Improve Farm Net Returns

Improve Net Returns From the Farm for Your Family

It’s a simplified answer to say Income Minus Expense = Net return. Making this work on an operating farm is not simple.

Finding answers to this question does include looking at the factors that affect income and expenses and how things are working for family members and employees around the farm.

Income & Expenses

For income, this would include looking at production practices that affect the quality (affecting price) and quantity of livestock products and crops sold. It can also include learning about marketing strategies for crop and livestock.

Expenses include all of the inputs and services including debt service and interest that are used for livestock and crop production. The goal is to spend a dollar where it produces more than a dollar in return and to use the net income for family living and to make improvements that can reduce make work and life better based on personal and family priorities.

Some common questions might be:

  1. Am I spending money on the right fertilizer nutrients and the right amount of nutrients for realistic yield goals with my land?
  2. Am I spending money on the right feed ingredients and the right amount of feed ingredients for my livestock?
  3. Am I spending money and doing the work effectively for controlling weeds, insects, diseases for crop production enterprises?
  4. Am I spending money and time on livestock care in ways that promotes animal health that allows livestock to be healthy and productive?
  5. Am I managing debt and overhead expenses effectively?
  6. Am I maintaining relationships with family and hired labor that help to keep us working toward common priorities and making the best of our talents and interests and life together?

We have a variety of research based information that can help you find answers to some of these questions. We can help you connect with projects and programs that give you a chance to learn more and to see whether you can make use of some of this information for you farm and family.

Additional Information

For more information in Benton Stearns and Morrison Counties, contact:

  • Extension Educator Dan Martens (Crop Production Emphasis) at 968-6450 if a local call to Foley or 800-964-4929
  • Extension Educator Eric Sonnek (Livestock Production Emphasis) at 255-6169 if a local call to St. Cloud or 800-450-6171.
  • You can also access a wide variety of information through the University of Minnesota website