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Margin Minute: Cut These Farm Costs First

Several line items in your budget deserve attention as you seek to control costs this growing season, says Chris Barron of Ag View Solutions.

Keep in mind those with fewer overhead costs and better cost management have a huge competitive advantage, Barron says in a recent “Margin Minute” video for AgWeb.com.

Here are the categories to watch, according to Barron:

  • Land Rents. “There’s no bad time to really have a conversation with a landowner about what an appropriate rent level might be,” Barron says.
  • Machinery and Equipment. This is the second-largest expense on most farms and a big part of cost of production.
  • Yields and Fertility. “Make sure fertility is up to where it should be, [that] we aren’t doing anything that could sacrifice yield and that we’ve done about everything we can,” Barron says.
  • Loose Ends. It’s easy to let spending get out of hand in certain categories. Do a holistic analysis and rein in expenses where needed.
  • Basics. Keep track of water-logged fields that might need tiling and other cut-and-dry tasks that could result in long-term savings.
  • Overhead Costs. Health care, labor expenses, taxes, building improvements, vacations and more fall into this category. “What we’ve seen in our organization is somewhere between $22 and $248 differential from one producer to the next in terms of overhead costs,” Barron says.

Stay tuned for more “Margin Minute” videos coming soon from Barron at AgWeb.com

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