Total economic costs in 2002 for Illinois beef feeding enterprises exceeded total returns by $7.97 per 100 pounds of beef produced on 10 beef feeding farms. Total costs exceeded returns by $8.48 per 100 pounds produced in 2001. Total returns have exceeded total economic costs in only four years since 1980, when this study began. Those years were 1999, 1992, 1990, and 1987. The 2002 level of returns was 22 cents per 100 pounds beef produced above the average returns for the period 1993 through 2002. Figure 1 illustrates average returns, cash operating costs and total costs for the 1993 through 2002 time period.