Average net farm income was $147,862 in 2005 for the 107 farms included in this annual report of the Southwestern Minnesota Farm Business Management Association. This is a 50% increase over the average income of $98,362 in 2004. In constant dollars, 2005 was the most profitable year for association members in the past 20. Outstanding crop yields, high profits for hog operations and higher government payments were factors that combined to make 2005 a very profitable year for the average association farm. As in previous years, the actual profit levels experienced by individual farms vary greatly from the overall average profit. When the net farm incomes for the 107 farms in the report are ranked from lowest to highest, the resulting graph shows how much the incomes do vary. One percent of the farms experienced negative net farm incomes in 2005 ; 57% had incomes over $100,000. The median or middle income was $108,456. The high 20% of the farms had an average net farm income of $376,270, which is a 28% increase from 2004. The low 20% of the farms had an average net farm income of $30,854 in 2005, as opposed to a $-6,068 loss in 2004. Average gross cash farm income was $579,201, a 17% increase from 2004. Three sources of sales dominated: hogs, corn, and soybeans, followed by government payments and beef finishing. Total crop sales accounted for 33% while livestock sales and contracting income accounted for 47% of total cash receipts. Government payments of all types averaged $56,461 in 2005, a 103% increase from the previous year. The average farm received $26,519 in LDP payments in 2005, mostly due to low corn prices at harvest. This compared to $8,966 in 2004. Government payments for the average farm were $27,798 in 2004, $25,855 in 2003, $15,927 in 2002, and $48,208 in 2001. As a percentage of total income, government payments were 10% in 2005 compared to 6% in 2004, 5% in 2003, 4% in 2002, and 11% in 2001. Cash expenses increased 18% to an average of $477,476 in 2005. As a percentage of total expenses, feeder livestock purchases, seed, fertilizer, and crop chemicals, feed, and land rent continue to be the largest expense item. Fuel and oil expense accounted for 4% of total expenses, up from 3% in 2004. Average rate of return on assets (ROA) was 14% in 2005 with assets valued at adjusted cost basis, up from 11% the previous year. Rate of return on equity (ROE) averaged 21%, up from 16 percent. The fact that ROE exceeded ROA indicates that debt capital earned more than its cost. Using a market value basis, average total equity (of the 91 sole proprietors) was $869,127 at the end of 2005. This was an increase of $106,814 during the year for these farms. The average debt-asset ratio remained constant at 42%. The average corn yield was 191 bushels per acre, surpassing the previous year's record yield of 171 bushels for association farms. Soybeans averaged 55 bushels per acre, up from 41 bushels in 2004. Results by Type of Farm The 107 farms in the report were classified as a certain type of farm (e.g., hog) on the basis of having 70 percent or more of their gross sales from that category. Using this criteria, there were 53 crop farms, 9 hog farms, 7 crop and hog farms, and 9 crop and beef farms. (There were 23 farms which did not have a single source (or pair of sources) of income over 70%.) Hog farms were most profitable in 2005. Hog farms were also much larger in terms of gross sales than any other farm type. Crop/hog farms also averaged incomes higher than the Association average. All types of farms categorized were more profitable than the previous year. Hog farms also had the highest rate of return on assets (ROA) at 19%. Paradoxically, hog farms were the only type of farm with average rates of return lower than the previous year. (Assets are valued at adjusted cost basis for ROA calculations.) Using assets valued on a market basis, the average farm had a debt-to-asset ratio of 42% at the end of 2005. Crop and beef farms, at 60%, carried much more debt as a percentage of assets than any other farm type. The report provides additional information on profitability, liquidity, and solvency as well as other whole-farm information and detailed information on crop and livestock enterprises. Also reported are whole-farm financial condition and performance by county, sales size class, type of farm, debt-to-asset ratio, and age of operator.


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