Livestock sales in 2010 amounted to 49.1% and crop sales accounted for 40.5% of cash operating income. Government payments were 2.8% of cash operating income in 2010 compared to 1.7% in 2009. Other farm income amounted to 7.6% in 2010. This data is based on a statistical analysis of each farm/ranch enrolled in the Farm/Ranch Business Management Program through the Mitchell Technical Institute.
Excellent crop yields and higher crop prices, good beef prices, and increased hog and milk prices in 2010 helped balance the livestock income and crop income, said Lori Christensen, Farm Management Instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute.
The most profitable crops in 2010 were Alfalfa Hay at $118.13/acre, Spring Wheat at $33.71/acre, Soybeans at of $186.40/acre, Oats at $80.99/acre, and Corn at $262.35/acre. Winter wheat showed a return/acre of $53.99 in 2010. No government payments were included in these crop enterprises.
The average yield in 2010 for Alfalfa Hay was 4.3 tons/acre, Spring Wheat at 43.3 bu./ac, Soybeans at 43.4 bu/ac, Oats at 86.4 bu/ac, Corn at 139.9 bu/ac, and Winter Wheat at 51.7 bu/ac.
The total cost per acre excluding land cost for Alfalfa was $164.47/acre, Spring Wheat was $143.25/acre, Soybeans at $183.98/acre, Oats at $118.01/acre, Corn at $286.04/acre, and Winter Wheat at $170.32/acre. To these figures one needs to add their land cost. This will vary depending upon if owned, cash rented or if crop shared. If we add a land cost of $100/acre to $286.04 cost/acre for corn and divide by $4.50/bu. harvest price we would need 85.8 bu/acre to break even. This does not include any government payments. The expenses per acre included fertilizer, chemicals, seed, crop insurance, machinery ownership and operation, interest, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Profitability depends on consistent high yields, price received, and low total production costs. said Christensen.
The South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management is expanding its reach later in 2011 to include north central/eastern South Dakota. This follows the expansion of 2010 that included central/eastern South Dakota. This expansion was made possible in part due to the support of Farm Credit Services of America, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, South Dakota Wheat Commission, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. For more information about the data in this article or about the programs offered please call 1-888-647-1527.