OGRAIN Compass: A tool to help farmers assess the financial impact of converting to organic grain production

This webinar took place on November 14, 2019.

About the Webinar

Planning for financial success on a grain farm requires understanding how various crop rotation and production decisions will influence financial returns. Those transitioning to organic may be especially unsure as they move into new realms of production and management. The new OGRAIN Compass is a planning tool to help producers understand the financial implications, at both the crop and whole-farm level, of their cropping decisions.

In this webinar OGRAIN Compass developers John Hendrickson of the University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and Jim Munsch of Deer Run Farm will review the concept and function of this valuable new tool. They will show how it works to predict financial results on a given piece of land over a ten-year planning period. OGRAIN Compass yields detailed financial results for the totality of the operation, including the impacts of cropping decisions in a proposed rotation, the cost of equipment, provision for investments to make the enterprise financially sustainable, and the full burden of overhead expenses. Users can easily adjust yield and price scenarios to view how these uncertainties affect the bottom line.

About the Presenters

John Hendrickson coordinates research and education programs to help specialty crop producers at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is part of a team of people who have created several “Compass tools”—downloadable spreadsheets—including the well-known “Veggie Compass.” The current stable of Compass tools also includes a Livestock Compass, OGRAIN Compass, and a forthcoming Fruit and Nut Compass.

Jim Munsch: A grass-fed beef farmer, Jim is involved in a variety of organic and sustainable agricultural activities and has a passion to help farmers make data-driven decisions for pricing and profitability. He has helped many individual farmers make more informed financial decisions by using cost accounting systems for diversified fresh market vegetable growers, livestock and grain producers.

Published September 25, 2019

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.