2016 Crop Budgets


Cornhusker Economics January 13, 2016

2016 Nebraska Crop Budgets

The 2016 Nebraska Crop Budgets are complete and available online at:

Four new budgets have been added for dryland corn production in eastern Nebraska. 

The breakeven prices for 2016 are lower than they were in 2015 for every budget. The average decline in breakeven prices of the irrigated corn budgets is almost 24 cents per bushel; $4.42 in 2015 compared to $4.19 in 2016. (The apparent discrepancy in the math is because of rounding errors.) The break-even price for irrigated soybean budgets was 44 cents per bushel lower; $10.62 in 2015 compared to $10.18 in 2016.

Lower fuel cost is one reason for the decline in breakeven prices. The price used for fuel in 2015 was $3.25 per gallon compared to $2.25 per gallon in 2016. The fuel price for 2016 appears a little high now because it was obtained in October, 2015; but what it will be in the spring remains to be seen.

Fertilizer is another expense category where prices are lower in 2016 than they were in 2015. Nitrogen price is the main driver for this. The per-pound cost of nitrogen used in the budgets dropped from $0.55 per pound in 2015 to $0.47 per pound in 2016. Monoammonium phosphate has a lower proportion of nitrogen than any of the other fertilizers used in formulating the budgets and its price has changed the least over the past two years.

Prices for herbicides used in the budgets were mixed. Some of the prices for the products used in the budgets were higher and some lower. Some changed substantially, the changes in other price were more modest, and the prices used for some products were unchanged.

The prices for fungicides and insecticides used in the budgets either remained constant or increased modestly.

Land charges on the budgets are calculated by multiplying prices from University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agricultural Economics’ Farm Real Estate Report times 5% for opportunity cost plus 2% for an estimation of real estate taxes. The 2014-2015 report estimates of farmland prices decreased from a year earlier and these decreases showed up in the lower breakeven prices.

