Member Priority: Horticulture
May 24, 2017
Practical Farmers’ 2017 main field day season is almost upon us! Our first event will take place on Sunday, May 21, at Blue Gate Farm, operated by Jill Beebout and Sean Skeehan. Over the coming weeks, to help highlight some of the many farmer-led learning opportunities this growing season — and the farmers hosting them […]
May 11, 2017
“On-Farm: Conversations with Practical Farmers” is a new podcast from Practical Farmers of Iowa. Each week, I’ll interview a different farmer. We’ll hear from new and experienced; young and old; small and large; horticulture, livestock and row-crop farmers. We’ll talk with farmers about the issues most relevant to the farming community: the nitty gritty of […]
May 5, 2017
Bill and Betty Kimble raise vegetables, fruits and bees on their 40-acre farm near Pella. Berries have been central enterprises on the farm. In the past, the Kimbles had up to 2 acres of land in strawberry and blueberry production, marketed both as U-pick and pre-pick. They now have about a half-acre of strawberries, raspberries […]
May 4, 2017
We continue our celebration of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Cooperators’ Program’s 30th anniversary with another installment of our “Better Know an On-Farm Research Project” series. Previously, we featured Vic Madsen discussing strip trials that investigated N fertilizer rates for corn and Dave Lubben discussing some of the biological and alternative amendments he tried for corn […]
Toward our on-going effort to facilitate discussions about profitability of diversified fruit and vegetable farms, the Year 2 Report of the Whole Farm Financial Project is now available. Twelve farmers contributed their profit-loss statements and balance sheets to Practical Farmers of Iowa for this report, and work on the next edition of the report (FY2015 and 2016) […]
April 27, 2017
In a Nutshell
• 12 fruit and vegetable farms provided a
profit-loss statement and simple balance
sheet for 2014.
• Four of the 12 are meeting their personal
expectations for profitability.
• Seven of the participating farms also
provided data for Year 1 (2013)
• Number of years farming as a business
ranged from 1 – 35 years.
• The range (difference between highest
and lowest reported values) is large for
many aggregated categories. Averages
(and medians) with large ranges associated
should not be used as benchmark
• No two farm financial strategies or situations
are the same. This report serves
as a starting point for profitability conversations,
and for farmers to compare
their own numbers with their peers.
• For six farms whose largest market was
Summer CSA, they earned, on average,
68 percent of their total revenue
through Summer CSA.
• All participating farms had debt to asset
ratios <0.62. • Net income ratios among farms ranged from -0.11 to 0.83. • Gross income per acre ranged from $3,020 to $30,191. • The conclusion of the report includes reflections from four participating farmers on their numbers, financial strategy, and using this report.
Cathy and Dennis grow chemical-free trees and wheat on their 17-acre farm near Hampton. Their tree farm – Carlson Tree Farm – specializes in Christmas trees and related products, such as fresh wreaths. The couple started Carlson Tree in the 1980s to generate extra family income. Dennis, who worked as a forester for Franklin County […]
April 20, 2017