What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is comparing a farm’s financial performance with other similar farms to identify business
strengths, weaknesses, and changes that may improve profits.

How does CFFM contribute?

CFFM provides national leadership to the benchmarking initiative in several ways:


CFFM works closely with farm business management education programs and membership associations in over 20 states by supporting their efforts to provide internal and external financial benchmarks for their over 4000 participating farms and ranches.


Each participating farm uses FINPACK to complete an in-depth annual financial analysis for their farm or ranch business. CFFM provides additional tools to support partner groups to create local reports and to confirm data accuracy and integrity.

FINBIN National Farm Benchmarking Database

CFFM compiles the financial results for all participating farms into the FINBIN National Farm Financial Benchmarking Database. FINBIN users can benchmark their farm performance against peer groups of farms selected from FINBIN based on farm size, type, practices and many other characteristics. Users can examine whole farm reports, as well as benchmark reports for specific crop and livestock enterprises.


CFFM provides extensive training for farm business management educators, analysts, and consultants to make sure that all farm and ranch participants a receive quality financial reports and that data compiled into FINBIN is accurate and complete.


CFFM leads national efforts to create standards for benchmarking analysis procedures. All benchmark data is reviewed at several levels, including by CFFM staff, to make sure that FINBIN reports are as accurate and consistent as possible.


Benchmarking programs have shown to be very important to farms who participate in them. The average participating farm says participation in a benchmarking program has resulted in a $12,000 annual increase in their farm profits.

CFFM’s benchmarking efforts are partially funded by Farm Business Management and Benchmarking grants, NIFA/USDA.


 The FINBIN website provides benchmark financial information for farm producers, educators, lenders, and other agricultural professionals.

The database summarizes actual farm data from thousands of agricultural producers who use FINPACK for farm business analysis. FINPACK is a comprehensive farm financial planning and analysis software system used by agricultural producers, professionals, educators and lenders to help over 50,000 producers analyze their farm business each year. FINPACK is developed and supported by the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota.

Data in FINBIN is contributed by farm management education programs that use FINPACK as their farm business analysis and summary program.