April 17, 2002
COST TO PRODUCE CORN AND SOYBEANS IN ILLINOIS-2001
In 2001, the total of all economic costs per acre for growing corn in Illinois
averaged $429 in the northern section, $430 in the central section for farmland
with "high" soil ratings, $415 in the central section for farmland with
"low" soil ratings, and $374 in the southern section. Soybean costs
per acre were $347, $351, $330 and $292, respectively (see Table 1). Costs were
lower in the southern Illinois primarily because of lower land costs. The total
of all economic costs per bushel in the different sections of the state ranged
from $2.48 to $2.70 for corn and from $6.49 to $7.23 for soybeans. Variations
in this cost were related to weather, yields, and land quality.
These figures were obtained from farm business records kept by farmers enrolled
in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association. The samples included
only farms who had no livestock and had more than 260 acres of productive and
nearly level soils in each area of the state. Farms located in the 22 counties
north and northwest of the Illinois River are included in the sample for northern
Illinois. Farms from 36 counties below a line from about Mattoon to Alton are
in the sample for southern Illinois. The remaining 44 counties make up the sample
for central Illinois. The sample farms averaged 867 tillable acres in northern
Illinois, 1,001 acres in the central section with high soil ratings, 1,007 acres
in the central section with lower soil ratings, and 1,152 acres in southern Illinois.
COST OF PRODUCTION FOR CORN COMPARED TO 2000
Costs per bushel of corn in 2001 were lower for northern and central Illinois
with the higher rated soils compared to 2000. Costs per bushel in southern Illinois
and in the central section with the lower rated soils were higher in 2001. Costs
per bushel were 8 cents lower in northern Illinois, 6 cents lower in central Illinois
with the higher rated soils, 5 cents higher in central Illinois with the lower
rated soils and 8 cents higher in southern Illinois.
The average corn yield in 2001 was 3 bushels per acre higher than 2000 in northern
and central Illinois and 2 bushels per acre higher in southern Illinois. The 2001
average corn yield in the different geographical locations were the same to 17
bushels per acre above the four-year average from 1998 to 2001. The southern Illinois
region recorded average yields 17 bushels per acre above the four-year average.
Costs per acre were lower in northern Illinois and in central Illinois with
the higher rated soils compared to 2000. Costs per acre were higher in southern
Illinois and in central Illinois with the lower rated soils. Across the state
total costs per acre to produce corn ranged from a 1 percent decrease to a 4 percent
increase. Fertilizer costs increased the most of any cost categories while nonland
interest charges decreased the most as compared to the year before.
COST OF PRODUCTION FOR SOYBEANS COMPARED TO 2000
Production costs per bushel of soybeans decreased in all areas of the state
except southern Illinois compared to 2000. Yields were higher in all areas of
the state except in southern Illinois, where they were the same as the year before.
Soybean yields ranged from no change to 3 bushels per acre higher in 2001 as compared
to 2000. The central Illinois area with the lower rated soils recorded the highest
increase (3 bushels per acre) compared to the previous year. Changes in costs
per bushel ranged from a 53-cent decrease in northern Illinois to a 13-cent increase
in southern Illinois.
Like corn, total costs per acre decreased in northern Illinois and in central
Illinois with the higher rated soils compared to 2000. Total costs per acre increased
in central Illinois with the lower rated soils and in southern Illinois. Costs
decreased $10 per acre in northern Illinois and $9 per acre in central Illinois
with the higher rated soils. Costs increased $7 per acre in central Illinois with
the lower rated soils and $6 per acre in southern Illinois. Average soybean yields
in the different areas ranged from 1 bushel per acre below to 3 bushels per acre
higher than the four-year average from 1998 to 2001.
Total costs to produce corn for all combined areas of the state were $420 per
acre. This figure increased 1 percent compared to the year before. Most costs
were similar to the year before with fertilizer, pesticides, drying and storage
increasing while the nonland interest charge decreased. In 2001, cash costs accounted
for 40 percent of the total cost of production for corn, other nonland costs were
31 percent, and land costs were 29 percent. The average corn yield for all combined
areas of the state was 161 bushels per acre resulting in a total cost of production
of $2.61 per bushel. The average corn yield was the highest since 1994, when the
average was 170 bushels per acre.
Total cost per acre to produce soybeans decreased, from $341 per acre in 2000
to $338 per acre in 2001. Generally speaking, the same expenses that increased
or decreased for corn also increased or decreased for soybeans. Variable costs
accounted for 31 percent of the total cost of production for soybeans, other nonland
costs 33 percent and land costs 36 percent. The average soybean yield for all
combined areas of the state was 48 bushels per acre resulting in a total cost
of production of $7.04 per bushel.
A more complete discussion of how some of the costs are calculated can be found
under narrative reports in the management-enterprise cost section of farmdoc.
Issued by: Dale Lattz, Department
of Agricultural and Consumer Economics