Crop Budget Estimator Tool for Forages (Detailed)


May 4, 2020 Author:

The Crop Budget Estimator for Forages is a Microsoft Excel based tool built around key areas that producers need to consider as they plan for and continually evaluate their growing season.  Similar to the Crop Budget Estimator for Grains, it combines in one place:

  • Marketing Goals
  • Yield Goals
  • Detailed Chemical Planning
  • Detailed Fertilizer Planning
  • Break-Evens of:
    • Net Farm Income
    • Cash Flow
    • Net Worth
    • Economic Profitability.

The Crop Budget Estimator is only as useful to the producer as the information that they put into it. Using their own farm records, they can build a budget that is used for Marketing decisions, comparing Chemistry and Fertilizer programs recommended by crop nutritionists and advisors, evaluating Capital Purchases (i.e. a new tractor or combine), and other important management decisions for their farm.

These management decisions are broken into four key areas:

  • Net Returns
  • Financial Scorecard
  • Break-Evens
  • Fertility Program.

It also includes an Optimization Tool that uses the budgets created to determine what the optimal combination of acres results in the highest profitability for the farm.

  • Producers define:
    • Maximum total operating costs
    • Minimum acres of alfalfa hay, alfalfa/grass hay, or grass hay to be planted (for maintaining rotational needs)
    • Total number of acres to be planted

More information on how to use this tool can be found in the Crop Budget Estimator Tool factsheet.


Tags: cass county, changing markets cost of production, farm management, field crops, firm budgets & cost of production cost of production tools, forages, msu extension, resilient business decision tools

Related Topic Areas

Forages, Field Crops, Farm Management


Jonathan LaPorte

Jonathan LaPorte

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