Best practices for farmers - business management


The family and corporate farm business is an extremely complicated business as compared to a conventional urban based business. This business needs to manage for long term stability by managing:


All farming and grazing operations are independent businesses which need to be managed as a profitable business. The problem has always come from the fact that many families do not have a simple method to assess the profitability. Often the enterprise may be operating for many years without assessing the cost structure of a business. Each enterprise needs to be profitable in its own right. All enterprise gross margins added together will pay for the running costs (overheads) of a business.

GM 1 + GM 2 + GM3 = total GM

Total GM - (overheads + opportunity interest) = profit.

Three Secrets to Profitability


This is an extremely important process for all businesses to undertake and will allow all family and business members to see clearly the potential benefits and pitfalls of a business. There are a number of organisations which conduct annual analysis of farming and grazing businesses that farmers and graziers can use as standards to achieve. Comparative analysis of the whole business taking account of all costs (direct, overhead and opportunity costs), that can impact on profitability.

Gross Margins

Gross production minus direct costs = GM.

Gross Production - direct costs - opportunity interest = Gross Margin

This is the profitability of each enterprise

Direct or variable expenses include:

Overhead costs

These are the cost for running the business such as


If a business is well structured, it will have a high gross margin profit (an enterprise profit). That simply means in a grazing business, each breeder or steer may have a high sale price and or low direct costs, enabling a high gross margin profit. Or in a farming business, the specific cropping enterprise may have a low costs structure or high sale price enabling a higher gross margin profit per tonne of crop sold.

If the business has a high gross margin per animal or per tonne of crop, then this business can increase the area of crop or number of animals being run to increase the overall profitability. High gross margin businesses are known as sound businesses and are always in demand from smart operators.

For more information and to undertake a benchmarking or economic analysis of your business, contact 0438 395 255



Based in Rockhampton, we're proud to service Queensland and New South Wales