A non-scientific survey conducted by Nebraska Farm Bureau at Husker Harvest Days in September found rising input costs were the top concern among producers—35 percent identified them as the top concern. The Nebraska findings were parroted in a Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer in October when over 40 percent of respondents said higher inputs costs were their top concern. There’s little doubt crop production costs will be higher in 2023. The question is how much? Crop budget estimates by the Center for Agriculture Profitability (CAP) at UNL hint at an answer. And producers’ fears are going to be realized. According to CAP, costs to raise the state’s three major crops—corn, soybeans, and wheat—are estimated to rise by as much as 25 percent next year.
CAP estimates include 84 budgets for 15 different crops using a variety of tillage practices, crop rotations, seed technologies, nutrient and pesticide applications, and yield goals. Average total costs per bushel for corn are expected to be 23-25 percent above last year and 13-19 percent higher for soybeans. Costs for wheat are expected to jump over 20 percent. The estimates are the sum of all costs, including machinery ownership and land opportunity costs, divided by projected yields.
Table 1 highlights the ranges of estimated per bushel costs for dryland and irrigated corn, soybeans, and wheat for 2023 compared to this year. Next year’s higher costs are being driven primarily by fuel, fertilizer, and field operation costs. The ownership costs of land and rental rates are also factors in the cost increases. The budgets and more information can be found at: https://cap.unl.edu/cropbudgets. The budgets can be downloaded and modified to fit individual operations.
Table 1. Estimated per Bushel Production Costs
Source: 2023 Crop Budgets, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln