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Crop and Rotation Modeling Tools

Tools for Comparing Alternative Crops & Rotations

Peas at 60 days


Opportunity for Montana farmers to benefit from growing alternative crops in diverse rotations appears likely to continue in 2014.


To assist farmers considering planting options and diverse rotations, the department has created spreadsheets that allow farmers to compare the relative profitability of numerous crops and up to eight crop rotations.


Spreadsheets in Excel format are provided to model dryland and irrigated production.


Regional spreadsheets provide a models for dryland crop production (North Central Montana, Central Montana, and Northeastern Montana) and irrigated production (North Central Montana and the Lower Missouri Valley / Yellowstone Valley regions).  All models utilize projected 2014 crop prices and input prices. 


Use link in left navigation for models (instructional guide and interactive spreadsheets).

Important Notes:

  • The effectiveness of spreadsheets as a comparison tool depends heavily on the assumptions. Users should select rotations and assumptions appropriate for their farm, risk tolerance, and perspective of future crop prices and input costs. Default rotations are provided as examples only.
  • The spreadsheets allow users to make yield adjustments to reflect rotational benefits and make price adjustments to reflect quality improvements. The default rotation models incorporate adjustments that reflect the potential positive economic impact that diversifying crop rotations can have on crop yields and quality. 
  • The Rotation Modeling spreadsheet is designed for preliminary comparison of rotations or for evaluating individual fields. This analysis does not consider fixed costs or government payments. 



Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2402
Fax: (406) 444-9442


Published: May 19, 2011 10:35:00 AM MDT.
Last Modified: April 15, 2016 9:10:53 AM MDT