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Uncertainties abound for corn and soybean production in 2013. Potential drought, crop insurance payouts, and commodity prices are just a few major unknowns. To help growers prepare for the next year, Farm Industry News put together a buyer’s forecast of interest rates and the costs of production inputs and land. Featured here is the 2013 forecast for fuel.
The rest of the input forecasts may be found here:
Farmers therefore can plan a number of ways to save money on fuel, even if prices do remain stable in 2013, since fuel comprises a significant portion of the farm budget. Spring planting and fall harvest represent times when diesel fuel demand is high, so planning around those times and considering buying in bulk ahead of time can reduce costs.
“December, January, February — times when there’s much smaller demand — is usually, but not always, a better time to buy fuel for price reasons,” Fuller says.
A farmer’s crop production methods can directly affect how much fuel is used overall, especially tillage practices (see Breaking down the fuel budget).
“Farmers can cut down on diesel costs by adopting no-till or lower-till,” says Bruce Babcock, economics professor at Iowa State University.
Other methods to save on fuel prices on the farm include regular engine tuneups, maintaining properly inflated tires on each piece of equipment and avoiding aggressive driving of machinery.