While decreased production costs are good news, they will not completely cover the reduced revenues from decreased crop prices. They do mitigate these revenue losses somewhat and may provide some optimism for the farm economy going forward. The following is a list of some selected budgets and their estimated breakeven prices.
Estimated Breakeven Prices
Budget NameBreakevenPer unit
77 per ton
9-Alfalfa, Large Round Bale, Dryland
10-Alfalfa, Large and Small Square Bale, Pivot Irrigated 113 per ton
11-Alfalfa, Roundup Ready®, Large and Small Square Bale, Pivot Irrigated 114 per ton
12-Alfalfa, Large and Small Square Bale, Pivot Irrigated 83 per ton
13-Alfalfa, Large Square Bale, Canal Irrigated 103 per ton
14-Alfalfa, Roundup Ready®, Large Square Bale, Canal Irrigated 103 per ton
15-Corn, Conventional Tillage, Continuous, 90 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 5.89 per bushel
16-Corn, Eastern Nebraska Conventional Tillage, Continuous, 155 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 5.1 per bushel
17-Corn, No-Till, Bt, ECB, RW & RR2, Continuous, 125 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 4.21 per bushel
18-Corn, Eastern Nebraska, No-Till, Bt, ECB, RW & RR2, Continuous, 170 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 4.22 per bushel
19-Corn, No-Till, SmartStax RIB Complete, Continuous, 130 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 4.11 per bushel
20-Corn, Eastern Nebraska No-Till, SmartStax RIB Complete, Continuous, 175 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 4.18 per bushel
21-Corn, No-Till, Bt & ECB, after Soybeans, 135 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.8 per bushel
22-Corn, Eastern Nebraska No-Till, Bt & ECB, after Soybeans, 180 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.91 per bushel
23-Corn, Ecofallow, Follows Wheat, Two Crops in Three Years, RR2, Bt & ECB, 125 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.75 per bushel
24-Corn, Ridge Till, Bt, ECB & RW, Continuous, 230 bu Yield Goal, Gravity Irrigated 4.16 per bushel
25-Corn, Ridge Till, SmartStax RIB Complete, Continuous, 240 bu Yield Goal, Gravity Irrigated 4.17 per bushel
26-Corn, Panhandle Continuous, SmartStax RIB Complete, 190 bu Yield Goal, Canal Irrigated 3.98 per bushel
27-Corn, No-Till, Bt, ECB & RW, Continuous, 240 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 4.1 per bushel
28-Corn, No-Till, SmartStax RIB Complete, Continuous, 250 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 4.04 per bushel
29-Corn, Bt, ECB & RW, Continuous, 230 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 4.43 per bushel
30-Corn, Panhandle, SmartStax RIB Complete, 190 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 4.57 per bushel
31-Corn, SmartStax RIB Complete, Continuous 240 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 4.41 per bushel
32-Corn, No-Till, Bt & ECB, after Beans, 240 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 3.84 per bushel
34-Dry Beans, Reduced Till with Wheat Cover Crop after Harvest, Pivot Irrigated 24 per cwt
35-Dry Beans, Conventional Tillage, Canal Irrigated 24 per cwt
36-Dry Beans, Conventional Tillage Using Pumped Water, Pivot Irrigated 25 per cwt
37-Dry Beans, Direct Harvest, Conventional Tillage Using Pumped Water, Pivot Irrigated 26 per cwt
38-Grain Sorghum, Conventional Tillage, 105 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.63 per bushel
39-Grain Sorghum, No-Till, 125 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.37 per bushel
40-Grain Sorghum, Ecofallow, After Wheat, Two Crops in Three Years, 115 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 3.25 per bushel
41-Grain Sorghum, No-Till, Limited Irrigation, 165 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 3.58 per bushel
50-Soybeans, Tilled Seed Bed, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Dryland 9.14 per bushel
51-Soybeans, No-Till, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Dryland 8.13 per bushel
52-Soybeans, No-Till, Roundup Ready®, Continuous, Dryland 8.83 per bushel
53-Soybeans, Tilled Seedbed, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Pivot Irrigated 10.72 per bushel
54-Soybeans, Ridge Till, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Gravity Irrigated 10.18 per bushel
55-Soybeans, No-Till 15-inch Row, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Pivot Irrigated 9.65 per bushel
56-Soybeans, Roundup Ready®, No-Till Narrow Row, Continuous, Pivot Irrigated 10.76 per bushel
57-Soybeans, No-Till Drilled 7.5-inch Rows, Roundup Ready® after Corn, Pivot Irrigated 9.61 per bushel
58-Sugarbeet, Panhandle, Roundup Ready®, One Pass Zone-Tillage, Canal Irrigated 35 per ton
59-Sugarbeet, Panhandle, Roundup Ready®, Conventional Tillage, Gravity Irrigated, Canal 35 per ton
60-Sugarbeet, Panhandle, Roundup Ready®, One Pass Zone-Tillage, Pivot Irrigated 38 per ton
61-Sugarbeet, Panhandle, Roundup Ready®, Conventional Tillage, Pivot Irrigated 38 per ton
62-Sunflower, Panhandle, No-Till, Following Corn or Grain Sorghum, Dryland 16.63 per cwt
63-Sunflower, Panhandle, Ecofallow, after Wheat, Two Crops in Three Years, Dryland 15.34 per cwt
64-Sunflower, Panhandle, No-Till, Pivot Irrigated 15.62 per cwt
65-Wheat, No-Till, Wheat after Row Crop, 50 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 6.08 per bushel
66-Wheat, No-Till Fallow, One Crop in Two Years, 60 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 6.72 per bushel
67-Wheat, Stubble Mulch Fallow, One Crop in Two Years, 55 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 7.13 per bushel
68-Wheat, Clean Till Fallow, One Crop in Two Years, 50 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 7.73 per bushel
69-Wheat, No-Till Wheat before Corn, Two Crops in Three Years, 65 bu Yield Goal, Dryland 6.03 per bushel
70-Wheat, No-Till after Beans, 100 bu Yield Goal, Pivot Irrigated 5.13 per bushel
71-Wheat, No-Till, in Rotation, Pivot Irrigated 5.72 per bushel

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Roger Wilson
Dept. of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
rwilson6@unl.edu

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