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What's the most profitable crop rotation in the Red River Valley?

What's the most profitable crop rotation in the Red River Valley?

Sugarbeets followed by corn, soybeans and then wheat comes out on top, but it's a wild coaster ride.

A rotation of sugarbeets followed by corn, soybeans and then wheat was produced the most profit in the Red River Valley over the last 10 years, says Sonja Sonja Flaagan, a North Dakota Farm Business Management Instructor at the Lake Region State College, Northwood office.

Her analysis is based on an analysis of the data farms enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Program.

But the rotation has a great deal of financial volatility. In 2009 to 2010 the net return per acre from sugarbeets changed over $475. From 2012 to 2013 the changes was almost $680

Sugarbeets are part of the most profitable crop rotation in the Red River Valley.

“If you are one of those farmers who has the ability, either through working capital or financial institution capacity, to handle that volatility, then sugarbeets are the right crop for you,” she says.

However, if you are looking for a crop that consistently year after year produces a profit, then should then be planting soybeans. This can be especially important for beginning farmers, she says.

“I am not discouraging anyone from raising a particular crop,” Flaagan says. “Good data can tell you so much about your operation and farmers around you. There is a reason that agriculture is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as: ‘the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products’. Your personal data may show that consistently year after you make a profit on spring wheat due to weather and soil conditions on your farm coupled with your personal management practices.”

Source: ND Farm Business Management Program

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