Project Summaries

08-313TX  Project Manager: J. M. Reeves


Jackie Smith, Texas A&M University

The overall objective of the High Plains (South Plains) Cotton Profitability project continues to be to provide the tools and the current data along with the skills to evaluate the potential profitability of alternative crops and technology. The Excel spreadsheet and other supporting information were distributed to producers all over Texas and several other states through workshops, e-mail, the profitability Web site and with other contacts during the year. The traffic on the project Web site has continued to be high especially from January through April when producers are making enterprise selection decisions.

The spreadsheet has been widely used and recommended by Farm Service Agency loan managers, area bankers and taxing entities. Not only is the spreadsheet downloaded from our Texas A&M AgriLife Web site, but it is available from other Web sites such as the PCG (Plains Cotton Growers) and PCCA (Plains Cotton Cooperative Association), and Cotton Incorporated Web sites.

Many producers from Texas and other states are using the comparative profitability spreadsheet for many reasons. It is easy to use, updated often and is easy for users to update as well. In addition, users like that it only one file and that the newest version can be downloaded from the Web site at any time. In addition, people like to have a good starting point to calculate their cost per acre or cost per pound or their breakeven prices. Moreover, users can go to one sheet and update the crop prices and input prices that they might usually have to change in every crop budget. Users of the spreadsheet can attend workshops and many have attended more than one workshop. Assistance from members of the profitability team are also available by telephone to answer questions and offer assistance.

In 2012, four workshops were taught for 43 participants, over 300 CDs with spreadsheet and supporting materials were distributed, the spreadsheet file was e-mailed about 200 times and the comparative profit spreadsheet was used to develop examples to use in at least 25 presentations to almost 2,000 producers at crop conferences. In November 2012, our Crop Cost iPad/iPhone app was approved by Apple and is now available free of charge from the Apple Store. This new format will not replace the Excel version for use on the computer. It is a condensed version with consolidated categories with less detail but can be used on their iPhone or iPad on the tractor or on the go in their vehicle. During 2012, there were 10 workshops taught on iPads and iPhones including demonstration of the Crop Cost app.

The objective of this project is to not only continue to make the spreadsheet more and more effective and accurate but also more user-friendly and current at all times. The spreadsheet is used in almost all the presentations made and mention how to access the spreadsheet from the Web site. This project will continue in 2013.


Project Year: 2012

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