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Beginning farmers, and in some cases existing farmers, often look for alternative ways to make an income farming. Their circumstances do not allow them to compete with the low margin, high-volume commodities being produced today. The problem for them is figuring out which alternative enterprise might work best for their operation.
These budgets were designed to give producers an idea of what might be available for their situation. The budgets were designed to quickly show the level of knowledge needed, level of capital, time to pay off, and other important factors that need to be considered when deciding if an enterprise is right for their farm.
If an enterprise appears to fit with your existing operation, resources for further information are provided for each crop. It is important to start by using this information to develop a sound business plan that would incorporate the enterprise into the existing operation.
These crop and livestock enterprise budgets were prepared by Mike Duffy, ISU Extension economist, with assistance from Jodi Calvert, ISU economics student. Production of the budgets was supported by funding from the Leopold Center’s Policy Initiative in partnership with ISU's Beginning Farmer Center.
SALT is a project of the Leopold Center Policy Initiative and Drake University's Agricultural Law Center. Here are a few of the resources created as part of the project. Find more at the project website, SustainableFarmLease.org.
Additional resources are on our Iowa Land Tenure Working Group page.