INTRODUCTION

Sample costs and returns to establish and produce teff seed (and hay) under flood irrigation in Northwestern Nevada are presented in this publication (where inputs or outputs differ with regard to hay, quantities are shown in parenthesis). This publication is intended to be a guide used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, and prepare business and marketing plans. Practices described are based on the production practices considered typical for this crop and region, but may not apply to every situation. The “Your Farm” column in Tables 1 & 2 is provided for your use.

open land for farming

ASSUMPTIONS

The following assumptions refer to Tables 1, 3, and 4, and reflect the typical costs and returns to establish and produce teff seed under flood irrigation in Northwestern Nevada. Typical costs and returns for teff hay are shown in Table 2. The practices described are not the recommendations of the University of Nevada, Reno, but rather the production practices and materials considered typical of a well-managed farm in the region, as determined by a producer panel in January 2008. Costs, materials and practices are not applicable to all situations because establishment and cultural practices vary among growers within the region.

Farm

The representative farm consists of 62 acres of land on which 60 acres are cultivated for teff seed (or hay) production and 2 acres are used for owner housing, machine shop and roads. During the growing season the enterprise will produce one cutting (two cuttings) with total production at 1 ton of seed and 2.5 tons of chaff (5 tons of hay) per acre. The minimum land market value in 2008 was approximately $11,500.00 per acre for agricultural land in northwestern Nevada with water rights.

Land Preparation

The ground is ripped to break up the soil to improve water infiltration and fertilizer penetration. The field is then disked and floated to remove small high and low spots followed by a custom laser which will level the land. The cost for this combination of custom land preparation is $70.00 per acre.

Planting

In June, teff seed is custom planted by broadcast seeding at 2 pounds per acre (6 pounds for hay) at a cost of $16.00 per acre and then rolled with a culti-packer to ensure firm contact with the soil.

Production Cultural Practices and Material Inputs

Irrigation

Irrigation begins immediately after planting to establish the teff seedlings. Six inches of water is applied to fields via flood irrigation and continues through September. Irrigation costs shown in Tables 1 and 2 cover the per acre cost of water at $25.00 per acre foot, plus an administration fee of $50.00 per land parcel, which is assumed to be one parcel per every 50 acres. Also included is maintenance costs on ditches such as hauling dirt to fix wash-outs, broken head gates and machinery costs to weed the ditches are $600.00 annually. Total irrigation costs are $86.00 per acre.

Fertilization

After planting in June, fluid fertilizers are spread by broadcast spraying. For seed, commercial fertilizer with a nitrogen content of 32-0- 0, UN32* at $36.00/acre, is normally applied. (Fertilization of teff hay is by application of ammonia sulfate, 42 pounds/acre actual N.)

fertilizer

Pest Management

A variety of pest management methods are used depending on pest population cycles. Pest treatment will normally begin in March.

Weeds

Herbicide commonly used is 2-4-D for broadleaf control at an average annual per-acre cost of $12.00.

Insects

There exists no primary insect threat to teff production. Therefore, insects are not an annual threat and there are no associated costs.

Vertebrates

Gophers are the common vertebrate problem in teff stands. Rodenticide and/or trapping are common treatments, at an annual per-acre rate of $1.50.

Gophers

Harvest

Harvest occurs in September and consists of swathing, combining, baling, and pickup baling, all of which is usually contracted out at a combined cost of $120.00 per acre.

Labor

The owner/operator wage is based on an allowance to the owner/operator of $75.00 per acre.

Utilities

Current utilities rates calculated using information from Nevada Power and Rates Base utility costs of $350 per month for the household were combined with costs of $7 per acre per year to allow for utilities for outbuildings and shops.

Yield

The 60 acre farm yields 60 tons of teff seed and 150 tons of chaff from one annual cutting (300 tons teff hay).

