Identity-preserved (IP) crops and profits are supposed to fit like hand and glove. If you aren't careful about calculating your costs, however, the fit can be uncomfortably tight.

It's a big step in logic and logistics when you start to grow for the more demanding markets that come with IP crops. Those demands raise your costs in ways you might not always think about. Even simple things, like how much do you think your time is worth? As a manager? As a laborer?

The National Corn Growers Association now has new software, the IP Costs Calculator, which helps you figure your total costs for growing IP crops. The program is available at www.ncga.com. After you fill in your cost figures, the program calculates a total and breaks it down into a per-bushel cost. It gives you a bottom line that the IP contract needs to meet, or you need to keep looking for a better contract.

In that same proactive mode, the Iowa Corn Growers and the Illinois Corn Growers have joined forces and budgets to create Novecta L.L.C., a company created to capture additional revenue through value-added crops. Many farmers have made those efforts on their own. Novecta's purpose is to help farmers prepare and position themselves to take advantage of those markets that offer premiums.

“Novecta focuses on products and services that include training, documentation, testing and auditing, and quality assurance systems,” says Chet Boruff, managing director. “Within each of these components there are varying levels of quality-systems support available. Growers will be able to select from a toolbox of protocols to meet end-user or input supplier requirements.”

Novecta isn't just for Iowa and Illinois corn growers. And it isn't just about corn. From more information, log on to www.novecta.com.