After many winters wincing at projected incomes based on anemic prices, 2021 crop budgets should be a joy to review this spring. We’ve put together a list of links to 2021 crop budgets from Land Grant Universities across the corn belt, to make it easier for you to forecast your own cost and expected revenue projections. Several of these links also include downloadable excel tools so you can customize budgets for your own operation.
Crop budgets everywhere
Crop financial planning is easier than ever these days. The good folks at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management put together a link that directs you to all the various crop budgets and their economist-contacts. You can get crop budgets alphabetized, here, or by state, here, depending on what you need. Unfortunately a few of these links are dead, but most of the corn belt sites offer plenty of crop budgeting tools and models.
If you spend some time looking at the figures in different states, you start to see the vastly different costs and expected yields that go into the crop ‘equation’ across the country. It’s a real education even if your farm is 1,000 miles away from the farms the link is built for.
University of Illinois
U. of I. offers a pretty detailed look at variable costs and returns to both land and operator at this link. Because the state has such different topography it also gives a breakdown for north, central and southern regions. Central Illinois farmers work in some of the most bountiful black prairie earth you’ll ever see, so it’s no wonder those expected yields and land costs are so high compared to other regions.
University of Nebraska
U. of Nebraska takes a slightly different approach, at this link. The document offers a basic outline of expected variable costs, then gives readers no fewer than 83 different crop budgets, broken down by types of tillage, dryland vs. irrigation, and other factors.
Iowa State University
Iowa State takes a fairly robust look at crop budgets, and also offers several internal-based calculators to create your own set of numbers, here. There’s a full blown corn belt nitrogen calculator here if you need help determining costs. If you go to this page and click down to, say, corn after corn, or strip-till following soybeans, you get to download some excel files you can use to plug in your own numbers.
Like many Land Grants, Purdue recently updated its crop budgets to reflect the surge in higher prices. You can find that page here. Economists Mike Langemeier and Brady Brewer discuss the numbers on a Purdue podcast here. Purdue also has two tools you can customize to use for your own farm, either online or as an excel download. Get their crop basis tool here, and a costs and returns excel file that you can use to pencil in your own figures, here.
Ohio State University
Ohio State economists have put together a vast collection of crop budgets that are all in downloadable excel format. Just go to this link and pick the crop you need to budget for.
If you’re curious about budgets for other regions, the ‘Farm Office’ page includes links directly to Missouri, Kansas State, Kentucky and other land grants.
Kansas State University
At K-State’s Ag Manager link you not only get budgets but also YouTube instructional videos on how to change or combine them. Kudos to economist Gregg Ibendahl for putting together the videos and instruction, here.
University of Missouri
When we searched for a dryland corn budget we got more than we bargained for. Go to this link and click on the “Missouri Crop Budgets XLSX” link. You’ll be rewarded with one downloadable excel tool that you can use for five different crops: dryland corn, irrigated corn, milo, dryland soybeans, double crop soybeans, and winter wheat.
North Dakota State University
In North Dakota economists have built a link that provides crop budgets for many crops, all broken down by specific regions. You can get a PDF to print and write in your own figures or excel files that allow instant readouts on projected costs and revenue.
South Dakota State University
Although this online page was last updated in November it provides a very robust link to get an all-in-one spreadsheet that offers crop budgets by region and by crop, as well as charts giving a snapshot view of how costs break down. Just scroll halfway down the page and click on the ‘Crop Production Budgets’ download link.
What else could you ask for?
We’d like to thank all those dedicated accountants and ag economists who have been toiling away at creating, updating, and sharing these budgets with farmers everywhere. Use these tools as a guide for more efficient spending and a more profitable 2021.
Good financial planning is at the heart of every profitable farm.