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Crop budgeting tool helps farmers maximize profitability
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/01/2024

Farmers face tough decisions this year due to shrinking profit margins in corn and soybeans. With planting season approaching, carefully evaluating input costs is crucial to maximizing profitability.

While budgeting for crops may not be the most exciting task, it's essential to ensure informed decision-making. Current market conditions, with corn and soybean prices hovering around $3.50 and $10.45 respectively, necessitate not only planning your main planting strategy but also creating alternative options in case market conditions force adjustments.

To assist farmers in planning their 2024 crop expenses, the UW-Madison Division of Extension offers a Crop Enterprise Budget Tool. This tool helps analyze the financial impact of various input costs like seeds, fertilizers, and herbicides on different planting scenarios. Farmers can input their specific costs and potential yields to estimate profitability under various market conditions.

The tool provides both online spreadsheets and printable forms for corn, soybeans, and winter wheat, allowing farmers with or without access to computers to perform their calculations.

Developing accurate budgets requires reliable estimates of factors like crop yields, input prices, and field operation costs. The tool utilizes average custom rates from various sources like the National Agricultural Statistics Service and local custom rate guides. Additionally, published crop yield data is available by county to provide a comprehensive picture of potential outcomes.

By using the Crop Enterprise Budget Tool and carefully considering the impact of various input choices on production costs, farmers can make informed decisions that increase their chances of a profitable 2024 growing season.

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