If you follow the commodity markets to any degree, the Georgia crop enterprise budgets for 2013 won’t come as much surprise.

Based on “return to land and management per acre,” considering both variable and fixed costs, the ranking of spring-planted row crops is as follows: corn ($273), soybeans ($180), cotton ($84) and peanuts (-$118).

Break-even prices for the four crops are $4.64 per bushel, $9.01 per bushel, 69 cents per pound, and $433 per ton respectively.

Speaking at the recent Georgia Peanut Farm Show held in Tifton, University of Georgia Extension Economist Amanda Smith said that while prices are low and costs are generally on the rise, the one bit of good news for peanuts is that overall costs are expected to be down in 2013.

All cost categories are estimated to be either up or the same except for seed and crop insurance.

Seed prices should come down significantly given shelled prices have dropped below 50 cents per pound.

A figure of 75 cents per pound is used in the peanut budget for 2013 as a starting point. If realized, that would be a drop in seed price by a third, or  represent a $46 per acre savings using a 130-pound per acre seeding rate.

Assuming the peanut projected price for crop insurance drops from $576 ($691 max) per ton, premiums should drop in 2013 reflecting less liability insured.

The base budget yield for irrigated and non-irrigated peanuts is raised for 2013, reflecting increased average yields throughout the U.S. Peanut Belt.

The irrigated budget yield is increased from 4,200 pounds per acre to 4,500 pounds per acre, and the non-irrigated yield is raised from 2,900 pounds per acre to 3,200 pounds per acre.

“These are significant increases on an average basis, however, higher yield potential of newer varieties led to raising expectations for 2013,” says Smith

Returns to irrigated and non-irrigated production will be lower in 2013 despite expected lower costs overall. The drop in seed and insurance cost is not enough to offset a drop in price if growers were to average $400 to $450 per ton in 2013.