A collection of tools for the modern farm business from the pages of Farm Futures magazine.

Farm Futures offers readers an innovative feature every issue thanks to the Spreadsheet of the Month program. With these spreadsheet tools you can engage in "what if" scenarios for your farm business exploring a range of topics to improve how you tackle specific issues.

Below you'll find a selection of the spreadsheets we've produced since Farm Futures returned to the market. This is a significant collection of files, and a valuable resource for your farm. Check them out and work the numbers.

Click on the links below to open the files using your Excel software.

Spreadsheet Link
OCTOBER 2004: You can check out your Marketing Alternatives with this handy spreadsheet. We've included the calculations to help you determine both pre- and post-harvest pricing options.
Pricing Alternatives
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2004: Match your storage strategy with a profitable outcome using this simple spreadsheet.
Cost of Storage
JANUARY 2005: Using this spreadsheet you can calculate your net selling price.
Add it up
FEBRUARY 2005: The classic DuPont financial analysis model can help farmers too. This spreadsheet provides hefty what-if analysis potential.
DuPont Model
MARCH 2005: Looking for ways to manage machinery costs and keep up with the big iron on your farm? Use this farmer-designed spreadsheet for your operation.
Machinery Costs
SEPTEMBER 2005: This form makes filling out those complicated balance sheets a lot easier. The spreadsheet inclues separate worksheets for each of the statemeents frequently required by lenders.
Balance Sheets Made Easy
OCTOBER 2005: Want a better handle on what might be in your bins? This handy spreadsheet helps take the guesswork out of that task. You'll want to "enable macros" when this spreadsheet loads.
Bushel Tracker
JANUARY 2006: Turn plot data into dollars by using this spreadsheet to rank hybrid performance in test plots. The spreadsheet calculates income on a per-acre basis.
Test Plot Tracker
MARCH 2006: Update this spreadsheet with your individual crops, input costs, yields, rental agreements and timing of inputs and expenses. Yields translate into per-acre revenue, with a special section devoted to evaluating the landlord’s share of the pie.
Cash Flow Balancer
APRIL 2006: This handy spreadsheet, which works great for cotton producers, can help you figure seed costs ahead of planting.
Seed Cost Calculator
MAY/JUNE 2006: Simply enter the basic inputs and it does the calculations and keeps the data for your records. The spreadsheet even includes a section that will adjust the figures if you calibrate first with water, but want to actually spray with another carrier such as 32-0-0, 28-0-0 or 10-34-0.
Chemigation Calculator
NOVEMBER 2006: Track corn, soybean and wheat production, allowing one to estimate storage needs ahead of harvest, while keeping track of grain sold and crop breakevens if you choose to enter your variable expenses.
Grain Sale Manager
FEBRUARY 2007: How big do you need to be? Rod Jones of Kansas State University developed a spreadsheet for evaluating whether your farm has a large enough asset base to reach those goals, based on your individual circumstances. It will calculate the amount of income needed from the farm business to reach your financial goals, as well as the asset base needed to generate that income, just click on
Farm Size Analysis
MARCH 2007: A quick check of your financial ratios provides a snapshot of your operations overall health. Jason Brossart of Rugby, N.D., wrote this spreadsheet to measure his financial ratios against industry benchmarks.
Farm Ratio Tool
APRIL 2007: William Fordham of Ohio, Ill., developed an interactive corn-ethanol matrix spreadsheet that will allow you to evaluate the breakeven cost for your local ethanol plant, of which you may be an investor. Just click on
Ethanol Cost Matrix
MAY/JUNE 2007: J. Charles Walters of Graceville, Minn., developed a simple spreadsheet for tracking net income for various crops. It even breaks down variable and fixed costs per bushel for establishing marketing targets.
Cost Tracker
JULY/AUGUST 2007: Ethanol plants are sprouting up across the Midwest, and the price of corn reflects this new emerging market. The cash price of corn is tempting, but your neighbor needs the silage and is willing to negotiate. William Edwards and Dan Loy of Iowa State Extension built a spreadsheet to help you put a fair value on your corn silage.
Corn Silage Value Tool
SEPTEMBER 2007: New biofuels plants sprouting up across the countryside have certainly given new life to the corn and soybean markets, but how do you compare those marketing options without first knowing your trucking costs? David Holthaus of Baileyville, Kan., wrote a spreadsheet that allows him to know his trucking costs per mile and per bushel, including labor, fixed and variable costs for accurately evaluating hauling options.