Returns

Returns are based on 2007 market prices across a range of seed quality levels. An estimated price of $0.38 per pound for clean seed and $100 ton for chaff was used to calculate returns ($180 ton teff hay). Returns will vary during the growing season due to market conditions.

Overhead and Capital Recovery Costs

Cash Overhead

Cash overhead consists of various cash expenses paid out during the year. These costs include property taxes, interest, office expenses, liability and property insurance, as well as investment/machinery repairs. A complete listing of farm investments and associated costs can be found in Table 3.

Interest on Operating Capital

Total operating capital is calculated based on 80 percent of total operating (variable) costs. The interest on operating capital is calculated at a rate of 6.5 percent for the four month production cycle.

Property Taxes

Property taxes in Nevada differ across counties. For the purposes of this publication, investment property taxes are calculated at 1 percent of the average asset value of the property.

Insurance

Insurance on farm investments vary depending on the assets included and the amount of coverage. Property insurance provides coverage for property loss at .666 percent of the average asset value. Liability insurance covers accidents on the farm at an annual cost of $1,749.00, or a four month cost of $500.00. Insurance information provided by Kevin Ogan of Beauchamp & McSpadden, Inc.

Fuel and Lube

The fuel and lube for each piece of equipment is calculated at 8 percent of the purchase price.

Investment Repairs

Annual repairs on all farm investments or capital recovery items that require maintenance are calculated at 2 percent of the purchase price for buildings, improvements and equipment and 7 percent of the purchase price for machinery and vehicles.

Office & Travel

Office and travel costs are estimated at $3,000.00 for an average year. These expenses include office supplies, telephone service, Internet service, and travel expenses to educational seminars.

Pro-rated Expenses

Owner/operator labor, accounting and legal expenses, insurance, fuel and lube, maintenance, utilities, and office and travel expenses, have all been pro-rated to reflect the short seed-to-harvest season, only four months of the year for teff production.

grass

Capital Recovery

Capital recovery costs are the annual depreciation (opportunity cost) of all farm investments. Capital recovery costs are calculated using straight line depreciation. Farm equipment may be purchased new or used, depending on producer panel preferences.

Salvage Value

Salvage value is 10 percent of the new purchase price, which is an estimate of the remaining value of an investment at the end of its useful life. The salvage value for land is the purchase price, as land does not normally depreciate.

Average Asset Value Computation

(Purchase Price + Salvage Value divided by 2)

Straight Line Depreciation Computation

(Purchase Price - Salvage Value divided by Useful Life)

*The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Cooperative Extension is implied.

REFERENCES

Davison, Jay (2006). Tef Demonstration Planting Results for 2005. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet #FS-06-58.

Land and Farm (2008). Current pricing for agricultural properties with water rights in northwestern Nevada.

Smathers, Robert (2007). The Costs of Owning and Operating Farm Machinery in the Pacific Northwest 2005. A Pacific Northwest Publication #346. University of Idaho, Washington State University, and Oregon State University.

NOTES

Sample production costs and returns publications for significant agricultural products in various regions of Nevada are available online at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Web site at UNCE. For additional information, contact the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno at (775) 784-6701 or your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office.

