Planning & Management: Overview

Small farms face serious problems in this complex and dynamic production and marketing system. These farmers often make management decisions without fully considering such components as cost of production, financing, market demand, associated farm risk, and profitability of return on investment. Knowledge about and integration of all levels of production and marketing systems are required to improve profitability and viability.

Access to profitable markets is perhaps the single most influential factor in determining the viability of this farm sector. Small farmers have historically had limited access to viable and profitable markets, usually marketing their products right out of the field through peddling and individual sales. This method of marketing often results in low prices for products, and thus decreased profitability for small-scale farm operations. No matter what your farm produces, you will need to sell it at a profit if you are going to stay in business. These resources can guide agricultural business planning and help farmers manage their investment.