OSU Extension tool aids farmers in budgeting farm enterprises

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Source: Ohio State University Extension

With the economy still in flux and agriculture production inputs like fertilizer still historically high, budgeting farm enterprises is even more essential to remaining profitable and sustainable.

Ohio State University Extension is offering producers a budgeting resource tool to help guide them through the decision-making process of committing resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm.

The 2009 Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets continue OSU Extension's long history of providing a starting point for producers as they "pencil out" their budgeting process. Developed by OSU Extension agricultural economists with the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, the enterprise budgets are compiled on downloadable Excel spreadsheets that let users input their own production and price levels to calculate their own budget numbers.

"What's more profitable? Corn? Soybeans? Wheat? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought-out budgets that include all revenue and costs," said Barry Ward, OSU Extension agricultural economist and leader of production business management. "Without some form of budgeting and some method to track an enterprise's progress, a producer will have difficulty determining his or her most profitable enterprise(s) and if the goals were met for the farm."

Enterprise budgets updated so far for 2009 include corn-conservation tillage, soybeans-no-till, and wheat-conservation tillage. The materials have a new look with color-coded cells that will allow users to plug in numbers to easily calculate bottoms lines for different scenarios. Detailed footnotes are included to help explain methodologies used to obtain the budget numbers.

Ward said that the enterprise budgets will be updated periodically throughout 2009 as changes in price and costs occur. Topics include: corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa hay, grass hay, corn silage, sweet corn, popcorn, market steer, market yearling steer, market heifer, cow-calf, ewe and lamb, and dairy cow replacement.

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