’Flowers Do Well in Cost/Return Survey
A comparison of crop production costs, yields and returns for south central North Dakota covering the years 2005 through 2009 found sunflower to be the second most profitable crop among the seven covered in the study.
Data for the study were gathered directly from producers enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Program, Region 3. Results were compiled by Steve Metzger, farm business management instructor based at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center.
Along with oil sunflower, the study included barley, canola, corn, hard red spring wheat (HRSW), hard red winter wheat (HRWW) and soybeans. The seven study crops covered a total of 441,858 acres during the five-year period of 2005-09. Irrigated crops were not included in the report.
In terms of net return per acre (including farm program payments), barley came out on top at $104.10. Oil-type sunflower was second at $82.83, followed by HRSW ($82.54), HRWW ($81.13), soybeans ($78.72), corn ($64.98) and canola ($53.04).
“The highest five-year average gross return, excluding direct and counter-cyclical payments, was claimed by corn at $342.67 per acre,” Metzger reports. Corn also had the highest level of direct cost at an average of $244.27 per acre.
The average yield for the oil sunflower fields in this five-year survey was 1,617 lbs/ac. Breakeven yield was 1,189 lbs.
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