Enterprise budgets are a helpful tool for organizing and understanding what production costs are for the coming year. Producers can use enterprise budgets to examine their farm by crop, variety, irrigation, tillage, or any other production practice. The more specific the enterprise budget, the more a producer can determine where their farm is profitable and where it can be improved. Enterprise budgets are typically developed in the late fall or winter as producers plan their next year’s crop decisions.
Table 1 is an example of a corn enterprise budget developed at Mississippi State. The budget title should describe what is being examined in as much detail as possible. The income section should be a projection of the prices and yield expected for that enterprise. The costs can be broken down into direct and fixed expenses. Direct expenses are any costs needed in the production of the given crop, such as costs of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, seed, labor, etc. Fixed expenses are any costs that would be paid regardless of the production. In the example budget, this would be fixed expenses related to equipment, such as depreciation and interest. Returns above total expenses or break-even prices can then be calculated based on the expenses.
Mississippi State creates yearly enterprise budgets across various crops, like the one presented in Table 1. Costs are obtained from companies across Mississippi, and a multidisciplinary team puts together example enterprise budgets based on the latest trends/recommendations. Since every producer will have different costs and revenues, it is important for each producer to determine their own enterprise budgets that match their farm’s situation. Over 80 example budgets are available to help with this process at: https://www.agecon.msstate.edu/whatwedo/budgets.php. In addition, each state in the Southern Region will have their own version of enterprise budgets, so contact your local Agricultural Economics department for more information (links below). In times where input costs are especially high, developing an enterprise budget can help in managing those costs and in determining which crop is going to be the most profitable.
Table 1. Example Corn Enterprise Budget
Author: Brian E. Mills
Assistant Professor and Extension Economist
Delta Research and Extension Center
Mississippi State University