This article was originally published on the farmdoc Daily website by Dale Lattz and Bradley Zwilling.
In 2019, the total of all economic costs per acre for growing corn in Illinois averaged $878 in the northern section, $912 in the central section for farmland with “high” soil ratings, $887 in the central section for farmland with “low” soil ratings, and $851 in the southern section. Soybean costs per acre were $630, $672, $629 and $652, respectively (see Table 1). Costs were lower in 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 $4.38 to $4.95 for corn and from $10.50 to $12.54 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 with more than 500 acres of productive and nearly level soils in each area of the state; these are farms without livestock. 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 1,592 tillable acres in northern Illinois, 1,527 acres in the central section with high soil ratings, 1,535 acres in the central section with lower soil ratings, and 1,652 acres in southern Illinois.
Cost of Production for Corn Compared to 2018
Costs per bushel of corn in 2019 as compared to 2018 were higher in all regions of the state. Costs per bushel were higher due to lower yields. Costs per bushel were 51 cents higher in northern Illinois, 68 cents higher in central Illinois with the higher rated soils, 85 cents higher in central Illinois with the lower rated soils and 62 cents higher in southern Illinois.
The average corn yield in 2019 was 23 bushels per acre lower than 2018 in northern Illinois, 29 bushels to 32 bushel lower in central Illinois and 16 bushels lower than 2018 in southern Illinois. The 2019 average corn yield in the different geographical locations ranged from 19 bushels lower to 1 bushel per acre higher than the five-year average from 2015 to 2019.
Costs per acre for corn were mostly higher in all the different geographic regions in Illinois compared to 2018. Across the state, total costs per acre to produce corn varied from no change to a 5 percent increase. Fertility, drying, and nonland interest costs increased the most.
Cost of Production for Soybeans Compared to 2018
Production costs per bushel of soybeans in 2019 increased in Illinois in comparison to 2018. Costs per bushel increased due to lower yields. Soybean yields ranged from 4 to 10 bushels per acre lower in 2019 compared to 2018. Changes in costs per bushel ranged from $1.90 lower in southern Illinois to $1.29 lower in northern Illinois.
Total costs per acre increased in Illinois when compared to 2018. Costs decreased $10 per acre in northern Illinois, increased $8 per acre in central Illinois with the higher rated soils, increased $6 per acre in central Illinois with the higher rated soils and increased $24 per acre in southern Illinois when compared to 2018. Average soybean yields in the different areas ranged from 4 bushels lower to no change in bushel per acre when comparing to the five-year average from 2015 to 2019.
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Lattz, D. and B. Zwilling. “Cost to Produce Corn and Soybeans in Illinois—2019.” farmdoc daily (10):90, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 15, 2020.