grass range

Table 1: Northwestern Nevada Teff Production Costs & Returns – Seed, 60 acres, 2008
Gross Income Total Units Unit Price/Cost Per Unit Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Teff Seed 1.00 Tons $760.00 $45,600.00 $760.00  
Chaff 2.50 Tons $100.00 $15,000.00 $250.00  
Total Gross Income       $60,600.00 $1,010.00  
Operating Costs Total Units Unit Price/Cost Per Unit Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Rodent Control 60.00 Acre $1.50 $90.00 $1.50  
Herbicide 60.00 Acre $12.00 $720.00 $12.00  
Fertilizer 60.00 Acre $36.00 $2,160.00 $36.00  
Seed 60.00 Acre $8.00 $480.00 $8.00  
Custom Land Prep 60.00 Acre $70.00 $4,200.00 $70.00  
Custom Drilling/Seeding 60.00 Acre $16.00 $960.00 $16.00  
Custom Swathing 60.00 Acre $15.00 $900.00 $15.00  
Custom Combine 60.00 Acre $40.00 $2,400.00 $40.00  
Custom Baling 60.00 Acre $42.50 $2,550.00 $42.50  
Custom Pickup Baling 60.00 Acre $22.50 $1,350.00 $22.50  
Irrigation 60.00 Acre $86.00 $5,160.00 $86.00  
Bags 60.00 Acre $15.00 $900.00 $15.00  
Shipping 60.00 Acre $50.00 $3,000.00 $50.00  
Operator Labor 60.00 Acre $75.00 $4,500.00 $75.00  
Accounting & Legal 0.33 Annual $2,000.00 $660.00 $11.00  
Fuel & Lube 1.00 Annual $3,186.45 $3,186.45 $53.11  
Maintenance 1.00 Annual $4,565.56 $4,565.56 $76.09  
Utilities 0.33 Annual $4,620.00 $1,524.60 $25.41  
Miscellaneous 60.00 Acre $5.00 $300.00 $5.00  
Interest Operating Capital $31,685.29 $ $0.065 $686.51 $11.44  
Total Operating Costs       $40,293.13 $671.55  
Income Above Operating Costs       $20,306.87 $338.45  
Ownership & Cash Overhead Costs Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Liability Insurance $500.00 $8.33  
Office & Travel $1,000.00 $16.67  
Annual Investment Insurance $669.23 $11.15  
Annual Investment Taxes $3,281.86 $54.70  
Total Cash Overhead Costs $5,451.09 $90.85  
Noncash Overhead Costs (Capital Recovery) Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Buildings, Improvements, & Equipment $885.16 $14.75  
Machinery & Vehicles $3,652.09 $60.87  
Total Noncash Overhead Costs $4,537.25 $75.62  
Total Ownership Costs $9,988.34 $166.47  
Total Costs $50,281.47 $838.02  
Net  Projected Returns $10,318.53 $171.98  
Table 2: Western Nevada Teff Production Costs & Returns – Forage, 60 acres, 2008
Gross Income Total Units Unit Price/Cost Per Unit Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Teff Hay 5.50 Tons $180.00 $54,000.00 $900.00  
Total Gross Income       $54,000.00 $900.00  
Operating Costs Total Units Unit Price/Cost Per Unit Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Rodent Control 60.00 Acre $1.50 $90.00 $1.50  
Herbicide 60.00 Acre $12.00 $720.00 $12.00  
Fertilizer 60.00 Acre $36.00 $2,160.00 $36.00  
Seed 60.00 Acre $24.00 $1,440.00 $24.00  
Custom Land Prep 60.00 Acre $70.00 $4,200.00 $70.00  
Custom Drilling/Seeding 60.00 Acre $16.00 $960.0 $16.00  
Custom Swathing 60.00 Acre $30.00 $1,800.00 $30.00  
Custom Rake 60.00 Acre $10.00 $600.00 $10.00  
Custom Baling 60.00 Acre $85.00 $5,100.00 $85.00  
Custom Pickup Baling 60.00 Acre $45.00 $2,700.00 $45.00  
Irrigation 60.00 Acre $86.00 $5,160.00 $86.00  
Operator Labor 60.00 Acre $75.00 $4,500.00 $75.00  
Accounting & Legal 0.33 Annual $2,000.00 $660.00 $11.00  
Fuel & Lube 1.00 Annual $3,186.45 $3,186.45 $53.11  
Maintenance 1.00 Annual $4,565.56 $4,565.56 $76.09  
Utilities 0.33 Annual $4620.00 $1,524.60 $25.41  
Miscellaneous 60.00 Acre $5.00 $300.00 $5.00  
Operating Capital Interest $31,733.29 $ $0.065 $687.55 $11.46  
Total Operating Costs       $40,354.17 $672.57  
Income Above Operating Costs       $13,645.83 $227.43  
Ownership (Cash Overhead Costs)  Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Arce Your Farm
Liability Insurance $500.00 $8.33  
Office & travel $1,000.00 $16.67  
Annual Investment Insurance $669.23 $11.15  
Annual Investment Taxes $3,281.86 $54.70  
Total Cash Overhead Costs $5,451.09 $90.85  
Noncash Overhead Costs (Capital Recovery) Total Cost/Value Total Cost/Value Per Acre Your Farm
Buildings, Improvements, & Equipment $885.16 $14.75  
Machinery & Vehicles $3,652.09 $60.87  