Trucking Costs
OCTOBER 2007: The battle for 2008 crop acres is expected to offer profitable marketing opportunities over the coming months, with many producers having already priced a portion of next year's production. Sam Serven of St. Augustine, Ill., developed a spreadsheet to track his pre-harvest sales.
Sales Tracker
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007: Farm management experts agree that high-profit farms effectively match machinery type and size to farm needs in a way that reduces per-acre costs while guarding operation efficiency and productivity. William Edwards of Iowa State University developed a simple spreadsheet that you can use as a tool to assess your annual and per-acre machinery costs by operation.
Machinery Cost Tool
JANUARY 2008: The University of Illinois developed a spreadsheet for evaluating several different crop rotation scenarios; this time including wheat in the mix, as well as double-cropping soybeans. It allows you to either utilize their budget defaults, or to put in your own numbers for your farm.
Crop Rotation Strategies
FEBRUARY 2008: GPS guidance systems are rapidly growing in popularity, but will they pay-off for you? A spreadsheet built by Terry Kastens and Kevin Dhuyvetter of Kansas State University and Dietrich Kastens of Kastens, Inc. allows you to decide for your self.
GPS Payback
MARCH 2008: William Edwards at Iowa State University developed a spreadsheet for appraising the decision based on expected costs and returns derived from previous Iowa planting trials.
Decision Making Tool
APRIL 2008: Do you get frustrated with chemical application calculations; keeping ounces, pounds and acres straight? Spring planting requires plenty of record keeping and calculations to keep one up at night, unless you have a helpful tool. Duane Owens farms near Mankato, Minn., but he loves to tinker with his computer as well. He put his skills together and developed a spreadsheet that he'd like to share for wrestling through all the calculations and record keeping.
Chemical Application Calculator
MAY/JUNE 2008: Drs. Beob Kim and Hans Stein of the University of Illinois recently teamed up to tackle a problem plaguing swine producers; how to cost-effectively introduce dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS) into swine rations. To solve the problem they developed a spreadsheet that calculates the value of including DDGS in various diets fed to swine. Their work was supported in part by the Illinois Pork Producers Association.
DDGS Swine Calculator
JULY/AUGUST 2008: Travis Brass is a young farmer from Buffalo Center, Iowa balancing opportunity with risk as he builds his operation. Taking on more land is tempting, but he wants to be smart with his growth plan. He developed a spreadsheet to guide his decisions that would weigh the increased costs against the expected returns of taking on a new parcel of land.
Growth Decision Tool
SEPTEMBER 2008: Analysts believe that corn input costs will be up another 30 to 35% in 2009, causing more farmers to look to alternative fertility sources. Meanwhile, livestock producers want to maximize the value of the product coming out of the pit, while spreading it efficiently. Mark Niebrugge of Sigel, Illinois developed a spreadsheet that uses unload time, speed and yield goals to apply manure while calculating the total acres needed to empty his pits each time. He uses a light bar for accurate ground speed and has been within 100 gallons of application per acre.
Manure Use Calculator
OCTOBER 2008: Knowing the cost of drying will aid in your harvest decisions. This year’s late-maturing corn crop left the grain wet in the field late in the season. Farmers must decide whether to risk leaving the crop subject to the elements even longer to get the needed dry-down or to bring the crop in and pay high energy costs for drying it. William Edwards at Iowa State University designed a spreadsheet to make that decision a bit easier.
Grain Drying Manager
NOVEMBER 2008: The 2008 Farm Bill included a new Supplemental Revenue Assistance program, known as SURE, which is designed to protect against crop losses resulting from adverse weather. The Texas Agrilife Extension service worked with the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. to develop a powerful spreadsheet for assessing SURE coverage for a farm operation.
SURE Program Tool
DECEMBER 2008/EXTRA: This fall's unexpected collapse of Wall Street sent grain prices spiraling downward and antacid sales higher for farmers locked into costly land leases. Kansas State University’s Kevin Dhuyvetter and Terry Kastens developed a spreadsheet to put you confidently back into control of your lease decisions.
