Regional

Some N.D. crops project a profit in 2017

The most favorable crop budgets were in the western part of the state.
Each region in North Dakota has at least a few crops that project a profit in 2017, says Andy Swenson, North Dakota State University Extension Service farm management specialist.
However, because of agronomic and risk factors, enough profitable crop options may not be available to provide a sustainable crop rotation in many regions of the state.
The most favorable crop budgets were in the western half of the state, led by the southwest region, in which 13 crops projected a positive return. Conversely, the south Red River Valley only projected a profit for soybeans and dry edible beans. Crop yields have shown substantial improvement in western North Dakota, and land costs there are less than in eastern North Dakota.
A positive was slightly lower total costs per acre because of lower fertilizer prices and a reduction in some seed prices. Also, the land charge used in the budgets was slightly lower than last year for most regions.
The situation on the revenue side was mixed. Yields have increased noticeably in many instances, but prices for most crops are low, relative to recent history.
The two largest crop acreages in the state are spring wheat and soybeans. For 2017, spring wheat projects a negative return in all regions. The best projections are for the southwest and northeast regions at about minus $5 per acre, and the worst was for the south Red River Valley at a minus $46 return to labor and management per acre. Returns per acre in other regions ranged from minus $10 to minus $26 per acre.
Soybeans projected a profit in eight of nine regions. The positive returns ranged from about $10 per acre in the northwest, south-central and north Red River Valley regions to $52 in the north-central region.
Nearly all regions projected negative returns for corn, durum and oil sunflowers. Exceptions were the higher-risk regions for corn production – the northwest and southwest regions – with projected returns of about $13 per acre return. Durum projected a per acre return to labor and management of $14 in the southwest region and $5 in the south-central region, and oil sunflowers are expected to return $9 per acre in the southwest region.
Canola projects a profit of about $10 per acre in the four regions of the state where it is most commonly grown.
Projected returns to labor and management for malting barley were negative in the north and south Red River Valley and near breakeven in the southeast region but positive in the other six regions of the state, ranging from $17 to $35 per acre.