Farm Management Tour: July 17, 2024

Learn about innovative farm management strategies, new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity, ways to ensure a successful transition of farm operations to the next generation. Join us at the 91st annual Purdue Farm Management Tour and reception honoring the 2024 Indiana Master Farmers in Randolph County (Winchester), Indiana on Wednesday, July 17th.

August 12, 2017

Managerial Experience and Competitive Advantage

One of the ways a farm can gauge whether it has a long-term competitive advantage is to identify resources unique to the farm. To survive in the short-run, farms have to be able to exploit key resources. To survive in the long-run, farms have to be able to explore and take advantage of new opportunities. One of the key unique resources on many farms is managerial experience.

To take advantage of managerial experience, farm managers need to be able to share their experiences with younger family members and employees. Unfortunately, training younger family members and employees is often complicated by the tacit nature of a farm manager’s experiential knowledge. Tacit knowledge, as opposed to explicit knowledge, is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. Tacit knowledge is often related to the rules of language, innovation, and leadership. Why is tacit knowledge important? Tacit knowledge is important because it is extremely difficult for other farms to utilize your unique knowledge. For example, if a farm has a vast amount of experience in producing a specialty crop, it is difficult for another farm to obtain the knowledge related to this experience because it is not written down or readily available.

Many of us remember stories and experiences shared with our older family members. I personally have fond memories of discussing agricultural issues with my father and grandfathers, and have them to thank for my passion for the industry. However, if a farm wants to take advantage of each other’s experience, it needs to go beyond this sharing. Cross training or learning about tasks in which different family members are responsible for is also important. For example, if one of the older family members is primarily responsible for keeping and analyzing records, and discussing debt needs with lenders, it is important that other family members at least have some sense as to what this responsibility entails.

The discussion above focused on sharing knowledge with family members. I would be remiss if I did not also stress the importance of communicating with other farm employees. Most employees want to know how they fit into the operation, and are interested in how transitions in management or responsibilities will affect their future in the farm business.

How does a farm make sure that tacit knowledge it being fully utilized? One of the ways to utilize this knowledge is to have periodic farm meetings. Another way is to take time to explain to younger family members and employees important farm tasks and processes. When discussing a task or process, it is important to discuss both how and why the farm performs a task or process in a specific way.

Utilizing tacit knowledge, is a key first step in exploring and taking advantage of new opportunities. The reason for this is simple. If a farm does not fully understand the experiential knowledge of each family member and employee, it will be difficult to determine strategic direction.​




Crop Budget Spreadsheet

April 4, 2024

This spreadsheet can be used along with the Purdue Crop Cost & Return Guide to examine gross revenue, costs, and earnings for crop enterprises.  The user can evaluate up to three full-season crops, and the wheat double-crop soybean system. Updated April 2024.


Agricultural Job Market & the Purdue Ag Jobs Dashboard

May 9, 2022

Wondering what the current agriculture job market is? 

In this episode Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture’s ag economists Brady Brewer and Nathan Delay discuss the agricultural job market and the Purdue University’s Department of Agriculture Economics Ag Jobs Dashboard from research conducted by grad student Doug Abney.

The dashboard is an overview of monthly data collected of the agricultural job market over time, starting the summer of 2021. Slides and a transcript from the discussion are available.


Precision Agriculture and Technology

April 15, 2021

Precision agriculture utilizes biotechnology and nutritional technology; monitoring, measuring, and information technology; and process control technology to increase resource efficiency, reduce input cost, and/or improve product value.  This series of articles will discuss precision agricultural technologies, potential payoffs of using these technologies, and the capabilities and skills that will be needed to manage these technologies.



Purdue Farm Management Tour & Indiana Master Farmer Reception 2024

Two outstanding farms in east-central Indiana will host visitors wanting to learn about farm and crop management on July 17th for the Purdue University Farm Management Tour. The Indiana Master Farmer reception and panel discussion will follow.

Read More

2024 Crop Cost and Return Guide

November 22, 2023

The Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide offers farmers a resource to project financials for the coming cropping year. These are the March 2024 crop budget estimations for 2024.


(Part 2) Indiana Farmland Cash Rental Rates 2023 Update

August 7, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss cash rental rates for Indiana farmland in this, the second of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results.


(Part 1) Indiana Farmland Values 2023 Update

August 6, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss Indiana farmland values on this, the first of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results. Each June, the department of agricultural economics surveys knowledgeable professionals regarding Indiana’s farmland and cash rental market.