Organic Farm Business Planning
A successful business always includes a good business plan. A new agricultural enterprise needs to produce profits to be worthwhile for the farmer. In order to assess if a new crop or product, like organics, will work for your business you’ll need to “run your numbers” and flush out the details by preparing a sound plan. The process of developing a business plan allows entrepreneurs to spot risks and pitfalls in a new idea and determine the profitability of that idea. In addition, lenders and funders may require a business plan prior to financing your operation.
An agricultural enterprise budget acts as a financial decision-making matrix wherein the farmer inputs all costs and returns to determine the profitability of a crop or livestock enterprise. Although enterprise budgets are only estimates, they provide an idea of what a farmer can expect to make when producing and selling a new crop.
Business Planning Resources
- Building a Business Plan for your Farm: Important First Steps (PDF)
- Asheville SCORE – free professional counseling for small businesses and enterprises
- Evaluating a Rural Enterprise – ATTRA
Budgets, Pricing & Profitability (not all organic, but good information for all farmers)
- Vegetable Crop Budgets – NCSU Agricultural & Resource Economics
- Fruit Budgets – NCSU Agricultural & Resource Economics
- The New Farm OPX – Organic Price Index
- Agricultural Marketing Resource Center – from Iowa – great budgets for organic and conventional production
- Grants Available through Southern SARE
- Western North Carolina AgOptions
- RAFI-USA – For former and current tobacco growers