An Economic Analysis of Grazing, Haying and Cropping Marginal Highly Erodible Crop Land in Southcentral North Dakota


Tables 1 and 6 have included a line for land costs. The cost used for land includes the average values for rented land as compiled by the NDSU Extension Service and was derived by averaging the land rental values for Kidder and Stutsman counties as the study is located in both. Where possible labor costs were estimated for all activities except the custom rates where the labor is part of the overall charge and could not be extracted. These charges constitute the cost for land, labor and management and are often not subtracted from the returns for ranch operations. Table 7  summarizes the returns to each of the enterprises on the study. The second half of this table shows the returns without deducting the cost of land and labor and is usually referred to as return to land, labor and management. This figure more closely reflects what most producers would consider their "bottom line". Grazing is clearly the most profitable enterprise on this type of land.

Table 7. Annual and Nine-Year Average per Acre Returns to Land and Management for each Enterprise/System on the CRP Study.


1999 2000 9-Year

Net Return to System
Cash Crop -$18.80 -$55.23 -$17.79 -$22.74
Grazing $4.79 $22.81 $48.71 $11.67
Haying $4.04 $7.33 -$7.65 $3.11

Return to Land, Labor, and Management

Cash Crop $8.13 -$27.88 $9.51 $4.28
Grazing $36.63 $50.16 $76.01 $42.51
Haying $27.88 $12.71 -$2.26 $22.84

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