After a year of record income in 2013, farmers face a different financial landscape in the year ahead. With crop prices down and costs stubbornly high, turning a profit may not be easy.
When times get tough, producers with strong management skills rise to the top. Sure, you know all about producing great yields, with the latest technology. But how do your business practices measure up? Do you have what it takes not only to survive, but to prosper in uncertain times?
The first step is to see where you stand and assess the key management practices your farm has adopted, and those that is hasn't. Benchmarking your standing with other farms across the country also can help spotlight where your operation needs improvement.
We've placed two highly regarded tools online, where you can quickly track your progress and then compare it to others we've surveyed.
The Farm Management Proficiency Test was developed by Dick Wittman, a farmer, consultant and Farm Futures contributing editor. Thousands of farmers have assessed their skills with the test, which is used regularly at The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers at Texas A&M. It includes sections on Management Systems & Personnel Administration, Financial Management, and Marketing & Risk Management.
Use this link to access the Farm Management Proficiency Test. We gave the test to farmers last summer. Check out the results here: Farm Management Proficiency Test Results.
Purdue University developed a Farm Management Skills Assessment Tool to help producers spotlight their strengths and weakness. It includes sections on Production Management, Procurement & Selling, Financial Management, Personnel Management, Strategic Vision, Relationship Management & Leadership, Risk Management and Financial Performance.
Use this link to assess the Farm Management Skills Assessment Tool. We gave this tool to farmers in 2007. Use this line to check the results: Farm Management Skills Assessment Tool Results.