Toby Torkelson of Rayglen Commodities in Saskatoon has put together a full spreadsheet on expected revenue, expenses and returns for various 2011 crop choices. The spreadsheet does an excellent job of detailing both variable and overhead expenses for 23 different crops. It’s based on cropping conditions in the dark brown soil zone where a wide array of crops are viable. Of course, the revenue analysis is really sensitive to the crop prices you plug in and the yields you assume, but the assumptions all look pretty reasonable. Based on the analysis, the crop with the best return on investment will be canola. Toby has plugged in a price of $10.75 a bushel and a yield of 33 bushels an acre. Confection sunflower is the second highest return followed by fern-type kabuli chickpeas. Oats is number 4 based on a price of $3 a bushel and a yield of 85 bushels an acre. Number 5 is large green lentils. Rounding out the top 6 is flax. The crops with the poorest returns are brown mustard, yellow peas and durum wheat, none of which cover all the rotational expenses. In January, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture will come out with its crop planning guides which perform a similar analysis.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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