Minnesota Farm Income Hits Historic Low

After adjusting for inflation, Minnesota farms earned the lowest median farm income in the past 23 years of data tracked by University of Minnesota Extension and Agricultural Centers of Excellence within Minnesota State.  

In 2018, the reported median net income was $26,055, down 8 percent from the previous year. Farmers in the lowest 20 percent reported losing nearly $72,000. The analysis examined data from 2,209 participants in farm business management programs, as well as 101 members of the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association.  This is a collaborative project with the FINPACK Team and the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM).

[Read more…]

Does the Implementation of Technology Improve Farm Profitability?

Agriculture and Technology

By:  C. Robert Holcomb and Joleen Hadrich

In 2017, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Farm Business Management Program, the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association (SWMFBMA), and the University of Minnesota Extension conducted a survey to identify management skills and tendencies of highly successful producers. 

This month, we will discuss how the use of technology in the farm operation affects profitability.  (Previous articles in the Top Farmer series can be accessed here and here.) Only 6% of all farms considered themselves innovators, adopting technology at its earliest availability.  Forty-five percent of the respondents consider themselves early adopters, making investments in new technology once proven by a small number of success stories.  This group does not consider themselves innovators though. 

[Read more…]

Farm Incomes Take Another Dip in 2017

Farm Income Takes a Dip in 2017

Minnesota farmers experienced their fifth consecutive year of low profitability in 2017. The median farm earned $28,551, down slightly from just over $36,000 in 2016.  Declines in farm income were largely driven by low profits and losses for cash crop farms, while livestock farms, in general, had a better year.  With average investment of over $2 million, farms earned a 2.2% return on investment. Across all farm types, almost one-third of farms lost net worth in 2017.

Those are among key findings in the annual farm income analysis conducted by University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State in collaboration with the FINPACK Team and the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM). The analysis used data from 2,164 participants in the Minnesota State Farm Business Management programs and 104 members of the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association. Participating producers represent approximately 10 percent of commercial farmers in Minnesota.  CFFM’s work with projects like this provide the benchmarking metrics used in FINPACK.  The full FINBIN report on MN Farm Finances can be accessed here[Read more…]