Farm Management Services

SIC 0762

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category describes establishments primarily engaged in providing farm management and maintenance services for farms, citrus groves, orchards, and vineyards. Such activities may include supplying contract labor for agricultural production and harvesting, inspecting crops and fields to estimate yield, determining crop transportation and storage requirements, and hiring and assigning workers to tasks involved in the harvesting and cultivating of crops; but establishments primarily engaged in performing such services without farm management services are classified in the appropriate specific industry within Industry Group 072. Workers with similar functions include agricultural engineers, animal breeders, animal scientists, county agricultural agents, dairy scientists, extension service specialists, feed and farm management advisors, horticulturists, plant breeders, and poultry scientists.

The overall trends in the farming industry portend good news for farm managers. With the increasing consolidation and centralization of farming activities and a more market-oriented approach to the business, farmers are likely to find farm managers more attractive. In the first decade of the 2000s, more than half of all U.S. farmland was operated by someone other than its owner. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers accounted for 1.2 million jobs in 2008. About 30 percent were self-employed and 70 percent were paid agricultural managers. The industry is served by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

Professional farm managers have a variety of duties and responsibilities. For instance, the owner of a large livestock farm may employ a farm manager to supervise a single activity such as feeding the animals. At the other end of the spectrum, a farm manager working for an absentee farm owner may have the responsibility for all functions, from planning the crop to participating in the planting and harvesting activities. Professional farm managers must be able to establish output goals, determine financial constraints, and monitor production and marketing. Farm management firms often handle the financial business of client farms, including the buying and selling of products and even the farmland itself. In addition, a number of firms provide consulting services to farmers and farming companies.

Many types of farming are seasonal. Although farm managers on crop farms tend to work all day during the planting and harvesting seasons, they often work on the farm less than seven months a year. They spend the rest of the year planning the next season's crops, marketing their output, and repairing machinery. Farm managers can achieve Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) certification by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, after sufficient academic training and job experience.

As more people without agricultural backgrounds came to regard farmland as a good investment rather than a vocation, and as family farms gave way to corporate farms, farm managers grew in number and influence. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of family farms declined from 1.92 million to 1.90 million. The number of corporate farms also declined, from 185,607 to 129,831, reflecting an industry trend toward consolidation. As a result, the employment outlook for self-employed farmers was less than favorable in the late years of the first decade of the 2000s and the early 2010s. The demand for salaried agricultural managers, on the other hand, was predicted to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of self-employed farmers was expected to decrease by 8 percent between 2008 and 2018, whereas the number of jobs for paid agricultural managers was expected to increase by 6 percent during the same time period. The average wage for agricultural managers overall in 2008 was $40,300.

One of the leading farm management services firms in the early 2010s was Farmers National Co. The firm managed 3,600 farms and ranches throughout the Midwest and also offered related services such as appraisals, real estate sales, insurance, and commodity marketing. Other top farm management service companies included Hertz Farm Management of Nevada, Iowa, and Halderman Farm Management of Wabash, Indiana. Several banks also offered farm management services, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, and Bank One.

Early in the first decade of the 2000s was a difficult time for many farmers. The industry's vigorous competition, exacerbated by the lowest agricultural commodity prices in decades, heightened the demand for shrewd management practices. Proper crop, soil, and feed management systems could make or break a farming enterprise in this environment. Of growing importance was the handling of efficiency measures to cut down on costs and pollution, especially in the socially and economically sensitive areas of water and fertilizer management. Farms were falling under heavy scrutiny by environmentalists, consumers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to diminish waste production and eliminate pollution.

One avenue by which farm managers were beginning to recognize financial and efficiency gains was in the trading of emissions between agricultural and industrial operations. Farmers were increasingly called on to overhaul animal waste management and fertilizer application systems and in general gear agricultural processes toward the limiting of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with increasingly strict U.S. standards. While the practice of pollution trading has existed for years, it traditionally involved the transfer of pollution credits from one party to another. Greenhouse gas emissions, on the other hand, involve the actual purchase of the reductions in agriculturally based emissions by industrial firms who can then allocate the emissions allotment in accordance with their industry's regulations. It thus creates a financial incentive for farm managers to streamline farming operations for greater efficiency.

