How well do you know your farm?

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

Sure, you could probably drive your fields blindfolded and you could, without a doubt, name the cow that will always come in the parlor last. But what about your farm as a business?

If this question made you stop and think, then it’s time to become more familiar with your cost of production and other financial measures that make the rest of your farming operation possible.

The Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program is focused on working with farmers across Ohio to better understand the numbers behind their farm business in order to make more informed production, marketing and financial management decisions that will impact the farm’s overall profitability.

Farm business analysis is a tool that can be applied to any farm, regardless of size, crop, or livestock enterprise. Financial management is critical to the success of every farm business, and with analysis, farms are able to better understand the numbers behind their profits or losses.

To complete a farm’s analysis, we start with beginning and ending balance sheets from the most recent business year. To fill in the year between the balance sheets, we provide input forms that cover all income, expenses, capital purchases, sales, and enterprise information.

Farmers complete a whole farm analysis and may choose to do enterprise analysis. They receive their farm’s analysis and enterprise summaries that include their costs of production per acre, per unit (bu, ton, cwt, head) as well as machinery costs per acre.

At the conclusion of each year’s analysis, farmers receive Ohio summary data, along with personalized benchmark reports that help them quickly identify areas of strength and concern.

All farm data is treated and handled with the utmost care to preserve confidentiality. Farms that complete analysis also contribute to the database of Ohio farm financial and production data. Ohio farm data is used for teaching, research, extension education and policy decision making.

To better serve Ohio’s farmers, the Farm Business Analysis Program has three Farm Business Analysis Technicians serving central and western Ohio. These technicians work out of the County Extension Offices in Mahoning, Miami and Pickaway counties, and will also work with farms in surrounding counties. We encourage you to contact the technician nearest your farm to get started on Farm Business Analysis:

• Mahoning County 330-533-5538 Christina Benton

• Miami County 937-440-3945 David Jenner

• Pickaway County 740-474-7534 TrishLevering

Thanks to the USDA-NIFA Farm Business Analysis grant, the cost for a farm to complete an analysis for the 2019 business year is $100.

To learn more about farm business analysis, contact Dianne Shoemaker or Haley Shoemaker at 330-533-5538 or email at or

Check this out

A great event that you need to get on your calendar now is the annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3-4 at the McIntosh Center, Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

This annual event is absolutely loaded with presentations focusing such topics as Crop Management and Precision Technology, Nutrient Management, Cover Crops and Soil Health, Water Quality and new this year discussions and presentations concerning Hemp and Forage Cover Crops.

You can view the full program and registration details at

A couple other highlights will be the featured speaker, Lee Briese, award winning Crop Consultant from North Dakota, speaking on Herbicide/Cover Crop interactions.

In addition, Sjoerd Duiker will be featured as well to focus on discussion about Dealing with Poor Soil Structure and Soil Compaction.

The conference features 65 presenters as well as servicing CCA needs with 12 hours of Nutrient Management, 12 hours of Soil & Water and 12 hours of Crop Management.

If you have never attended this event before I encourage you to do so. It is a great event packed full of information, lots of producer discussions and information to help you better manage your farming operations.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

Tony Nye

OSU Extension