Macroeconomic refers to the big considerations impacting economics. In forage production the macroeconomic questions include: Where should the operation be located, what should be produced, what skills do I have to add to a forage operation, what equipment do I have? These big questions are the beginning of a well-thought-out business. Macroeconomic questions for forage production often center around four areas: the value of the forage to be grown; the cost of producing that forage; the transportation costs involved; and the role of governmental programs and policies. Using these four categories will guide the thinking of the big questions that need to be answered for successful forage operations.

Value of the desired forage: Is the a demand for this forage? Is the demand one that is likely to continue? Can it be successfully produced on this land? What inputs are needed to produce high quality and high yields? Will the desired forage add to the sustainability of the land?

Production costs: What inputs are needed to make production successful? What are the costs of those inputs? How much labor is needed? Which equipment is needed? What is needed for establishing, harvesting, and storing this forage?

Transportation costs: Is the market for this forage nearby? What will transport cost? Is transportation reliable?

Governmental programs and policies: Programs like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Farm Bills, and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) impact what can be grown, who can buy and sell, and the prices of a forage. Potential producers must ask: What can I produce? To whom can I sell this product? How will future legislation impact my operation?

Many of these macroeconomic questions are overview in nature and already answered in existing operations but a review might instigate some wise changes. With the big questions pondered the foundation is laid for prudent consideration of the smaller decisions addressed in the discussion of microeconomics.