2024 Nebraska Crop Budgets — A Mixed Review With Some Costs Higher, Some Lower
While field operation costs are projected higher for the 2024 Nebraska crop enterprises, some material input costs are lower than were projected for 2023. One driving force on lower cost projections for 2024 is 20% to 40% less on fertilizer prices is factored in on many budgets, and five pounds less nitrogen fertilizer was entered for a majority of the corn budgets due to continued improvement of application practices. Cost scenarios for individual producers can vary based on their timing of input purchases and price variabilities. The 84 Nebraska crop budgets are now available online in three formats with a complete 96-page pdf report, an Excel file, along with links to all of the budget reports created using the Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) program where enterprise budget data can be downloaded into user accounts and then modified for individual farm operations.
Financial risk exposure associated with yield, input prices, market changes or other factors should be measured. It is important to develop cost of production baseline information to utilize market opportunities as they are available, consider input decisions, and make timely risk management decisions. Knowing projected enterprise costs can provide confidence in decision making.
While there are 15 different crops included in the Nebraska crop budgets ranging from alfalfa to peas and millet to sugarbeets, sunflowers, and cover crops, included here are comments and figures on three widely grown Nebraska crops, corn, wheat, and soybeans. Estimated economic costs per bushel for 2024 corn and wheat are three to four percent lower than 2023 projections were a year ago. Cash costs per bushel reflect a wider difference over a year ago with fuel and fertilizer prices down. With land values across Nebraska 14% higher and machinery prices higher once again, the differences in the average economic (or total) costs per bushel for corn and wheat are modest. Since the budgets for soybean production don’t include fertilizer inputs, there are smaller cash cost differences between this year and last. Economic (total) costs per bushel on soybeans average $0.39 more on dryland and $0.46 more on irrigated land per bushel over a year ago.