Crop Budget Analyzer

Ken Williams – UW-Extension-Waushara County

The decline in grain prices makes it essential for producers to accurately project the potential profitability of the crops they will plant in 2016. Production costs currently are around $500 to $550 per acre for unirrigated corn and up to $700 per acre for irrigated corn. Production costs for soybeans and winter wheat run around $300 to $350 per acre. The cost to seed an acre of alfalfa will tally up to around $600 per acre. These costs include a land charge of $75 per acre.

Enterprise budgets for grain crop production are increasingly important as the market price for grain crops and the cost for inputs to grow these crops continue to increase. While working with area grain producers there was a need expressed for a simple and concise way to compare the potential production costs and returns for various crops. These spreadsheets enable anyone to easily see the production cost and the potential return for corn, soybeans, winter wheat, seeding alfalfa and established alfalfa. Each spreadsheet is concise enough to print on a standard 8½ x 11 page of paper. How to use instructions are included. The producer is able to enter the cost per ton for the fertilizer he uses as well as the amount applied per acre. Seed cost is calculated by entering the cost per bag and the population being planted. There are pop up directions as the cursor is moved from cell to cell. Tillage costs are covered by using custom rates for each operation. The grower may change these rates and simply enter a 0 or a 1 or 2 to indicate which tillage he is using and how many passes. For harvest there is a harvest, drying and trucking charge included. A line is included for land cost whether it is owned or rented land. At the bottom of the spreadsheet the grower can enter his expected yield and the expected selling price. The corn and soybean sheets have a sensitivity analysis table which provides the producer with net returns for changes in costs of production and selling price for 10 and 20 percent above and below the indicated cost of production and the expected market returns. The key goal of this spreadsheet was to develop an understandable, easy to use spreadsheet to collect the major expenses in a crop production system. Producers have stated that they are concerned with covering their major costs while still being able to compare the potential returns from alternative crops.

This spreadsheet is posted and available for download from the UW-Extension, Waushara County website, Click on “Crop-Budget-Analyzer Feb 16_2016”. This spreadsheet has been used by producers, bankers, co-operatives, newspapers, technical school instructors and land conservation personnel from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Arkansas and other neighboring states. For additional information or questions contact Ken Williams at or 920-787-0416.