Farm Financial Analysis - The Ready, Set, Go Program

Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics, The Ohio State University Extension; and Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Was 2014 a profitable year for your farm? Which enterprises were profitable?  Which were not?  How does your farm compare to similar farms in efficiency?  In profitability?  What does the competition look like?   Volatility in feed, grain, milk, land, and rental markets have created uncertain profit margins and financial security concerns.

Completing a farm financial analysis is an effective way for farms to know their costs of production, profitability, and financial ratios. Farms can track year-to-year changes, identify problems early, and benchmark against peer farms, as well as control information critical to effective participation in risk management programs.

The Ohio Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program can help farms answer questions by completing a financial analysis of the whole farm and each enterprise.  An analysis will provide a farm with:

Year’s Beginning Balance Sheet
Income and Cash Flow Statements
Year’s Ending Balance Sheet
Financial Standards Measures
Enterprise Analysis including:
- Cost of Production
- Personalized Benchmarking Reports

This year, there are two options for farms to participate in the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program.  Farms that have good financial and production records can do the analysis of 2014 now.  Contact us to get started right away.  Forms can be downloaded at  All farm analyses will be completed by the end of May 30th.  Individual farms will receive their farm’s analysis as soon as it is completed.  State summary and benchmarking results will be available this summer.

Can’t go back and find the information needed to analyze 2014?  Through the Ready, Set, Go program, you will learn what financial and production information to keep and how to collect it in real time.   By the end of 2015, you will have everything needed to analyze how your farm business performed and will learn how to use your analysis to manage your farm and your farm’s risk.

Choose from classes, on-line webinars, or videos, along with personal assistance, to guide you through the year from start to finish with a Farm Business Analysis.   Cost for the program is $100 per farm, which will include up to 3 on-farm consultations.

For more information, contact Dianne Shoemaker at or Christina Benton at (330) 533-5538.