Farm Financial Scorecard

This worksheet is an easy way to see how your farm stacks up financially and monitor performance changes from year to year. It allows you to compare various aspects of financial performance to accepted industry benchmarks, and tells you how to find the numbers you need from your records and some economic definitions and concepts.

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production.

Evaluating Performance and Providing Feedback to Employees


“How am I doing?” Nearly all employees want an answer to this question.

Who in your business now knows how they are doing? Employers/supervisors in small businesses too often answer in one or more of the following ways:

  1. No one.
  2. Some do, some don’t.
  3. They can all figure it out.
  4. The ones who most need to improve.
  5. No one – I don’t want them asking for more money.
  6. Everyone. I tell others, and the word gets back to them.

Building a Dairy Farm Team


Would anyone doubt that a successful dairy farm requires a team effort? Silly question? Not at all. Most dairy farms have groups of people or collections of individuals rather than teams. Success does not demand a team approach. A farm manager who prefers a team approach faces a tough test of patience, people skills, and communication.

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production

Team Basics

A dairy farm can have a …

The Role of Human Resource Management in Risk Management


Human resources have two roles in risk management. First, people are a source of risk, e.g., shortage of employees, people doing sloppy work, an employee refusing to take on additional responsibility, or a key employee leaving two months after completion of a one-year training program. Second, people are important in handling risk, e.g., people using their ingenuity to solve unexpected problems, employees going the extra mile for the good of the organization, a key employee redesigning her own job …

Bidding Strategies for the CWT Herd Buyout Program

Bidding Strategies for the CWT Herd Buyout Program

The CWT Herd Reduction (Buyout) Program is a new industry initiative intended to reduce milk production by 540 million pounds by taking whole herds out of production. A producer can only participate by submitting a bid and having that bid accepted by the program administrators, and there are regional limits to participation. Bids are stated on a per hundredweight basis relative to milk sales in a base history period. Our only previous …

The DuPont Analysis: Making Benchmarking Easier and More Meaningful

Conducting a farm financial performance or financial benchmarking analysis can be daunting to those unaccustomed to doing them. If we are lucky enough to have the minimum number of financial documents needed to conduct a meaningful financial analysis (both beginning and ending balance sheets, either an actual accrual or accrual adjusted income statement, and a statement of cash flows), we are then inundated with pages and pages of intimidating numbers to sort through.

This gives many managers and advisers a …

The Economics of Heifer Raising Options


As dairy farms grow and specialize in milking cows, one enterprise that may be removed from the dairy farm to allow for milk cow herd expansion is heifer raising. Custom heifer raising is increasingly common across the country and purchasing heifers may be preferred to raising heifers. However, these alternatives are not suitable for all dairy farmers. In this article, we examine heifer enterprise costs relative to using a custom raiser or purchasing heifers. We identify factors that should …

Suggested Chart of Accounts For Computer Accounting and What Should Be in Each Account

Items under account titles are suggested sub categories.




Ag Program Payments FSA Payments, Cost Sharing, Etc
Calf Sales Sale of Bull & Heifer Calves1
*In memo field include number of calves sold each transaction.1
Capital Sales Capital Assets Sold
Real Estate Gravel, Lumber, Land
Machinery Machinery & Equipment
Co-op Equity Equity redeemed for cash
Cull Cows Cull Cow Sales1
Purchased Animals Sold  
Home Grown Animals Sold  
*In memo field include

Partial Budgeting

Quick Facts

  • By employing budget principles, a manager can compare costs and returns of alternative plans for a farm or ranch.
  • A partial budget helps managers evaluate the economic effect of minor adjustments in some portion of the business.
  • A partial budget can evaluate changes in resource uses that are not fixed.
  • The success of the partial budget depends on its prediction accuracy, which depends on the accuracy of the information and estimates it contains.

In recent years, farm and …