Farmers, educators, lenders, consultants, and others looking for educational materials about farm business management should check out a group of publications available through MidWest Plan Service. In conjunction with MWPS, the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee has made available several books and bulletins written and reviewed by specialists in farm business management from major land-grant universities and Extension Services.

“Income Tax Management for Farmers” is a guide to helping farm business managers minimize income taxes while maximizing after tax income. Main topics of discussion include depreciation, government payments, special rules for droughts and other disasters, capital gains and losses, and income averaging for farmers. The publication features a worksheet that enables farm business managers to estimate their federal tax liability anytime during the year. The authors of the publication stress that this is a guide to managing taxes — not to preparing a tax return.

“The Farm Corporation” is a basic review of all issues related to organizing a farm business as a corporation. The booklet discusses the nature of a corporation and considers some of the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a family farm. It also reviews the taxation of corporations and tax-option corporations, describes the process of incorporation, and explains how farm corporations operate.

Several other publications address common issues farmers must face, including: “Managing Risk in Agriculture,” “Tax Planning When Buying or Selling a Farm,” “Long-term Installment Land Contracts,” “Planning the Financial/Organizational Structure of Farm and Agribusiness Firms: What Are the Options?” and “Planning and Managing Your Farm Business Center”.

Another series of publications shows how to develop various types of leases and rental agreements. Among the publications in this group are “Pasture Rental Arrangements for your Farm, “Purchasing and Leasing Farm Equipment,” “Fixed and Flexible Cash Rental Arrangements,” “Crop-share or Crop-share/Cash Rental Arrangements,” “Irrigation Crop-share and Cash Rental Arrangements,” and “Rental Agreements for Farm Buildings and Livestock Facilities.”

All of the publications range in price from $5 to $10. Many of the publications are available as PDF files and can be purchased and downloaded from the MWPS Web site The publications about leasing include sample lease forms, which are available separately as free downloads. Additional information about these and many other publications also is available at the Web site. For a free catalog or to order a publication, contact MWPS at 122 Davidson Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3080; call 1-800-562-3618; or go online at

Iowa State University Extension Service