Dakota Farmer

NDSU issues 2019 version of Crop Compare online tool

Crop Compare allows you to quickly compare cropping scenarios right up to planting.

January 16, 2019

2 Min Read
farmer standing in wheat field with laptop computer
QUICK CHECK: Keep up with changing crop budgets with NDSU’s Crop Compare, an online spreadsheet. shotbydave/Getty Images

NDSU has updated its online Crop Compare program for 2019. You can use the spreadsheet to quickly assess changing crop budgets until you make the final decision on what to plant in 2019.

The spreadsheet is easy to use. Direct costs and yields from NDSU Extension Service’s 2019 crop budgets are built into the spreadsheet, but you can plug in your farm’s expected yields and input costs. You designate one crop to be the reference crop and enter its expected market price. The spreadsheet then compares it to crops that are grown in your region. The program automatically calculates the prices for competing crops that would be necessary to provide the same return over variable costs as the reference crop.

“Producers can compare these breakeven prices to expected market prices to see which crop is most likely to compete with the reference crop,” says Andy Swenson, NDSU Extension farm management specialist.

Note: The program assumes that fixed costs such as machinery ownership, land, and the owner’s labor and management do not vary among crop choices and therefore do not need to be included in the analysis.

“In practice, there may be differences in fixed costs that should be considered,” Swenson says. “For example, there may be additional labor, management and risk associated with a competing crop. If all the labor and management is provided by the owner-operator, it would be considered a fixed cost and could be excluded. However, the producer should add some cost if he or she would only want to produce the crop when an adequate reward would be received for the extra time and management required relative to the reference crop. A similar rationale could be used if a competing crop is considered higher risk.

“Grain prices can move quickly. The program is a tool to check the changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made this spring.”

The Crop Compare program is available online.

Source: NDSU Extension Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like