Crop Costs Jump 10%

Dry edible beans and confectionery sunflowers show the most profit potential. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jan 17, 2005

Total direct costs of crop production in North Dakota 2005 will increase more than 10% for most crops due to higher fertilizer and fuel expenses, says Andrew Swenson, NDSU extension farm management specialist.

Dry edible beans and confectionery sunflowers show the most profit potential in NDSU’s budgets. They may be more risky to grow than other crops, but with average yields, both will provide excellent returns, Swenson says.

Spring wheat, durum and canola project a return to labor and management of minus $10 to minus $30 in most of the nine crop budget regions. Malting barley is close to breaking even only in the west regions and the south-central region.

Winter wheat shows either a profit or small loss in all regions outside of the Red River Valley. Oats and rye once again are on the bottom of the profit picture, with losses ranging from $30 to $70 per acre.

Soybeans still will be strong in the east-central, southeast and Red River Valley regions, although the price of genetically modified seed took a substantial jump. Soybeans are not expected to be profitable in other regions. Corn acreage also will decline because of significantly higher costs and lower prices.

Flax and field peas do not project a profit, but the marketing loan rate is higher than for other crops.

NDSU economists base the budget on 1997 to 2003 average yields, with the low and high yield years omitted. They did not include direct or counter cyclical payments. You’ll find the budgets at the Web site,