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Organic vs. Conventional Calculator

January 19, 2009

Crop Conversion Calculator


For Working Farmers 
FarmSelect was designed by farmers, for farmers, and we’ve made it as easy to use as possible. Got a slow phone line? No problem! Older computer? We thought of that. But while FarmSelect may look simple, behind those clean screens is a rich database of numbers: county yield averages, regional input and labor costs, organic production data from our 24 years of research here at The Rodale Institute®, and organic and conventional prices, gathered weekly from markets around the country and stored online in the Organic Price Index®. We do the heavy lifting at our end and let you concentrate on your planning!
Behind the Figures 
Anytime you see an underlinein FarmSelect, place the cursor over it and an explanation pops up! (If you click the explanation it will appear in a new window.)
I’m ready to use FarmSelect™ now.     Welcome to FarmSelect™, a tool that lets you easily do a side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic management on your own farm, using your own numbers.    

    All you have to do is enter your Zip Code, the cropsyou’d like to compare and the acreage. We fill in the rest with historical data derived from the USDA and projections from our own research here at The Rodale Institute®. Then FarmSelect shows you a line-by-line comparison of the two systems so you can see just how they would stack up on your farm, in your own climate. The whole process – beginning to end – takes less than a minute! 

    Don’t think those numbers are right? No problem.Once you get that report you can change just about anything in it to more closely represent your own experience or projected situation. Raise crop yields. Lower seed cost. Change the prices, the hauling, even the cost of labor and overhead. Work out all the details before you plant an acre! 

     FarmSelect is just getting started. We’re working on updates that will allow you to …

  • …compare customized multi-year crop rotations, including cover crops and green manures for any field on your farm.
  • …compare different cropping systems in multiple fields over multiple seasons to see how a whole farm organic system performs over time.
  • …map out the entire transition period from conventional to organic production and make sure your bottom line is protected as you make the change.

AND, once you get things the way you like them, you’ll even be able to export the plan to your current bookkeeping software and print out a financial plan you can take to your lender.Use Your Own Numbers!
Checkmark means use your own numbers! Wherever you see the orange checkmark in FarmSelect™, you can use your own numbers – or numbers you just want to try out. In most cases we’ve supplied historical averages, but only you know what works best for you – so feel free to change them and see the effect on your bottom line!



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