CHAMP is supported and sponsored by USCHI (Deere, Case-IH, and AGCO have sponsored it in the past). Information can be found at USCHIís website (www.uschi.com) by clicking on CHAMP. The program is conducted by three Ph.D. agricultural economists from Kansas, making up the CHAMP team:† Kevin Dhuyvetter, Craig Smith, and Terry Kastens. The program relies chiefly on results from a participant email-in survey. The primary purpose of the program is to provide participants (CHAMP members) with important economic and production information about their harvesting businesses. In this program, each participating firm is able to evaluate its production and economic performance relative to the CHAMP group as a whole, with individual firm information remaining confidential.
CHAMP was begun early in 1998 through the joint efforts of USCHI and Kastens and Dhuyvetter.† The first economic analysis covered the 1997 harvest. Analysis of the 2017 harvest will mark the 20th year of the program. CHAMP solicits information about your business that, when combined with information from other harvesters, provides important cost and revenue benchmarks.
CHAMP management and contact information
CHAMP is managed and operated by a small economic and agronomic consulting firm called AgAnalysis+, LLC, which has Kastens and Dhuyvetter as members.
address for surveys:† AgAnalysis+
c/o Kevin Dhuyvetter
1808 Cedar Crest Drive
Manhattan, KS 66503
web address:† aganalysisplus.com (click on CHAMP) (or get there from USCHI)
CHAMP team:††††††††† Kevin Dhuyvetter (785-410-3244 firstname.lastname@example.org )
Craig Smith (785-639-5708 email@example.com )
Terry Kastens (785-626-9000 firstname.lastname@example.org )
Short Run:† Help you compare your costs, as an individual business, with the custom harvesting industryís costs (or with subsets of the industry, such as by region or by crop specialty)
Long Run:† Enhance the effectiveness of your lobbyists in Washington and elsewhere
Making money is not as simple as knowing your costs and charging slightly more to garner a profit. If your costs are especially high for the services you provide, the cost-plus-markup process will mean you donít get jobs Ė youíve priced yourself out of the market. If your costs are especially low, you donít maximize profit as you leave money on the table Ė you could be charging more. Rather, long-run profitability is about being a low-cost operator for the services you render in terms of $/acre, $/hour, or $/bushel. But, to do that you need to know your costs relative to others, especially for specific categories, so that you can focus your efforts to continually improve management.
Each participating business gets a member report showing how it stands relative to the group as a whole.† An example of that report (pdf format) from the 2015 year for harvesters can be downloaded at CHAMPís website.† Notice that individual cost categories are reported so participants can see where best to focus management to increase profits.† All individual numbers are strictly confidential, viewed only by the CHAMP team.
Each participating business also receives a detailed written and illustrated report that generalizes information gathered in the surveys.† Previous yearsí reports are available as pdf file downloads at CHAMPís website.† Typically, at USCHIís Annual Meeting, the CHAMP team has provided a presentation and discussion around this report to those interested.† Also, they typically have met with most CHAMP members individually for 30 minutes or longer at USCHIís Annual Meeting.† This setting allows the CHAMP team to better understand individual harvesting businesses and answer individual firm management questions.† These one-on-one meetings have been highly regarded by CHAMP members in previous years.
As a sample, evidence has emerged that CHAMP has helped grain harvesters with loan negotiations (agricultural lenders are comfortable analyzing farms but often lack information about custom harvesting businesses), with negotiating harvesting rates charged farmers when yields and crop prices are low (your operationís costs donít fall when crop prices are low) or yields and crop prices are high (farmers are willing to pay more) or fuel prices are high (your costs do change), with karnal bunt policy negotiations, and with examining the possibility of getting subsidized failed-crop insurance for harvesters.
Custom harvesting firms that pay the required fees and return the informational survey forms in a timely manner are considered CHAMP members Ė for that harvest year.† The CHAMP team has agreed to conduct the 2016 harvest year CHAMP program for the following compensation:† $9,000 fixed charge plus $275 per CHAMP member for a minimum of 25 participants.† For 2017, USCHI has agreed to cover the fixed charge plus covering $75 of the $275 participant charge for any CHAMP members who are also USCHI members.† The $275 CHAMP membership fee for the 2017 harvest year ($200 if you are a USCHI member) should be remitted to AgAnalysis+ with your completed survey forms Ė as a check payable to AgAnalysis+.