Land Rent Calculator
JANUARY 2009: The uncertainty of the global economic outlook has many farmers reviewing their own financial health as well. This spreadsheet developed by William Edwards, extension economist, Iowa State University, answers many of the questions you and your lender may have, focusing on your farm financial statement. Farm Financial Statements 
APRIL 2009: A lot of producers buy crop revenue insurance, but aren't sure how the guarantees fit with their marketing plan. Alan Hoehne, Stanton, Neb., developed a spreadsheet for his Federal Crop Insurance that allows him to easily and quickly look at different price and yield scenarios. Crop Insurance Tool 
MAY 2009: If your smart phone can handle entering data into a spreadsheet, then this set (all in one file) developed by Mark Kirkman, Vernon, Mich., may be just what you need. Sized for a smaller screen, these mini-spreadsheets can calculate fertilizer and chemical application rates, and mixing rates. Kirkman enters notes and data into the sheets, and when he synchs his phone at the end of the day the information is saved to his office computer. Smart Phone Spreadsheets 
JULY/AUGUST 2009: If you're making the switch to a high-deductible insurance plan combined with a Health Savings Account. That HSA has potential as a savings vehicle, and James Porterfield, Park Ridge, Ill., has developed a tool for evaluating the opportunity. While each individual must carefully weigh health insurance and HSA options, this tool is a good place to start. Health Savings Account Analyzer 
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009: With a crop in the bin, this spreadsheet developed by Kevin Dhuyvetter, Kansas State University economist, helps break down your marketing alternatives side-by-side. The spreadsheet compares potential returns of your alternatives against anticipated movement in the cash market to add common sense to your marketing plan. Marketing Options 
DECEMBER 2009: Livestock producers need to keep a tight rein on feed costs, but you need a lot of information to do that. The University of Illinois developed a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate costs per pound of energy and crude protein on a dry matter basis, minus storage loss and transportation costs. The spreadsheet even calculates the relative value of different feed ingredients. Feed Cost Calculator 
JANUARY 2010: A wet 2009 harvest got Farm Futures editors to work out a new spreadsheet to help keep your ledger straight. This worksheet will convert your original quantities - whether in pounds or bushels from a scale ticket, tin final bushels for your books. Moisture Conversion Calculator 
February 2010: Want to dig out the true value of the hybrids you buy? This handy spreadsheet from the University of Kentucky helps compare the real value of the seed you buy based on a range of important factors. Seed Cost Tool 
MARCH 2010: Volatile grain and input costs complicate both planting and marketing decisions, making it difficult to know when a sale will add to farm equity, or chalk up a loss. This spreadsheet from Ryan McClintock, Shellsburg, Iowa, offers a graphical way to measure yield and price combinations. Crop Value Calculator 
APRIL 2010: Crop leases are getting a second, third and even a fourth look given price volatility these days. Marshall Jokisch, Ashland, Ill., developed a spreadsheet designed to remove somoe of the emotions of lease evaluation. It can compare different crop leases using your own production costs. Land Lease Evaluator 
MAY 2010: Auto-steering is a great tool, but setting that angle can be a challenge. Doug Thompson, Atlanta, Ill., came up with this handy tool to set the angle quickly and efficiently. The spreadsheet calculates the angle of adjustment needed. Auto-Steer Tuner 
JULY/AUGUST 2010: Boosting field efficiency is a constant goal for many operations. This Iowa State University-developed spreadsheet helps match your equipment to the task at hand. Machinery Efficiency Tool 
SEPTEMBER 2010: Options are a great risk management tool, when properly applied. Kevin Dhuyvetter, Kansas State University, created a spreadsheet that compares marketing alternatives side-by-side. Option Evaluation Tool 
NOVEMBER 2010: Cornstalks could be profit waiting to be harvested from your fields. The University of Nebraska came up with a tool for matching livestock size and numberrs with cornstalk acres needed offering a wide range of cost data. Cornstalk Value Tool 
DECEMBER 2010: A net worth statement is a powerful way to look at your farm's financial health. This tool - developed by Iowa State University - can help you build that statement. Net Worth Statement Maker 
