Tool helps growers analyze optimal crop mixes

Texas soybeans
Very early planted indeterminate soybeans, on the right, work best in Texas.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has launched a new budgeting tool that will allow growers to decide the optimal mix of irrigated crops for the Texas High Plains.

“We wanted to create a decision aid that assists irrigated operators in making management decisions on the optimal crop mix for their land,” Steve Amosson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in Amarillo, says in a news release. “And while High Plains’ budgets are used, the flexibility of this program makes it easily usable in other areas of the country.”

Dubbed the “2016 High Plains Crop Profitability Analyzer,” it provides analyses for irrigated alfalfa, canola, corn, corn silage, cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sorghum seed, sorghum silage, sorghum sudangrass, soybeans, sunflowers, triticale and wheat. It also includes dryland canola, cotton, sorghum, sorghum sudangrass, sunflowers and wheat.

The tool contains budget cost estimates that are averages, but it also allows users to modify the budgets and input their actual costs and yields.

The spreadsheet contains four sections where analysis is performed: enterprise budget, break-even, comparative and irrigation.

Based on the information and crop budgets, the tool calculates the amount of land and profitability for each crop and presents the results numerically and graphically.

Users also are able to toggle on or off crops, limiting the analysis to only the crops they’re interested in producing.

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