Farm managers need to keep abreast of continuing advances in farming technologies. In the first decade of the 2000s, more farm managers were using precision agriculture or site-specific farming methods to customize the placement of seed, fertilizer, and chemicals to get more bushels of grain from their land, reduce waste, and prevent pollution of streams. For instance, Ag Technology Inc. estimated that 8,000 yield monitors were in use across the United States. Yield monitors attached to combines measure the harvest as the combine gathers it. Over one third of the farm managers using yield monitors also use a global positioning satellite, paired with a receiver that correlates the satellite reading with a fixed point on the ground. Some farm managers supplement these technology tools with Geographic Information System, a mapping software.

The passage of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act, popularly called Freedom to Farm, was a significant event in this industry in 1996. This new legislation marked the beginning of the gradual departure of government from farming and planting decisions. Once this law was passed, farms began moving toward a market-oriented approach to operations. While this law was always a thorn in the side of small farmers and populist farming organizations for reducing government programs to aid farmers, generally to the advantage of large agribusiness firms, the Freedom to Farm Act met with increasing calls for reexamination from the latter groups as the slumping commodities prices began to eat into profit margins. The Freedom to Farm Act was overhauled before its provisions expired in 2002 when President George W. Bush signed into law the 2002 Farm Act, which increased government subsidies to farmers through 2008. The 2008 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (also known as the 2008 Farm Bill) continued the tradition of subsidies into the next decade.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Farm Management Services

Fish Farm Management Services
Mena Report; August 1, 2017; 345 words
Tenders are invited for Fish Farm Management Services Description: Bord na Mna, is a semi-state company in Ireland which was established in 1946 under the Turf Development Act...
Wyndhurst Farm Management Services
Mena Report; February 25, 2016; 546 words
Contract notice: Wyndhurst Farm Management Services. Wyndhurst Farm is the University of Bristol~s farm situated at Lower Langford, North Somerset; it provides a platform for...
Wyndurst Farm Management Services
Mena Report; July 8, 2015; 565 words
Prior Information Notice: Wyndurst farm management services. Short description of nature and quantity or value of supplies or services: Wyndhurst Farm is the University of Bristol~s farm...
AdFarm Partnership and Pike Management Group (PMG), a Canadian farm management services company, form a joint venture agricultural consulting firm.(Agency News)(Brief Article)
Agri Marketing; January 1, 2005; 255 words
AdFarm Partnership and Pike Management Group (PMG), a Canadian farm management services company, form a joint venture agricultural consulting firm. The firm, called PMG AgInsights, provides business and marketing...
PMG AgInsights is a new joint venture agricultural consulting firm formed by AdFarm Partnership, a farm management services company, and Pike Management Group (PMG), a producer-focused management services firm.(Company)
Implement & Tractor; January 1, 2005; 242 words
PMG AgInsights is a new joint venture agricultural consulting firm formed by AdFarm Partnership, a farm management services company, and Pike Management Group (PMG), a producer-focused management services firm. The new firm...
Farms are us. (Halderman Farm Management Services Inc.)
Indiana Business Magazine; April 1, 1997; 700+ words
Halderman Farm Management Services Inc. With new genetics technology, value-added crops, tax exchange laws and a global marketplace, farming has become big...
Tender Notice: Eastern Shires Purchasing Organization Seeks County Farm Management Services (United Kingdom)
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; May 4, 2010; 519 words
LEICESTER, United Kingdom, May 4 -- Eastern Shires Purchasing Organization (on behalf of Norfolk County Council) said it was soliciting services for county farm management. According to the description: "Norfolk County Council wishes to appoint a suitable organization to manage part of the County
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Issues Request for Proposal for Farm Management Services
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; July 16, 2009; 271 words
RICHMOND, Va., July 16 -- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has issued a Request For Proposal (Solicitation: C199:10-876) to provide labor, supervision, equipment, supplies, materials, seed, chemicals and fertilizer to manage farm approximately 174 acres at Belle Isle State Park.

Search all articles about Farm Management Services