From Nebraska Today, June 28, 2021
The new Center for Agricultural Profitability in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources began operating June 28 with the unveiling of a new website and slate of informational events.
Approved in March and housed in the Department of Agricultural Economics, the center will work to improve the economic viability of the agricultural sector in Nebraska and beyond. It focuses on research, extension outreach and education related to profitability and supporting informed decision-making and management choices to keep farmers and ranchers financially healthy. It will also offer educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students while facilitating collaboration with other units in IANR and across the University of Nebraska system.
“CAP will bridge departmental silos and bring together faculty with expertise in several areas that too often are disconnected when it comes to the economic well-being of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers,” said Larry Van Tassell, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and the center’s director.
The new center will house the Agricultural Economics Farm and Ranch Management team and resources, including its popular weekly webinar series. The next webinar, on July 8, will focus on U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation program opportunities for producers. That will be followed July 15 with a webinar by David Kohl, professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech, on the importance of understanding business and finances for today’s producer. More webinars and live workshops across the state will be announced soon.
The center also will roll out a number of tools for use by farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals throughout the state. Among these is the Agricultural Budget Calculator, which opened to the public this week. The calculator is an online program allowing crop producers to estimate their cost of production based on field operations expenses, machinery, labor and material inputs for different enterprises. The program includes revenue projections, a risk module and cash flow budgets.
Updated land values and cash rental rates will be published in early July by the center in the final report from this year’s Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. Other resources include the Nebraska Farm Custom Rates Report, representative budgets for livestock, and the Nebraska Land Link program. The center will also produce weekly articles and podcasts highlighting important decision-making information in areas such as land management, leasing, ag policy, farm succession, finance and risk management.
Van Tassell said that more learning experiences will be available to equip students for managing and leading in the modern economy as the center grows.
“The Center for Ag Profitability will be a magnet for interdisciplinary research and outreach, where profitability, risk management and the sustainability of agriculture takes precedence over simply maximizing commodity yields, and where the next generation of students and educators learn through transformational experiences,” he said.