Crop Enterprise Budgets app simplifies Arkansas farmers’ finances
July 25, 2014
- Division of Agriculture’s Crop Enterprise Budget app allows growers evaluate expected costs and returns of crops on their iPhone or iPad
- Features include comparing finances on alternative crop decisions
LITTLE ROCK – When your office is hundreds of acres of cropland, being able to multitask without being tethered to a desktop computer has its advantages. Now growers can calculate crop enterprise budgets from an iOS device anywhere, with the CE Budgets app launched by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Assistant Professor of Agriculture Economics Archie Flanders and Associate Professor and Extension Engineer Dharmendra Saraswat, both with the Division of Agriculture, joined forces to launch this app.
CE Budgets is “the only one in Arkansas,” Flanders said. This app allows farmers and growers to evaluate the expected costs and returns for their upcoming crops on their iPhone, iPad or iPod.
The Division of Agriculture has long made it easier for producers to calculate these expected costs and returns through electronic spreadsheets. “We hear (producer) demands to have a mobile app as more farmers are using mobile devices,” he said.
Because they are usable on Apple OS devices, “this will be convenient for growers,” Flanders said, as growers don’t have to go back to their desktop computers to view their budgets and make any changes.
Another advantage, according to Saraswat, is that all the data is contained in the app. “Once users download it on their iOS device, they don’t need to use the data plan” to make changes and generate needed data.
This app allows for modifications to represent typical farm situations such as soil types, production practices, and other circumstances determined by consultations with farmers and county agents within the division.
How to use CE Budgets app
The app is easy and straightforward, especially for those who are familiar with farming and its numbers, Flanders said.
“You can look at different scenarios. For instance, if corn is $4 and $5, what would be my difference?” he said. Farmers and growers need to select basic information, such as the type of crop and then change crop price and grower’s share to give indication of potential profit.
This app allows growers to compare different crops in Arkansas – corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, rice, and wheat – and see which one based on expected price will have a greater return.
Another helpful feature is to identify the production expenses, which can tell how much farmers would likely borrow to finance the crop. After knowing how much money they need, they can directly email it to their banker, Saraswat said.
Although Flanders said different states have slightly different crop specifications, he said it’s possible for growers in neighboring states to use this app. “Southern Missouri’s production characteristics are very similar with northeast Arkansas.”
Some details in the app, such as the minimum wage and how much time to grow crops, are determined based on Arkansas’ conditions, but Saraswat said the app would allow people from another state to change those inputs accordingly.
The version released this month, 2.0, is an update to version 1.0 released earlier this year, and includes all relevant budget data, Saraswat said. Those who downloaded the first version will get a notification that the updated version is available, he said.
The app has been released for iOS7.
Funding also comes from the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Board, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, Arkansas Rice Checkoff, and Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board.
For more information about crop production and agricultural economy, visit www.uaex.uada.edu or contact your county extension office.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Kezia Nanda
For the Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service