Minnesota farm growing soybeans.

2018 Research Highlights: Agricultural Business Management

Agricultural Business Management research focuses on exploring the economic side of small, medium and large farm operations and how domestic and international policies can affect the agricultural industry. 2018 highlights include:

  • University economists developed a novel model for forecasting 10-year dairy policy costs that was used by the USDA Chief Economist's office as they developed the 2018 Farm Bill. The model provides daily updates that the Chief Economist's staff can pull directly into an Excel-based policy analysis tool thus providing them with the most recent estimates of the current year's policy costs and benefits.
  • University researchers have been exploring hemp and how it genetically differs from marijuana for over a decade. And, since the 2014 Farm Bill, have been heavily involved in Minnesota-based pilot studies exploring best practices related to growth, cultivation and marketing. In 2018, Minnesota had 51 pilot participants and grew 710 acres of industrial hemp. With the inclusion of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, this information will prove vital in assisting Minnesota farmers grow this cash crop in today's market including the possibility of double cropping hemp and winter grain.
  • Farm level data was used to identify specific management traits that influence farm financial success. Grain marketing-with an emphasis on post harvest contracts-are used more frequently by financially successful farms (top 20 percent compared to lowest 20 percent measured by the adjusted net farm income ratio). Having adequate financial resources when starting a farm was found to play a factor in the overall success of the farm over time with most of the top 20 percent of farms receiving help from family members when starting their operation. This information will be used to extend Extension programming.

In fiscal year 2018, MAES supported research related to agricultural business management was connected to:

18 Projects
9 Principal Investigators
5 Patents Filed
11 Peer-Reviewed Journals