FEBRUARY 2011: Crop insurance plays a much larger role in today's farm risk management plan. This University of Illinois Spreadsheet calculates premiums, evaluates payments and provides historical data for decision making. Crop Insurance Evaluator
MARCH 2011: High grain prices mean fine-tuning cost management. This spreadsheet helps you look at costs for crop protection products. Crop Protection Analyzer
APRIL 2011: Evaluate options for grain storage with this Iowa State University Spreadsheet. Fall Storage Tool
MAY 2011: When planting runs late you have a lot of decisions to make. This University of Illinois spreadsheet offers help in determining the best crop choice. Late Planting Decision Tool
JULY/AUGUST 2011: Making a vehicle purchase decision? This Iowa State University spreadsheet can help you make the best purchase choice. Vehicle Purchase Evaluator
SEPTEMBER 2011: Looking at adding a new building, or considering how best to utilize what you have? This Kansas State University spreadsheet helps determine the annualized cost of any building that you have, or are considering. Building Space Tool
OCTOBER 2011: Just what is the value of your money? This University of Illinois spreadsheet helps you determine the value of your cash at different points in time. The Value of Money
NOVEMBER 2011: Looking at your crop mix for the new year? This tool from Kansas State University can help you look at crop mix options. Crop Mix Calculator
DECEMBER 2011: Looking at a joint venture to keep a lid on machinery costs? This Iowa State University spreadsheet can help you work out the details. Joint Venture Evaluator
FEBRUARY 2012: Reassess crop share leases with this University of Missouri spreadsheet. Crop Share Tool
MARCH 2012: Maximize your planting decisions, especially on those 'flex acres.' Planting Decisions 2012
APRIL 2012: CRP decisions are easier with this Kansas State University tool. CRP Decision Tool
MAY 2012: If you're sharing equipment, this Iowa State University program should help. Machinery Ownership
OCTOBER 2012: There's more to silage value than meets the eye and this spreadsheet helps you maximize feed use. Value of Silage
NOVEMBER 2012: Track all the feedstuffs you have on your farm. Grain, Feed Inventories
DECEMBER 2012: Figuring farm feed costs after the 2012 drought is more important than ever. This handy calculator should help out. Feed Calculator
JANUARY 2013: Changing market forces can impact land rental rates, and more farmers are turning to flex rents. This spreadsheet from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln helps determine flex rental rates. Flex Rent Tool
FEBRUARY 2013: Developing crop budgets can be time consuming and many don't offer flexibility. This crop budget tool from the University of Nebraska offers you flexibility. Crop Budgets
MARCH 2013: Determining custom rates isn't easy, but this spreadsheet from Kansas State University uses fuel prices and custom rates to help you determine costs. Custom Rates
APRIL 2013: Lease or buy equipment? Is it time to acquire? This decision support tool from Iowa State University offers you some options to consider. Equipment Analyzer
MAY 2013: Manage fertilizer costs more closely with this spreadsheet to optimize returns. Nitrogen Maximizer
JULY 2013: Conversions from U.S. to metric, or curency values and more are easy with this spreadsheet from Iowa State University. Easy Converter
SEPTEMBER 2013: Keeping track of grain production isn't easy but this spreadsheet from the University of Illinois can help you track inventries by landowner, field and storage location. And it allows management of transaction records too. Grain Inventory Manager
OCTOBER 2013: Managing grain marketing options can be complicated, this Kansas State University spreadsheet to evaluate many strategies. Grain Market Options
NOVEMBER 2013: A combine is a significant capital purchase, this Iowa State University spreadsheet allows you to evaluate the purchase in detail to help you make the right choice. Combine Decision Tool
DECEMBER 2013: Precision guidance is an important management tool, but what is the payback and which system is right for you? This Kansas State University Spreadsheet aims to help that decision. Guidance System Selector
NOVEMBER 2015: Should you rent unprofitable acres? This spreadsheet from Purdue and the University of Illinois helps answer that seemingly simple qustion.

Should you rent unprofitable acres?

Got a question about these spreadsheets? You can contact Senior Editor Bryce Knorr at [email protected]

These spreadsheets were developed for demonstration purposes only. No guarantee is made or implied regarding the results. There is risk associated with trading futures and options. Anyone acting on this information is doing so at his/her own risk. Consult your futures and options risk disclosure statements before trading or acting on this spreadsheet.