11 articles tagged "Ag Economics - General".

Financial tools can help farmers improve farm’s performance and assure profitability. Enterprise budgets, financial statements, and sensitivity analyses are examples of financial tools that assist farmers on their decision-making. Enterprise budgets are a reliable tool that help keep track of revenues and expenditures associated with a specific crop. Farmers using these budgets can estimate the net profits per area of production, and assess if this profit is enough money to achieve their profitability goals. Budget information can also help farmers determine the minimum quantity of produce they need to sell (breakeven yield analysis) and the minimum price (breakeven price analysis) they should charge to cover all costs. Overall, enterprise budgets can help farmers to provide a realistic projection of the income, expenses and profits of a new crop or enterprise. Building the HortBusiness Calculator for Cantaloupes Our team, at the Horticulture Business Extension program at Purdue University, is developing the[Read More…]


Figure 1. Odd pricing used by farmers selling at the Lafayette (Indiana) Farmers Market.

This publication is the second part of a series of publications that aim to help farmers selling at farmers markets and other local markets. Below we offer information on price determination and pricing strategies for farmers markets. The importance of understanding pricing information Pricing is probably the single most important driver of farm profitability and long-term sustainability; yet it tends be one of the least controlled factors by farmers. The price that you tend to set for their produce represents the monetary value of a product. In economic terms, price reflects how much the consumer values your produce, which depends on internal (produce quality, the farm’s image, production yield, credit terms) and external (competitors, consumers’ preferences, seasonality) factors. A study by Darby et al. (2008) found that consumers prefer locally grown over regional or U.S. grown, and are willing to pay almost twice as much for local products. For example,[Read More…]


Farmers markets continue to grow in number and locations. According to the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), there are currently 8,702 farmers markets in the United States, an increase of almost 400 percent since 1994 (USDA-AMS, 2017). The USDA-AMS directory of farmers markets reported 191 farmers markets in Indiana by August 2017: 129 summer and 62 winter markets. Indiana farmers markets vastly differ in size: markets may occupy a few stalls to several city blocks. For example, the Broad Ripple Farmers Market is an 80-vendor market in Indianapolis and is considered one of the biggest farmers market in Indiana. Depending on the location, summer market season is anytime between mid-March until mid-November, while the winter season tends to be between November and March. Winter and summer markets offer vastly different produce choices. Winter markets usually offer less produce and the majority of the sales are spinach, kale,[Read More…]


The latest Census of Agriculture reported that 244,974 U.S. farmers utilized more than 14 million acres to grow specialty crops in 2012. In Indiana 2,935 farmers grew specialty crops on 63,252 acres. Indiana’s specialty crop industry includes operations that grow fruit and vegetable, tree nut, dried fruit, horticulture, floriculture, and nursery crops. Specialty crops include a long list of agricultural products that are sold through a wide variety of market channels. A pair of Purdue Extension publications show the results of a survey of Indiana specialty crops farmers. The survey found that most specialty crops farmers sell their fruit and vegetables through farmers markets or other local outlets, tend to be smaller, and grow 20 crops on average. Details are available in Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Surveys: Characteristics of Indiana Vegetable Farming Operations (Purdue Extension publication HO-270-W) and Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Surveys: Characteristics of Indiana Vegetable Farmers (HO-271-W). Both[Read More…]


Figure 1. The relationship between costs, prices, and profit margin

Fall is already here and winter is closer than expected. As business starts to slow take the opportunity to reflect on what was great, good, or not-so-good during this growing season. This time of year also brings the opportunity to start planning next year’s strategies. Pricing strategy is one of the key strategies influencing your earnings. This article provides you the top 5 issues you should consider before setting prices for your products. 1. Define your price floor. The price floor is the minimum price you can afford to receive from customers and still cover the total costs involved in bringing your products to life. A tomato farm that sells tomatoes by pounds can calculate the price floor, or total costs per pound of tomato, by adding all costs and dividing them by the total pounds produced. Costs can be further categorized as variable costs if they vary with the level[Read More…]


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How many times have you had to explain to a customer how to select, prepare or store a product that you have grown and are offering for sale? Did you ever wonder if more shoppers might buy your product if they had a clear understanding of how to prepare it? How many of us would buy a kohlrabi if we never learned how to prepare one in a manner that our family would enjoy? Many of today’s shoppers are making purchasing decisions based on convenience and a lack of knowledge about how to select and prepare traditional fresh produce. If we expect this generation of shoppers to buy what we are growing we need either a lot of time and patience to help them one at a time as we encounter their questions in the marketplace and/or we need tools so the shopper can educate themselves at the point of[Read More…]


​The Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s (ISDA) Indiana Grown Program is an all-inclusive collaborative initiative to promote Indiana produced agricultural products to Indiana residents, restaurants, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, wholesalers, processors and other retail businesses. In addition, through the Indiana Grown program, the ISDA is establishing a marketing strategy to promote Indiana agriculture nationally as well as internationally. The Indiana Grown program is seeking Indiana producers to attend the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit Conference located in Atlanta, Georgia from October 22-25. The PMA Fresh Summit conference is a great opportunity for producers to market their product to potential buyers. The Summit is where produce and floral industry leaders from around the world converge to share ideas, breakthroughs and inspiration. No other single conference in the produce industry helps one create global connections, cultivate industry talent, find practical solutions to complex science and technology issues. PMA’s connections reach across the[Read More…]


Red: primary. Gold: continguous. Source: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/Disaster-Assist/Disaster/ALL_CROP_CY2015.pdf

​ On August 12, 2015, USDA designated 88 counties in Indiana as natural disaster areas due to heavy rainfall since May. The four counties not designated disaster areas are LaGrange, Perry, Spencer and Steuben. Farm operators in the ‘disaster’ counties are eligible for low interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, provided they meet certain qualifications and eligibility requirements. Farmers have eight months, or until April 12, 2016, to apply for the loans. Contact your local USDA Service Center  for more information about loans and to learn about additional programs available to help recover from disaster, or visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. ​ Source: USDA Office of Communications http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAOC/bulletins/11421cf​​


​​Code Red Webinar. Thursday, August 27, 2015. 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. EDT. The Code Red tool developed by the Purdue Women in Agriculture Team is a must have for every family, business, and farm operation. The tool includes important information such as passwords, bank account information, rental agreements, insurance papers, power of attorney documents, and much more, in one easy location. After completing the Code Red plan, it will become the “go to” tool if something happens to a key member of the management team. We hope this tool will help farm families turn a code red situation into a code green so the business can continue to operate on a daily basis. To participate, register at https://goo.gl/f3gLFM. You will then receive a confirmation email with the link to participate in the webinar August 27. You will also receive a reminder 24 hours before the webinar begins. Illinois Pumpkin Day.[Read More…]


​The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) at USDA publishes information about prices, supplies, movement, and quality of vegetables every business day. On Thursday, July 16, 2015, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, AMS will offer a webinar about the Fruit & Vegetable Market News, what information on organic crops is available, and how to use the Market News Portal. There is no cost, but participants should register in advance at http://bit.ly/FVWebinarMN071615. The market news reports have a wealth of information; I would encourage any grower not already aware of what is available to take a look at the Market News Portal https://www.marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/fv-home even if it is not possible to attend the webinar.


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