model new tools. Properly we all know, regardless of the place you might be in Canada, that making these sorts of assumptions can fall flat on their face. There are quite a lot of very extremely worthwhile farms in Canada on a yearly foundation that aren’t working new gear. We all know that, and we see that in our personal group.

However how will we choose success? And is success simply equal to profitability? We’re in enterprise, so it’s positively a vital part of that, however I discover all of it a really fascinating dialogue. What clouds over all this, too, is whether or not your farm is a enterprise or a way of life. Relying on the place you might be on that curve, it’s not only one or the opposite, however we’re all someplace on that pendulum in our household operations, and that’s going to impression the way you view profitability and success on the finish of the day. I discover it very fascinating, as a result of everybody’s coming from a unique viewpoint, and the lens via which you view the subject goes to impression the way you reply.