NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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2017 Crop Budgets

2017 crop budgets, budgets

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources   

The 2017 crop budgets provide an estimate of revenues and costs for selected crops. Each set of budgets are developed for a multi-county region. The NDSU Extension Publication for South Western North Dakota is EC1652 and can be picked up at the Extension office free of charge.

There is considerable variation in soil type and productivity, weather conditions, as well as management and production practices within each region. Therefore, THESE BUDGETS ARE ONLY INTENDED TO BE USED AS A GUIDE. EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO DEVELOP HIS/HER OWN BUDGETS!

The profitability budget accounts for full economic opportunity costs for land and machinery investment, regardless of farm operator equity position. The bottom line is the return to labor and management. This is the expected “payment” to the producer for the labor and managerial efforts required by the crop enterprise. Each individual must make the decision whether it is sufficient. The budget can be changed to conform to the more common definition of accounting profit (return to unpaid labor and management, and owner equity) by replacing the machinery investment and land charge cost items with your per acre interest and rental expense of machinery and land, and real estate tax if land is owned.

The budget can be used for long run decisions if the revenues and costs are realistic for several years. (Crop prices, direct costs, and the land charge are best estimates for only the 2017 crop year, but crop yields are historic averages and machinery ownership costs are an average for the total length of ownership). If the budget shows a high return to labor and management, and is representative for several years, increased acreage and corresponding investment should be considered. However, if long-run returns to labor and management are unsatisfactory the best decision may be to exit the crop enterprise and employ the machinery and land investment, and labor and management, in a different enterprise or investment.

For short-run planning decisions you can omit the indirect costs if the land and machinery required to produce the different enterprises are in place. Simply compare the crop enterprises by calculating return over direct costs. Labor requirements and risk should also be considered. Insurance is not available for some crops.

The budget can be used to estimate cash-flow by making a few modifications. Machinery depreciation should be omitted and the machinery investment number replaced with your per acre principal and interest payment on machinery debt. For owned land, the land charge should be replaced with your per acre real estate tax and principal and interest payment on land debt.

The 2014 Farm Bill initiated the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) support programs. PLC and ARC payments have been omitted from the budgets because those payments, if any, are tied to historic farm program base acres, not to current crop selection or production.

Nineteen different crop budgets are listed in the publication along with a machinery expense list. These budgets give an idea of what your breakeven cost will be for 2017, and provide valuable information that is easy to understand. If you have any question please call me or call the authors listed.

Sources: Andrew Swenson and Ron Haugen, NDSU Farm Management Specialists

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