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Cash Expenses for Corn Projected Lower in 2021

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics and crop specialists released crop and pasture budgets for 2021. The budgets project the cash costs for dryland and irrigated corn production will be lower in 2021.

Cash costs for dryland corn are projected to average $2.34 per bushel, and average $2.28 per bushel on irrigated corn. The lower costs are mostly due to lower fuel costs. For soybeans, the average cash cost on dryland is pegged at $5.53 per bushel, and $4.64 per bushel on irrigated. Declining oil prices also means material costs, like fertilizer and pesticides, are projected to be lower this year in most crop budgets. Overhead costs, though, are projected higher, meaning costs per unit of production are projected to remain similar to last year.

The budgets include 15 different crops with both cash costs and total economic costs. Cash costs do not account for the ownership costs of machinery and equipment or the opportunity costs of land. Total economic costs account for these costs. Figure 3 provides a summary of the costs for dryland and irrigated soybeans as an example of the variety of budget information available. More information can be found online at https://cropwatch.unl.edu/budgets and an review of the budgets can be found at https://agecon.unl.edu/cornhusker-economics/2021/2021-nebraska-crop-budgets-review.

The Department of Agricultural Economics is also developing the Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) program which can be used in conjunction with the crop budgets. Through ABC, UNL budgets can be downloaded and customized to fit cropping practices, prices, and inputs. Or producers can create their own budgets as well through the program. The program is now available for producers to use and test. Livestock budgets will be added to the program soon. For more information go to: https://farm.unl.edu/abc.

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