Thinking about trying a new enterprise? Before taking the plunge, check out the capital, labor and management requirements for the alternative agricultural production possibilities.

A new series of crop and livestock enterprise budgets available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Beginning Farmers Center at Iowa State University gives you a quick overview of what alternative operations might work in your situation.

Enterprise budgets for sweet corn, sorghum, popcorn, sheep and beekeeping are provided initially. Budgets covering Christmas trees and raspberries will appear soon. The budgets were designed to quickly and easily show the level of knowledge needed, level of capital, time to pay off, and other important factors that should be considered when deciding if an enterprise is right for a particular farmer.

Resources for further information are provided for each crop. No matter what the crop, farmers need to develop a sound business plan that would incorporate the enterprise into the existing operation.

These crop enterprise budgets were prepared by ISU Extension economist Mike Duffy with assistance from Jodi Calvert, ISU economics student. Production of the budgets was supported by funding from the Leopold Center’s Policy Initiative.