Partial Budgets: Comparing Potential Profit Scenarios

As a grower, how do you decide whether or not to adopt a new cultural practice, new crop or variety, pest treatment, or equipment change? Do you do the math, or go with your gut?

Having a “feel” for what course of action to take is important, but in these uncertain financial times it makes sense to use a technique called Partial Budgeting. This tool allows you to compare marginal costs and marginal benefits of small, specific changes – without having to financially analyze the entire farm. The simplicity of partial budgeting facilitates decision making by estimating profitability of a given change. [Read more…]

Leasing Farmland in New Jersey

Leasing Farmland in NJTo help address economic barriers to accessing land for farming in NJ, The State Ag Development Committee is holding three June information meetings on NJ farmland leasing to hear your feedback.

NJ has among the highest average cropland prices per acre in the nation–$13,000 and up–way up–and more than half of all NJ farmland is owned by non-farming investors. In fact, about 80% of the value of an acre of NJ cropland is ‘speculative,’ and only 20% is agricultural value, even when purchased and operated by existing commercial farms. We know this speculative value is true because pasture land values in NJ are the same as tillable land, while in other regions pasture land values are 1/3 to 1/2 the price of cash cropland.
[Read more…]

Finance Guide for Community Supported Farming

Guide to Financing the Community Supported FarmThe University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Ag, with support from USDA Northeast SARE released a new publication, Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm.

While some finance advice is specific to Vermont law, there is good coverage of alternative finance tactics for small farm enterprises, as well as federal business finance laws.

This 62 page guide touches on legal, accounting, financial agreements, investors, equity shareholders, and contracts. It can be downloaded for free by chapter or the complete guide. [Read more…]

Sustainable Ag Marketing: Four Resources on Engaging Food Bloggers

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Engaging food bloggers to write about your products, services, farm and market, has become a cost effective and efficient marketing tool to create an online presence without having to become a blogger, or web master, yourself.

produce businessThink about those anonymous restaurant reviews in your local newspaper. How much more influential are they than even a paid ad talking about your operation. The only difference is that a blog’s readership likely reaches well beyond your locale, and with a very targeted and interested (i.e. engaged) audience, it can be very effective in influencing consumers, lots and lots of consumers. [Read more…]

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