Archive for the ‘Farm Finances, Records and Analysis’ Category

Mar
12

OSU Extension’s Farm “Outlook” for 2013 is Posted Here

By Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Farmers and agribusiness need to keep tuned into markets, production economics and farm policy. Trends can change due to measurable factors or seemingly unpredictable forces. Farmers, agribusinesses and others in the agricultural industry had the opportunity to learn more about the current farm outlook at an Ohio State University Extension 2013 Farm Outlook Program in Defiance County on February 21, 2013.

Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and OSU Extension made presentations that brought forth the latest outlook on the grain markets, land rent, and production inputs.

You can watch and listen to two of the ‘live’ presentations from that evening linked below. Featured speakers included:

Barry Ward, OSU Extension Agriculture Economist, on the production economics of farmland values, and outlook for input costs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals.

Matt Roberts, OSU Extension Agriculture Economist, on grain market outlook for 2013.

The files linked above may take a minute or two to load, but should play flawlessly on most any high speed connection once loaded.

Jan
10

Computerized Farm Recordkeeping with Quicken

by Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Defiance County

Pencil and paper is still the way most farmers keep records. As farm size, income or debt increases, many farmers and lenders look for computer programs that allow fast data entry, have internal checks for accuracy and allow summarizing of data. Most farmers begin their search by asking “Is there a simple computer program that will keep my records like the farm account books?”

Ohio State University Extension and other land grant colleges have recognized the computer software Quicken® as a computerized farm recordkeeping system.  Users can record transactions of both the farm and family and categorize them based on farm enterprises income and expenses as well as family living expenses.  Its popularity is due to the ease of data entry and to its low price of $60 to $100. This single-entry system is essentially an electronic checkbook. It allows users to track loans, write checks,   reconcile the checkbook with the bank statement and quickly create reports for the farm business, family, and tax purposes.

OSU Extension is offering a Computerized Farm Recordkeeping Workshop with Quicken® that will focus on setting up accounts, categorizing income and expenses, hands-on data entry, running tax reports, and preparing farm production reports.  Workshop will utilize a computer laboratory with Quicken® software installed to be used by participants during the workshop.

Workshops will be held:

January 30 & February 6 at OSU Extension Van Wert Co. (1:00pm—3:30pm)

January 31 & February 7 at OSU Extension Defiance Co. (6:30pm—9:00pm)

February 3 & February 10 at OSU Extension Hancock Co. (9:30am—12 noon)

Pre-Registration $35.00 per farm business (2 people) is required and includes two-sessions and a workshop training manual.  Please RSVP by January 18th. Space is limited.

For more information on the meeting, contact your OSU Extension office or OSU Extension Defiance County at (800) 745-4771, clevenger.10@osu.edu, or log on to http://defiance.osu.edu

Feb
14

Computerized Farm Recordkeeping: Quicken® or Quickbooks®

By: Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator

Hand written or Computerized farm records are the foundation from which many on-farm decisions are made.  “Good records” offer invaluable insights into business strengths and weaknesses. Agricultural producers seek inexpensive, easy to use tools that accomplish a variety of management tasks. If a computerized system is the next step, several commercial products have been developed that are customized for agriculture. However, some farmers report they are often expensive or cumbersome to use.

Many producers use commercial software marketed primarily for other uses, primarily, Quicken® which is sold for personal finance and QuickBooks® targeted to small business finance. Both tools can be used to help support farm management functions, including anticipating income and expenses in a changing economic environment; communicating with and reporting to business partners, lenders and government agencies; managing and paying employees; and analyzing the business. Recordkeeping software enables users to quickly record, then sort and summarize records in a variety of ways. It’s important to compare and contrast the applicability of two popular commercial software packages for use in farm/ranch financial records. The features of Quicken® and QuickBooks® have advantages and disadvantages in supporting farm management functions. Both tools are relatively easy to use and flexible. For many farmers, Quicken® is an inexpensive alternative with advantages for producers who want to track both family and farm income and expenses and/or have off-farm investments. For larger producers with multiple employees and/or the need to invoice and track accounts payable/receivable, QuickBooks® is clearly superior.

http://agecon.okstate.edu/faculty/publications/3880.pdf