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2024 forecast lower production costs for Nebraska farmers
Nebraska Ag Connection - 11/29/2023

Nebraska's crop producers, particularly those cultivating corn and wheat, are likely to benefit from lower production expenses next year. According to the latest estimates from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Agriculture Profitability (CAP), soybean production costs are expected to stay consistent, while corn and wheat could become more economical.

CAP's comprehensive analysis, covering 84 budgets across 15 different crops, incorporates various farming practices, technology, and yield goals. The estimates include both cash and economic costs, with the former excluding ownership costs of machinery and real estate opportunity costs for owned land.

A key factor in these projected reductions is the decrease in fertilizer expenses, anticipated to drop by 20-40% in many scenarios. This reduction is partly attributed to improved application techniques, with costs calculated at $0.60 per pound of nitrogen.

It's not all savings across the board. Expenses related to land, machinery, interest rates, and pesticides are all expected to rise.

The outlook for crop production expenses in 2024 seems cautiously optimistic, with potential cost reductions on the horizon. This is tempered by expectations of lower crop prices, posing challenges for achieving positive returns. Nebraska's crop producers will need to navigate these varying factors to maintain profitability in the coming year.

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