ISU Extension releases crop cost estimates for 2015

AMES – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on Jan. 20  released its annual publication titled Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa – 2015. The publication is intended to help farmers determine their own potential 2015 crop costs per acre and per bushel. The calculations take into consideration the various crop costs like tillage practices, machinery, inputs, labor and land for varying yield expectations.

“In 2015, we expect a drop in the crop cost estimates for both corn and soybean production in Iowa,” said Steve Johnson, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Due to differences in soil potentials, crop rotations, quantity of inputs used and other factors, production costs will vary from farm to farm.

Johnson explained how they present the estimates. “The 2015 Iowa Crop Cost Estimates bar chart indicates the 2015 cost estimates for three different crop rotation options assuming conventional tillage practices and medium-yield expectations. Total costs are expected to decline from 2014 by 1 to 2 percent depending on the crop planted,” he said.

These cost estimates are representative of average costs for farms in Iowa. Very large or small farms may have lower or higher fixed costs per acre.

To calculate annual production costs, farmers may enter individual assumptions in the blanks on the budget tables in the 13-page publication. “Under ‘Your Estimate,’ farmers can list inputs like cash rent equivalents, rents for lower-grade land and even machinery operating costs, which all are projected to drop. Others like seed corn or fertilizer and lime costs for corn production may increase.

“This tool will make it easier to project crop production costs when planning this year’s income and expenses,” said Johnson. Decision Tool spreadsheets for each crop budget also are available to do the calculations electronically and allow users to save the analysis to their computer.

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