Saginaw Valley crop budget tool for 2013 crop enterprise comparison

An updated 2013 crop enterprise budget simulation template is now available for Saginaw Valley row crop projections and estimates for potential breakeven values.

A 2013 updated Excel template is now available for farm producers who wish to do a quick crop mix comparison of up to five commodity budgets. Utilizing current 2013 input and market prices, the template gives farm producers a quick and easy method to fine-tune enterprise budgets to fit their production system. By using this tool, you have a quick side by side method to estimate cost and return margins for a group of potential row crops which you may be considering for this year’s crop production mix. The Excel template was developed by Dennis Stein, Farm Risk Management Educator for Michigan State University Extension, and allows the user a great deal of flexibility to customize the various input cost lines to numbers that most closely match actual farm costs.

The real value of a tool like this is the ability to develop a variety of quick hypothetical situations that could potentially occur during this year’s growing season and allows you to quickly see how that could impact the farm’s bottom line. Knowing what your farm’s cash costs are for each commodity enterprise by the acre or even per bushel can be a useful tool to make final crop planting decisions.

Having the base cash cost of production is the foundation for working on a good commodity marketing plan. To create a good marketing plan, you would need to establish some target prices that provide a positive margin.

Another way that farm operators often use the crop budget template is to evaluate the potential impacts of making some minor or even major shifts in the crop mix to be planted. Because we continue to see ever shifting swings in commodity prices and input costs, farm managers now understand the value of making adjustments in the production mix on their farms. Having a budget simulation template can help save time needed to compare different situations.

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