Farm Finances

Fearless Farm Finances Book  |  Fearless Farm Finances Online Course
Funds for Farmers  |  FSA Support
Financial Management Resources   |  Farm Finance Blog
Crop Insurance  |  Webinars


Business & Marketing Fact Sheets:

1. Estate Planning
2. Marketing Organic Grains
3. Whole Farm Revenue Protection


From the Organic Broadcaster:

Grants-advising program can help farmers accomplish business goals
January | February 2020

Farmers need a broad skill set. From animal caretaker to agronomist, marketer to veterinarian, we wear our fair share of hats. One role that rarely comes to mind for most, though, is grant writer. Read more.


Depreciation changes in federal tax reform package impact farmers
March | April 2018

Since the passage of the Tax Reform in late December, many people are still trying to understand the modifications and determine how this reform will affect them. How did the modifications impact farmers? Here are a few highlights of what changed and some simple examples of how it might affect you.  Read more.


Reduce stress by sorting out your farm’s cash flow
July | August 2017
If handling your farm’s cash flow by the seat of your pants is stressing you out, cash flow planning and analysis will help to ease your anxiety. Read more.


For best support with farm finances, build relationship with a lender
November | December 2016

If you are farming, odds are good that a day will come when you need to approach a lender about getting a loan. Regardless of your needs, there are a few things to consider when starting and building a lending relationship. Read more.


Create enterprise budget to see what’s providing profits to your farm
September | October 2016

As you’re working, do you wonder if what you are harvesting or collecting makes a profit? The best way to determine profitability of a specific crop or livestock operation is to develop an enterprise budget. Read more.


Midsummer financial checkup keeps your farm on track
July | August 2016

The last thing most farmers want to do in the height of the growing season is to think about their finances. However, there are a few items of general maintenance that you can do this time of year to keep your farm operating at peak financial performance. Read more.


close up old tractorInvestment calculations can help you decide if it makes financial sense to buy machinery
May | June 2016

For many farmers, one of the largest asset categories on a farm’s balance sheet is “Machinery and Equipment.” It’s usually second only to real estate in terms of dollars invested. Read more.


USDA offers bold, new crop insurance where none has gone before
January | February 2016

Crop insurance is an important tool to help farmers and ranchers manage economic and production-based risks. It provides a safety net that offers stability and protects the long-term investment…. Read more.


Do a cost assessment to decide if market is right for you
November | December 2015

Cost of production is important in setting prices, which should differ with various markets. A price in each market should be based on the cost of production added to the cost to market, plus a margin of profit. Read more.


Tax planning helps farmers maximize farm earnings
September | October 2015

Though income tax planning has been around as long as there has been a tax upon income, far too few farmers take advantage of the process. What exactly is tax planning and why is it important? Read more.


Hail insurance provides protection, peace of mind
July | August 2015

In a season marked by unusual weather, crop hail insurance protects farmers’ investment and offers peace of mind.  Read more.


Manage seasonal cash shortages with farm operating loan
May | June 2015

Most farm operations encounter months in which the money coming in from sales of milk, livestock, produce or other products is not quite enough to cover all of the bills. Read more.


Setting up payroll for farm employees offers more protection than using volunteers, interns
March | April 2015

A challenging day in many farmers’ professional lives is the day they have to hire their first employee. The thought of having to figure out payroll taxes….  Read more.


taxforms_43_1Value of good recordkeeping shows at tax time
January | February 2015

As a farmer, you are faced with a greater number of uncertainties than most business owners.  While you have the everyday challenges related to employee management, time utilization, equipment malfunctions….  Read more.


EQIP pastureNew commodity programs help farmers manage risk
November | December 2014

The most recently passed farm bill has put in place a variety of options to the Direct Counter Cyclical Payment program and the ACRE program. The Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs are offered….  Read more.


Branding helps customers connect with your farm
By Karla Pankow

Let’s be honest—even with all the challenges of farming, few of us are likely to yearn for a cubicle somewhere…. Read more.


Taming the paperwork cyclone: Good data in means good data out
By Jody Padgham

I’ve got a neighbor whose truck scares me. The bookkeeper in me cringes as I see receipts flying around the cab, grubby on the floor, or wedged behind the visor. Read more.


How to calculate the real cost of owning equipment
By Jody Padgham

There are some simple equations you can run to tease out the financial implications of any purchase. Read more.


hay 2 11Ten Tune-Up Tips for Your Farm Business
By Paul Dietmann

While the work on a farm never ends, most farmers have a stretch of “not-quite-so-busy” time between fall harvest and spring planting when things ease up a bit. Read more.


212RootedSpoonBuyers and Producers: From Both Sides of the Fence
By Dani Lind

“There’s no relationship more intimate than the one between eaters and the food they eat.” Read more.


Barn and sunsetIs it Time to Reevaluate your Business Structure? 
By Rachel Armstrong

Chances are, your farm is organized as a sole proprietorship, just like 94% of all farms surveyed in 2007. Read more.


New Farmers Find Loan Support From ‘Old’ Source
By Lisa Kivirist

While beginning farmers make up the heart of the growth in organic and sustainable agriculture, a big hurdle to launching these operations remains lack of capital. Read more.



  • 6 Ways to Diversify Your CSA Income
    Lisa Kivirist writes in about the meaning of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and how farms can expand their selections beyond vegetables. Benefits include not only an increase in income, but also a wider variety to interest more shareholders and strengthen relationships with current members.
  • Agricultural Marketing Research Center: Marketing information including marketing plans, and understanding target markets.


Helpful Organizations

Farm Commons
Farm Commons provides the proactive legal services sustainable farmers need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community-based food system. They provide business legal services to farmers, create useful legal education resources, and educate attorneys on issues relating to community-based farmers around the country. Learn more about farm law, get an events schedule, view guides on common farm legal issues, or request guidance on your farm’s specific transactional legal issue on their website.

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF)
The FTCLDF protects the rights of the nation’s family farms, artisan food producers, consumers and affiliate communities to engage in direct commerce free of harassment by federal, state and local government interference; it protects the rights of farmers and artisanal producers to make their products available and the rights of consumers to access the foods of their choice from the source of their choice. Learn more on their website.

Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM)
OFARM is an association of organic farmer cooperatives coordinating producer marketing groups for organic producers. They are committed to the promotion of fair, equitable, and profitable farm gate prices for all segments of organic production. Learn more on their website.

The information on this page is supported by NIFA, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2015-70017-24092).

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