Introducing the Crop Budget Estimator

A Microsoft Excel-based tool

A photo of the new budget tool farmers have access to use to figuring out finances easier.
Photo by Jon LaPorte

Many economists are estimating that farm profits will be at similar levels to those experienced this past year.  With cold temperatures and wet conditions this spring creating additional uncertainty to work through, farmers are continually looking for ways to improve the sustainability of their farm businesses.  Michigan State University Extension farm management educators want to help farmers focus on what they can control and better manage through these uncertain times. 

Introducing the Crop Budget Estimator, a Microsoft Excel-based tool, built around key areas that producers need to consider as they plan for and continually evaluate their growing season.  Using the farm’s own records or current market information, farm managers can evaluate and more accurately make a number of management decisions that reflect the situation of their individual farm business.

It combines in one place:

  • Marketing and yield goals
  • Chemical program and weed resistance planning
  • Fertilizer program planning and plant nutrient needs
  • Financing impacts of purchases and loans
  • Break-even analysis

This combination of economic and agronomic information allows producers to make better marketing decisions, compare chemistry and fertilizer programs recommended by crop nutritionists and advisors, evaluate the potential impact of capital purchases (i.e. a new tractor or combine), and other important decisions that may be encountered throughout the season.

As Michigan farms face challenging weather conditions, uncertainties brought on by commodity markets, and concern over tightening margins, making well-informed decisions has never been more important.  Using tools like the Crop Budget Estimator can help producers improve profitability, be productive, and minimize potential risks to their farm business.

To access this new tool, please visit: and look for the video tutorials demonstrating the various uses and concepts of the Estimator.

There is also a fact sheet designed to help producers better understand the many uses of the Estimator. 

For the fact sheet, please visit:

For those producers looking for similar assistance with these type of management decisions, but with less detail to input, there is a simple version of the Crop Budget Estimator available here:   

For those wanting a more thorough analysis of their operation and help in managing farm financing, contact your local MSU Extension FIRM Team educator:

Did you find this article useful?

You Might Also Be Interested In