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Farm Management Information Available at Farm.doc

Farm.doc is a website maintained in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois (www.farmdoc.illinois.edu). It contains useful information for farmers who are making decisions under risk, including machinery cost estimates, farmland values and rental considerations, and business analysis tools.

Often, machinery cost estimates are used in setting custom rates as well as in analyzing machinery costs on farms. In 2000, the cost of planting using a conventional planter is estimated at $7.90 per acre, while chisel plowing is $10.80 per acre, corn combining is $27.70 per acre, and soybean combining is $23.10 per acre. Publications giving these costs are found in the management section of farm.doc under "machinery and buildings."

Each year, the value of farmland in Illinois is estimated. Between 1999 and 2000, farmland values in Illinois declined by 1.6 percent, the first decline since 1987. At farm.doc, farmland index values are given for the years between 1920 and 2000. These index values can be used to estimate the basis for farmland and estimate the value of farmland given a past price. Index values are found in the management section of farm.doc under "farmland values and rents."

Farm.doc also offers business analysis tools-specifically, 14 Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Separate spreadsheets prepare projected cash flows, estimate break-even prices for grain, prepare balance sheets and financial statements, analyze machinery financing alternatives, determine break-even bid prices for farmland, and evaluate capital investments in grain bins. These spreadsheets can be downloaded for free and are available in the finance section of farm.doc under "business analysis tools."

Gary Schnitkey, Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
(217) 244-9595; schnitke@illinois.edu

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