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FINBIN Database Useful Tool

By David Bau, Extension Educator

Farm production records for 2015 have been added to FINBIN website.  Farmers who participate in Adult Farm Management programs across Minnesota production records are combined online at the FINBIN website.  The FINBIN website found at: is full of great reference information going back to 1993. At the FINBIN website, producers can examine what has been taking place with their peers or examine costs for different crops.

At the FINBIN website, you are able to generate summary reports, benchmark reports and compare your farm financial results to peer group farms. Under the summary section, you are able to generate reports summarizing whole farm results for financial standards, income statements, profitability measures, liquidity measures, balance sheets, statement of cash flow, crop production and marketing summary, household and personal expenses operator and labor information, nonfarm summary and detailed income statement. There are also statewide reports on several different crops and livestock enterprises. You can also generate any of these reports by county or regions if there are enough farmers to produce report where the individual farmer’s data can remain anonymous. You can examine the data even further selecting tillage systems, irrigated land and organic production, sometimes on a larger region or for whole state to generate a report.

There is significant information for farmers and landlords to examine at this website. You can examine farmland rental rates by county and looking at fourteen counties in SW Minnesota there was a 5.9 percent decrease from 2014 to 2015 from an average cash rent on corn of $250.89 in 2014 to an average rent of $236.08 per acre in 2015. The FINBIN data allows the public to examine the various inputs costs like seed, fertilizer, chemical, etc. for various crops including corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, oats, sweet corn, peas, sunflowers, sugar beets and many more. You can also examine cost of production for many livestock operations.

Benchmark reports are the next section on FINBIN website.  You can look at whole farm, crop or livestock enterprise by whole state, region or county.  You can select a crop and region and generate a report listing the expenses for 2015 or prior years.  If you select corn for all of Minnesota, you will see a benchmark report that lists all expenses and incomes for corn on cash rented land across the state broken down into every 10 percent groups.  The benchmark report allows farmers to examine individual input cost like fertilizer and list all the costs for 2218 farms across Minnesota from the highest to lowest for expense or lowest to highest for income items.

For fertilizer the median cost is $137.07 per acre for all Minnesota corn farms on cash rented land in 2015 down from $151.36 in 2014.  The report then groups all the fertilizer cost per acre listing the average for the highest 10% of the fertilizer costs per acre of $215.17 and then the next 10% in the 20% column at $187.59 all the way up to the lowest fertilizer cost of $54.86 per acre in the 100% column.  These farms are all across the state and the fertilizer recommendations vary by expected yield per acre, but this line indicates a wide range in costs from the most expensive at $215 to the lowest at $55.  Farmers can benchmark their own fertilizer costs per acre to see how they compare.  They can choose a county and closer region to see how their input costs compare to other farmers in the local area.

The third section allows for farmers to enter their own financial standard ratios and once again compare their figures to farmers across Minnesota or select a smaller closer region or county.  Once again a farmer would be able to determine their own farm’s financial health compared to peers.

The FINBIN website is a great resource where farmers and landlords can look at production cost for previous years and compare how their own operation compare to county, regional and statewide data.

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