Farm Horizons, Feb. 2006

Planning is important; now's the time

By Myron Oftedahl, CCA
Farm Business Mgmt. Instructor
South Central Colleges, Mankato

It is winter, you have a vacation planned, and you have an income tax plan. Have you made a cropping plan? Have you made a marketing plan?

I would urge you to sit with your supplier, and form a crop plan for this spring.

“Why should I?” you ask. “I am going to do the same thing this year as I did in 2005.”

Doing it now eliminates the price surprises this spring. Input costs will be up. Do you have any options if the weather throws you a curve ball?

Putting a half-rate grass herbicide on at planting weatherproofs any chemical program, whether it is Round-up Ready, Liberty, or Conventional.

Now that you have a cropping plan, how about a plan to sell the crop?

Historically, there are some price opportunities before and during planting.

With the large 2005 crop, and 2004 carryover, watch closey for basic opportunities that will come up when an elevator or processor needs grain.

Because you made a cropping plan, you should be able to determine your cost of production. This is essential to know when developing your marketing plan.

According to the 2004 Crop Enterprise Analysis done by the Farm Business Management Program, the average return for corn was $32.21 per acre. The range was $54.21 on the low end, and $120.17 per acre on the high end.

Where do you fit in that range for 2004? Do you think the farms on the top end had a plan?

Successful plans require good records and bookkeeping, and a certain amount of dedication.

Hope that you create a successful plan for 2006.

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