; Financial Benchmarks for Diversified, Direct Market Farms | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Financial Benchmarks for Diversified, Direct Market Farms

Michael Sciabarrasi


Benchmarks provide key measures of a farm’s performance over time and an opportunity for comparison with industry standards/expectations. The reason behind collecting benchmark data hinges on the fundamental concept that measurements will serve as guides for future business decisions.

Benchmark standards and trends are available for most, major agricultural commodity producers in the US. Whereas, benchmarks for highly diversified farms selling products in multiple, direct and intermediary markets are, for the most part, nonexistent.

Since 2018, six states in the upper Northeast have lead an effort to better define financial performance measures for two distinct high-value agricultural sectors; namely, direct market produce operations and maple syrup producers. The Center for Farm Financial Management’s analysis program, FINAN, has served as the principal tool for collecting participating direct market farm data and providing initial reviews of business financial performance.

This presentation will share the results of our work with diversified, direct market produce farms through 2020. We’ll focus on the financial benchmark measures, project impacts to date, and challenges we found common across the farmers with whom we worked. Participants who attend this session and work with farmers on record keeping and farm financial topics will be able to apply lessons learned and financial measures in their efforts.