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


Haying CRP Land

Ninety acres of CRP land adjacent to the grazing systems are cut for the hay crop. These were also seeded in 1985 to the same species used in the grazing study. Costs and returns for haying CRP land are shown in table 5. In 1992 the 90 acres of CRP hayland produced 403 bales averaging 1100 pounds. The quantity produced was the result of haying a field that had not been cut since 1985. The quantity was high but the quality was low, resulting in a lower return than average for grass-alfalfa hay that year. In 1993 the total production was lower but the quality was better since much of the old material had been removed. However, the value of the hay in the wet year of 1993 was about the same due to the abundance of hay on the market. In 1994 both quantity and quality increased and returns were appreciably higher than in 1993. Due to above-average precipitation in 1995, production increased to 288 bales averaging 1400 lbs/bale. Hay production in 1996 decreased to 236 bales each weighing 1300 lbs. Due to the abundance of hay on the market that year, hay prices dropped to $28/ton. Hay production again decreased in 1997 with only 152 1320-pound bales produced. Due to the dry conditions in 1997 hay prices increased to $45.00/ton, and helped increase returns to $5.17/acre. Hay production in 1998 yielded 155 bales each weighing an average of 1,594 lbs. At $40.00 per ton, the net returns for 1998 were $8.32 per acre. The above average precipitation during the 1999 growing season increased production to 232 bales each weighing 1,580 lbs. These conditions also affected the price of hay reducing it to $30.00 per ton.

Table 5. Costs and Returns for CRP Hay
  Average
1992-97
1998 1999 8-YR.
Average
Acres of Hay 90 90 90 90
Avg. Bale Wt. (Lbs.) 1324 1594 1580 1390
No. of Bales 251 155 232 237
Land Costs/Acre $26.93 $26.95 $27.35 $26.99
Mowing/Acre $4.70 $7.22 $7.44 $5.36
Baling/Bale $5.07 $5.23 $5.39 $5.13
Stacking-Hauling/Acre $5.52 $3.40 $5.09 $5.20
Total Costs $4,603.54 $4,192.19 $4,838.93 $4,581.54
Costs/Acre $51.15 $46.58 $53.77 $50.91
CRP Hay Value/T. $31.33 $40.00 $30.00 $32.25
Gross Returns $4,903.14 $4,941.40 $5,498.40 $4,982.33
Net Return/A. $3.33 $8.32 $7.33 $4.45

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