Total Noncash Overhead Costs $4,537.25 $75.62  
Total Ownership Costs $9,988.34 $166.47  
Total Costs $50,342.51 $839.04  
Net Projected Returns $3,657.49 $60.96  
Table 3: Investment Summary
Buildings, Improvements, and Equipment Purchase Price Teff % Purchase Price Useful Life (Yrs) Salvage Value Annual Capital Recovery Annual Insurance Annual Taxes Annual Repairs
Owner House $200,000.00 33.00% $66,000.00 50.00 $66,000.00 - $439.56 $660.00 $1,320.00
Land $690,000.00 33.00% $227,700.00 150.00 $227,700.00 - - $2,277.00 -
Shop (30X40) & Tools $37,500.00 33.00% $12,375.00 25.00 $1,237.50 $445.50 $45.33 $68.06 $247.50
Metal Shed $24,000.00 33.00% $7,920.00 25.00 $792.00 $285.12 $29.01 $43.56 $158.40
Implements $7,805.00 33.00% $2,575.65 15.00 $257.57 $154.54 $9 .43 $14.17 $51.51
Sub Total     $316,570.65 NA $295,987.07 $885.16 $523.34 $3,062.79 $1,777.41
Machinery and Vehicles Purchase Price Teff % Purchase Price Useful Life (Yrs) Salvage Value Annual Capital Recovery Annual Insurance Annual Taxes Annual Repairs Annual Fuel & Lube
95 HP 4WD Tractor $60,699.00 33.00% $20,030.67 15.00 $2,003.07 $1,201.84 $73.37 $110.17 $1,402.15 $1,602.45
4 Wheeler $10,000.00 33.00% $3,300.00 5.00 $330.00 $330.00 $12.09 $18.15 $231.00 $264.00
1 Ton Pickup $50,000.00 33.00% $16,500.00 8.00 $1,650.00 $1,650.00 $60.44 $90.75 $1,155.00 $1,320.00
Sub Total     $39,830.67 NA $3,983.07 $3,983.07 $145.90 $219.07 $2,788.15 $3,186.45
Total     $356,401.32 NA $299,970.13 $299,970.13 $669.23 $3,281.86 $4,565.56 $3,156.45
Production July August September October November December Total
Teff Seed - - $45,600.00 - - - $45,600.00
Chaff - - - $7,500.00 $7,500.00 - $15,000.00
Total Income - - $45,600.00 $7,500.00 $7,500.00 - $60,600.00
Operating Inputs January February March April May June
Rodent Control - - $22.50 $22.50 $11.25 $11.25
Herbicide - - - - - $180.00
Fertilizer - - - - - $2,160.00
Seed - - - - - $480.00
Custom Land Prep - - - - - $4,200.00
Custom Drilling/Seeding - - - - - $960.00
Custom Swathing - - - - - -
Custom Combine - - - - - -
Custom Baling - - - - - -
Custom Pickup Baling - - - - - -
Irrigation - - - - - $1,290.00
Bags - - - - - -
Shipping - - - - - -
Operator Labor - - - - - $1,125.00
Accounting/Legal - - - - - $165.00
Fuel & Lube $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54
Maintenance $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46
Utilities - - - - - $381.15
Miscellaneous $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00
Interest OC $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21
Total Operating Costs $728.21 $728.21 $750.71 $750.71 $739.46 $11,680.61
Net Returns $(728.21) $(728.21) $(750.71) $(750.71) $(739.46) $(11,680.61)
Operating Inputs July August September October November December Total
Rodent Control $11.25 $11.25 - - - - $90.00
Herbicide $180.00 $180.00 $180.00 - - - $720.00
Fertilizer - - - - - - $2,160.00
Seed - - - - - - $480.00
Custom Land Prep - - - - - - $4,200.00
Custom Drilling/Seeding - - - - - - $960.00
Custom Swathing - - $900.00 - - - $900.00
Custom Combine - - $2,400.00 - - - $2,400.00
Custom Baling - - $2,550.00 - - - $2,550.00
Custom Pickup Baling - - $1,350.00 - - - $1,350.00
Irrigation $1,290.00 $1,290.00 $1,290.00 - - - $5,160.00
Bags - - $900.00 - - - $900.00
Shipping - - $3,000.00 - - - $3,000.00
Operator Labor $1,125.00 $1,125.00 $1,125.00 - - - $4,500.00
Accounting/Legal $165.00 $165.00 $165.00 - - - $660.00
Fuel & Lube $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $265.54 $3,186.45
Maintenance $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $380.46 $4,565.56
Utilities $381.15 $381.15 $381.15 - - - $1,524.60
Miscellaneous $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $25.00 $300.00
Interest OC $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $57.21 $686.51
Total Operating Costs $3,880.61 $3,880.61 $14,969.36 $728.21 $728.21 $728.21 $40,293.13
Net Returns $(3,880.61) $(3,880.61) $30,630.64 $6,771.79 $6,771.79 $(728.21) $20,306.87
Bishop, C., Curtis, K., and Davison, J. 2008, Northwestern Nevada Teff Production Costs and Returns, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-08-13

