Farming the Business Manual

Published: 28 Jan 2015

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 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. 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. The eBook version of this manual can be found by going to the book section of Apple iTunes store and searching for ‘Farming the Business’. This means the eBook can be accessed on iPads and Mac computers.

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.

Download: Farm Business Manual.

The aims of the modules are:

Module 1

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.


Module 2

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.


Module 3

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

Hard copies of this manual are available from Ground Cover Direct Free phone: 1800 11 00 44. Email:

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.

eBook Manual

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’.

Alternatively, this manual can be accessed in PDF format below. 

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.


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Region: National