Dr. Curt Lacy, UGA Extension Livestock Economist
The cost to plant winter annuals this year is projected to be the about the same this year as last. While fertilizer prices are expected to decline in coming months, seed costs have actually increased slightly this year. As a result, establishment costs will be slightly higher than in 2012. However, if fertilizer prices do decline, the total per acre cost could be lower than 2012-2013 winter annuals.
In the coming weeks, UGA will be publishing projected winter annual budgets for 2013-2014. These budgets will have specific fertilizer and seeding rates for various production systems as well as the associated fuel, repair, and labor costs.
In the meantime, I have summarized our projected total per acre costs. These results are presented in the accompanying chart. It should be noted that these budgets assume planting certified seed and applying nitrogen, phosphorous, potash and lime according to soil-test on medium fertility soils. In other words, your actual costs could be more or less depending on your specific situation.
In addition to seeded budgets, two budgets were also prepared that reflect stockpiled Bermuda or fescue forages. Producers are encouraged to not only look at the total cost per acre, but to also consider the amount of forage produced and what that means on a dollars per gazing day basis.