Many farmland owners are more than comfortable managing all the operations of their farm business on their own. For most, they’ve been doing this for years, anyway.
For others, there are aspects of operating an agricultural business that they may not be 100% comfortable handling or would like to receive input from a trusted and reliable expert. That’s where a farm or land management partner is invaluable.
Why is it important to consider hiring a farm manager?
Farm managers are committed to making decisions and analyzing results of those decisions in order to increase the profitability of a farm operation. Landowners, whether they are absentee investors or active farmers themselves, should share this commitment.
Having a trusted and experienced farm manager can help you accomplish your goals for your business. With their experience, a farm manager can help develop a custom plan that fits the unique needs of the farmland.
A good farm manager will be able to assist the landowner and farmer in the following areas:
- Capital Improvements
- Additional Revenue Opportunities
Each of those areas demands a good amount of a farmer or landowner’s attention. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to place an extra set of eyes on certain areas, especially those that could be strengthened with a more experienced or simply a fresher perspective. If your operation falls behind in any of those areas, then you could be leaving money or a better return on investment on the table.
Who should hire a farm manager?
Typically, farmers with smaller operations are very knowledgeable of the ins and outs of their business and are completely capable of making all sorts of management decisions on their own. It’s most often when the farm business begins to grow to a much larger scale that a conversation about partnering with a reliable farm management firm likely needs to happen.
This is not because those farmers or landowners are not knowledgeable or not capable of making those same types of management decisions. Rather, it’s simply that there are so many more moving pieces and factors that influence so many more decisions that need to be made.
As a farmer, you are responsible for so many aspects of a business, all of which are key to overall success of the operation. For livestock, dairy and poultry farms, owners must make decisions on feed, care and other planning matters. With crop farmers, decisions involve planning, planting, cultivating, spraying, harvesting. They must also have plans for storing, transporting and marketing their crops.
Needless to say, the larger the farm, whether it be livestock or crops, the more likely a farm manager could be of assistance.
Another common relationship that often involves a farm management provider is one where the landowner is not actually the operator. In this case, farm managers are often the ones negotiating with tenant farmers.
What do farm managers do?
Farm managers can help a farmer handle some of the decision-making burden. Exactly what decisions the manager makes versus what the farmer would still like to control depend on their agreement and relationship.
Farm managers can help choose what types of crops to plant or animals to raise, make equipment or supplies purchases, navigate crop insurance or other assistance programs and also plan for the future. As we mentioned above, they are also commonly involved in negotiating leases with tenant farmers, evaluating leases, helping to make sure tenant farmers are successful and evaluating aspects of the business for the landowner, especially if they are not familiar with the agriculture industry.
Farm managers can improve profitability
Every farmer and landowner wants to see their operations be as profitable as possible. That is where a farm manager can help.
An experienced farm or land manager can assist in boosting profitability while also remaining focused on ensuring the long-term sustainability of all the practices in place throughout the operation. If you partner with a good farm manager, then you should be able to realize better profits as well as improved sustainability.
Farm managers can assist with lease agreements and related issues
Leases are just one of the many complicated areas of managing an agricultural operation, but for landowners who do not farm the land themselves, they are one of the most important. This is because the farm stands a much better chance of success when there is a quality tenant working the land.
But because agricultural leases are often complex, many landowners turn to farm managers to help them navigate the details of creating and carrying out proper lease agreements. In fact, this is often one of the primary areas of responsibility for most farm managers.
When it comes to leases and issues surrounding these agreements, farm managers can help determine – and place into a lease agreement – what requirements operators may need to follow regarding production, conservation and even details regarding land and equipment upkeep. Managers will even determine the best type of lease for every unique situation.
Of course, managers are also able to handle tenant selection when a landowner needs to locate an operator to help their operation be successful. Good managers often have a pool of potential tenants who they have already vetted through reference and background checks that are ready to rent land from owners.
Farm managers can navigate bank loans and assistance programs
Having a farm manager in your corner can also help when it comes time to approach lenders for a loan or to seek out state or federal programs that may be able to offer some form of assistance to your farming operation.
These efforts alone require a broad understanding of requirements and regulations. With a farm manager, you can focus more on operations or maximizing profits and less on navigating legal red tape.
Get the Advantage for your farm business
Advantage Realty and Land Management is prepared to partner with you and provide exceptional land or farm management services.
If you’d like to learn more, simply contact us today. We’ll show you what it looks like to have the Advantage on your side.