Learn more about the author(s)

 

Also of Interest:

 
Biomass Production of 15 Teff Varieties Grown in Churchill County, Nevada During 2009
The amount of teff produced in the United States is increasing rapidly due to the plant’s popularity as an especially nutritious grain and as high-quality horse hay. The word teff means “lost” because teff seed is the smallest grain in the world, and if you drop it on the ground ...
Davison, J. and Laca, M. 2010, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-34
Grain Production of 15 Teff Varieties Grown in Churchill County, Nevada During 2009
The amount of teff produced in the United States is increasing rapidly due to the plant’s popularity as an especially nutritious grain and as high-quality, horse hay. The word teff means “lost” because teff seed is the smallest grain in the world and if you drop it on the ground ...
Davison, J. and Laca, M. 2010, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-36
Response of Teff Grain Yields to Several Broadleaf Herbicides Applied at Three Different Growth Stages During 2009
Teff (Eragrostis tef (Zuccagni) Trotter) is a self-pollinated, annual, warm season grass that is used throughout the world as grain for human consumption and as forage for livestock. Teff is an ancient grain that was believed to have been domesticated in Ethiopia between 4000 and...
Creech, E., Davison, J., and Laca, M. 2010, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-76
Tef Demonstration Planting Results for 2004
Nevada Cooperative Extension fact sheet #04-51 discuses tef uses, adaptations and recommended agronomic practices in detail. It also provides information on the results of the 2003 tef demonstration trial efforts. This fact sheet describes the results of the 2004 trial.
Davison, J. 2004, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-05-28
Response of Teff Biomass Yields to Several Broadleaf Herbicides Applied at Three Different Growth Stages During 2009
Teff Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter is a selfpollinated, annual, warm season grass that is used throughout the world as grain for human consumption and as forage for livestock. The amount of teff produced in the United States is increasing rapidly due to its popularity as a nutri...
Creech, E., Davison, J., and Laca, M. 2009, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-35