Farming is a unique business, offering opportunity to work with nature, technology, the markets and people. Done well, it offers a fulfilling life and business career. However, the business of farming is becoming more challenging with greater variations in commodity prices, continual uncertainty with weather patterns and the challenges of declining terms of trade. At the same time, the demand for agricultural produce is significant and provides great opportunity to Australian agriculture.
The need for improved farm business management skills has been identified as a crucial element for Australian farmers to maintain business sustainability, while taking up the opportunity currently occurring in Australian agriculture.
This farm business management manual is a significant investment by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to assist farmers with their business skills. This is an exciting project as there is both a traditional manual and an eBook version of the manual, which will be available soon.
You have the traditional book in your hand which covers both the thinking behind farm business management and the ‘how to’ for putting the various budgeting tools together. The technology of the eBook has the same text but includes short videos of six experts and ten leading case study farmers from across Australia to share their experiences in farm business. You can read or watch this information on farm business management, and use the templates provided to apply these principles to your own farm business.
As farmers are at different stages of their business career, this manual has been broken down into three modules to cater for a wide variety of need. The aims of the modules are:
What do I need to know about business to manage my farm business successfully?
The first module provides an overview of the business of farming, covering the economic environment, people management and the basics of sound farm business management. The aim of this section is to provide an overview to highlight areas to improve your farm business management skills.
Where is my farm business now and where do I want it to be?
This module covers the ‘how to’ of sound farm business management. It goes through how to develop a business vision, the essential farm business budgets and financial and performance ratios. It provides detail on what financial reports should be generated so that you can have greater control of your farm business management and improve business sustainability.
How do I take my business to the next level?
This module covers more advanced topics to extend and refine your farm business management. Some of the topics are risk management, succession planning and what analytical tools you should use to answer those important ‘what-if’ questions for scenario analysis.
Hard copies of this manual are available from Ground Cover Direct:
Free phone: 1800 11 00 44
When ordering please quote Order No. GRDC873. The manual is free and there is a limited number of copies available. There is a postage and handling charge of $10.00.
The eBook version of this manual can be accessed via the Apple iTunes store. Click on the button below or visit iTunes and search for ‘Farming the Business’.
Please note the Farming the Business Manuals are very large and may take several hours to download from iTunes.
For more information on downloading and navigating the Farming the Business eBook manuals please refer to our instructional videos.
National, North, Overseas, South, West
Farming the Business Manual, Introduction
The Farm Business Manual is a significant investment by the GRDC to assist farmers with their business skills.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 1 Section 1 - The whole farm business system
Having an understanding of the whole system helps you to better manage your farm business.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 1 Section 2 - Leadership and people management
One of the most significant impacts you can have on your farm business is through improved people management skills.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 1 Section 3 - Farm business management
Having a clearer understanding of your farm business financial performance is a critical step toward improving business profits.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 2 Section 4 - Where is my farm business heading?
This section covers the different stages of the business planning cycle and as part of this process, the development of business vision and goals.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 2 Section 5 - How do I measure the financial performance of my farm business?
This section covers the essentials of farm business management and will help answer most business questions when it comes to viability, financial sustainability and efficiency.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 6 - How banks lend to farmers
Are you getting the best deal from your bank?
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 7 - Risk management
All farm businesses need to manage risks. Economists would say the profit that you make is the reward for managing the risks you take. The challenge is to balance the risks with the rewards.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 8 - Grain selling versus marketing
Farmers need a number of skills to achieve good prices, but are these skills in grain marketing or grain selling? Marketing involves a range of activities whereas selling refers to obtaining a price.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 9 - Possible business models and associated strategies
Are there alternate ways of operating farming businesses to better manage these pressures for improved sustainability into the future?
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 10 - Succession planning
There are ways that succession planning can be managed well to get the best outcome possible, but it takes effort, time and careful planning.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 11 - Analytical tools
This section discusses the various analytical tools available to assist with farm business decision making and provides a summary of each tool’s strengths and weaknesses.
Farming the Business Manual, Module 3 Section 12 - Advisory boards
Advisory boards bring accountability to farm business performance and structure to decision making, helping a business achieve its goals.
GRDC Farm Business Management eBook Balance Sheet Template
GRDC Farm Business Management eBook Balance sheet template
GRDC Farm Business Management Cash Flow Template
Cash Flow Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Crop Gross Margin Budget Template
Crop Gross Margin Budget Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Cropping COP Template
Cropping Cost Of Production Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Financial Ratios Template
Financial Ratios Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Prime Lambs Cost Of Production Template
Prime Lambs Cost Of Production Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Profit Loss Budget Template
Profit Loss Budget Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Risk Management Assessment Template
Risk Management Assessment Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Self Replacing Merinos COP Template
Self Replacing Merinos Cost of Production Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management Sheep Gross Margin Budget Template
Sheep Gross Margin Budget Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management SMART Goals Template
SMART Goals Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual
GRDC Farm Business Management SWOT Analysis Template
SWOT Analysis Template for use with the Farming the Business Manual