Optimal Equipment Investments for Northern Plains Grain Farms
Review of Business and Finance Case Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 45-59, 2010
15 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2011 Last revised: 10 May 2011
Date Written: January 31, 2011
This case presents a teaching tool which requires students to identify an optimal equipment plan for a northern plains small grain farm. Students are presented with information from a farm owner regarding farm size, available labor, farming techniques used and other relevant issues. Students are required to analyze this information to identify the equipment necessary to operate the farm. Students must balance equipment costs and labor issues. They must develop a plan that remains within a predetermined budget. Students use online resources to identify specific equipment along with their appropriate prices. Students are also invited to make general recommendations and comments. This case is suitable for an agricultural economics, agribusiness, or agronomy class. The case is appropriate for use at the senior, or masters level. In some instances, the case may be valuable for Ph.D. students. Students should have some familiarity with farm equipment and the equipment needs of small grain farms before being assigned the case. Students might be assigned to work individually or in teams on the project. Individuals or groups may be required to present their research to the class for discussion and comment. Completion of the case should require 5-10 hours outside of class. Classroom discussion should be about two hours.
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