The Corn/Soybean Planting Decision Aid

Downloading and Installing

We now have 2 ways for you to download and install the Corn/Soybean Decision Aid.

Original Setup Method

Brief Description: Download Self-extracting Zip File, Run Un-zip program, then run set-up program

  1. Click on Corn/Soybean Planting Decision Aid, a self-extracting zipped file. With most browsers, you will get a choice of saving it to your hard drive or opening it. Pick a directory in which to save the file (suggestions: c:\temp or c:\downloads) Save it to your hard drive. Remember in which directory you save it.
  2. Go to the folder/directory in which you saved the file and double-click on "cornsybn.exe". It will copy its files to your Windows/Temp directory (If you want it to unpack itself into another folder, you may change the unpacking destination at this point.)
  3. Go to the folder in which you unpacked "cornsybn.exe" (windows/temp unless you changed it to another folder). Double-click on "setup.exe" to run the setup routine. Follow the setup routine instructions.

    See Note to Windows 2000 Users

  4. To Create a Shortcut: After installing the program, you will see a program group with an icon. Right click on the icon that appears in the program group then click "Copy". Close the program group. Now, right click in the middle of the screen and click "Paste". This will copy and paste the icon.

Auto-setup Method

Brief Description: Download Self-extracting Zip File, Run Un-zip program which calls the set-up program.

  1. Click on Corn/Soybean Planting Decision Aid Auto Set-up, a self-extracting zipped file with a setup routine. With most browsers, you will get a choice of saving it to your hard drive or opening it. Pick a directory in which to save the file (suggestions: c:\temp or c:\downloads) Save it to your hard drive. Remember in which directory you save it.
  2. Go to the folder/directory in which you saved the file and double-click on "cornsoy2.exe". It will copy its files to your Windows/Temp directory (If you want it to unpack itself into another folder, you may change the unpacking destination at this point.) The set-up program will start automatically. Follow the setup routine instructions.

    See Note to Windows 2000 Users

  3. To Create a Shortcut: After installing the program, you will see a program group with an icon. Right click on the icon that appears in the program group then click "Copy". Close the program group. Now, right click in the middle of the screen and click "Paste". This will copy and paste the icon.

Note to Windows 2000 Users:

When installing baled budgets, you may get a message saying there is no disk in the drive. (This is a small problem with the baling software and not a problem with your computer.)

Depending on the exact message you receive, you will need to press "ok" or "cancel". (The message may appear twice.) The program should continue to install.

Here is an example of the type of message that may appear. (The actual message you receive may vary slightly.)

The error message may 
look like this and will have a message that indicates there is no disk in the drive.

Overview

This standalone decision aid is designed to help grain farmers decide whether to plant corn or soybeans. This program begins by asking the farmer to input their estimate of their county marketing assistance loan rate (LR) for soybeans. This information along with information on variable cash production costs, yields, estimates of local basis levels and storage costs is used to calculate a breakeven futures market price required for an all-fall or January delivery for corn in order for corn production to be equal to soybean production based on returns above variable cash costs.

The new farm bill will likely have a soybean loan rate somewhat below the current national average rate of $5.26.The current proposals list rates of $4.92 in the House Bill and $5.20 in the Senate Bill. If weather is favorable, it seems likely farmers can expect soybean prices to be below the soybean LR for long periods at a time. Thus, the farm bill may be one of the primary drivers behind corn prices as farmers make choices about cropping decisions.

If users believe soybean prices will be above their county LR's they may substitute their estimate of a market price into the entry box labeled soybean loan rate.

Users of this spreadsheet can change anything in blue. At the bottom of the page, the decision aid tells farmers the December and March futures price that they need to make them indifferent between growing corn and soybeans. If, for example, the anticipated futures price is higher than that listed, farmers should grow corn. The other two pages of the decision aid provide a sensitivity analysis for the March and December corn futures prices by looking at different combinations of corn and soybean yields. A higher corn or lower soybean yield reduces the corn futures price necessary to make corn planting more profitable. By contrast, a lower corn or higher soybean yield increases the necessary corn futures price to make corn planting optimal.

For More Information

For additional information about the The Corn/Soybean Planting Decision Aid, please contact Steve Riggins.


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