Carrington Research Extension Center


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2017 Farm Business Management Data


While many are still waiting for spring to show up and activity to start in the fields, the North Dakota Farm Management Programs (FBM) are finishing up our compilation of data from 2017.  This data comes from the actual numbers from farms enrolled in FBM Programs throughout North Dakota.  By looking at these benchmark numbers, farmers are able to make more informed management decisions to accomplish not only the goals they have set for their farm but also for their families. 

The Average Net Farm Income for 2017 for the Region 3 area, including farms in the Carrington FBM program was $116,714, down from $166,574 in 2016. Much of the decrease can be attributed to lower commodity prices during the year.  It is important to remember that these numbers are an average and that each farm’s own set of numbers comes from their unique situations. Therefore, the numbers can vary greatly from farm to farm. 

Other data is available from the FBM Program, including the average ratios, working capital and depreciation costs per farm.  The data is broke down even further by enterprises and it is possible to see the average incomes and expenses for each crop or what the net return per beef cow was.  Comparing your own numbers to the average numbers, as well as the numbers from each profitability group, can help make decisions easier.  For example, if a farm in Region 3 had a machinery cost per acre of wheat on cash rented ground of $85 in 2017 they are above the average machinery cost and would be closest to the machinery cost for the low 20% profit group. They would be encouraged to look at why that machinery cost is so high.  On the other hand, if a farm in Region 3 spent $91 per acre on fertilizer on rented corn ground, they would be slightly above the average of all farms, and fall closest to the middle 40-60% profitability group.

For anyone wanting to take a more in depth look at the numbers, more information is available at or you can contact your local FBM Instructor.


Jory Hansen
Farm Business Management Instructor

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