Crunching the Numbers: Business Management on Organic Farms Panel Series

If you missed this panel series on 20 January 2022, you can watch it now! We’ve included timestamps below for easy navigation.

00:00:34 – Promotions and sponsor acknowledgements
00:04:06 – The Ins and Outs of Organic Cost of Production Panel Introduction
00:05:36 – Roy Arnott (Manitoba Agriculture) on 2022 organic cost of production (download a PDF of his presentation here:
00:26:45 – Questions about Cost of Production for Farmer Panelists Larry Black and Alex Boersch. Do you use the provincial cost of production guides as a template to establish your costs of production? If not, are there other guides you would recommend?
00:35:20 – If you do green manure, how would you factor that cost into your cash crop years?
00:37:09 – What advice do you have for farmers who are thinking about or in the process of transitioning to organic when it comes to thinking through cost of production?
00:43:10 – How do you calculate the return of investment for equipment purchases?
00:46:39 – Craig Klemmer (FCC) on interest rates expectations in Agriculture.
01:05:48 – It seems inflation is higher in agriculture than in other sectors. Do you think this is going to continue in agriculture? And do you think it’s worth locking in long term rates as a farmer for peace of mind?
01:12:07 – How do these interest rates effect organic agriculture in comparison to conventional agriculture?
01:16:10 – Questions about Cost of Production for Farmer Panelists Larry Black and Alex Boersch. How much do market prices influence your COP decisions? For example, if the price of Crop A looks good, will you spend more on inputs?
01:21:20 – What are some ways you keep your costs low?
01:25:50 – Are there resources available for estimating organic crop benchmarks on your farm?
01:30:29 – Keeping Good Records for Organic Farms Introduction
01:31:10 – Janine Gibson (Organic Inspector), Catherine Carroll (Pro-Cert Organic Certifier), and Tiffany Priestley (OPAM Organic Certifier) share the good, bad and the great of record-keeping on organic farms.
01:33:00 – Could you identify some patterns across the farms you’ve visited? What are the areas that farms typically struggle with?
01:38:26 – From a certifier perspective, what records do you request from farmers most often because they are incomplete/unclear? Where do operations typically seem to struggle and what advice do you have for them?
01:46:45 – Have you seen any unique or innovative ways of keeping records?
01:49:20 – What is your top tip organic farmers when it comes to keeping their records?
01:52:12 – Are there any existing resources you’d recommend for organic farmers to help them with their record keeping?
01:55:06 – Farmer panelists Karen Klassen and Jason Peters demo how they keep records on their organic farms.
02:05:36 – Does the data you input into your Google Form all end up in the same place?
02:06:38 – When it comes time for your inspection, are you able to take the data directly from the Google Form to your inspector or do you or the inspector have to reformate that data?
02:07:38 – Is this system easily applicable to bin records?
02:08:29 – What works well in your record keeping system? What doesn’t?
02:13:25 – How time consuming is the record keeping process on your farm? At what times of year do you find it most onerous?
02:18:48 – Do you have separate systems for keeping records needed by your organic certifier and other farm data you want to collect? How do you easily provide the data needed for certifiers?
02:22:23 – Breakout groups to discuss what tools they find most useful and what resources they’d like to see developed.
02:22:57 – Breakout groups shared what they discussed.
02:33:36 – What are some of the most common errors that farmers make in their record keeping?
02:41:17 – Wrap up.