by Bradley Zwilling, Illinois FBFM Association and Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois
In 2022, the total of all economic costs per acre for growing corn in Illinois averaged $1,185 in the northern section, $1,192 in the central section for farmland with “high” soil ratings, $1,129 in the central section for farmland with “low” soil ratings, and $1,098 in the southern section.
Soybean costs per acre were $839, $859, $793 and $802, respectively (see Table 1). Costs were lower in southern Illinois primarily because of lower land costs. T
he total of all economic costs per bushel in the different sections of the state ranged from $4.97 to $5.57 for corn and from $11.84 to $13.83 for soybeans. Variations in these costs 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 1,794 tillable acres in northern Illinois, 1,563 acres in the central section with high soil ratings, 1,555 acres in the central section with lower soil ratings, and 1,697 acres in southern Illinois.
Cost of Production for Corn Compared to 2021
Costs per bushel of corn in 2022 as compared to 2021 were higher in all regions of the state. Costs per bushel were increased even with higher yields due to greater fertility, pesticides, non-land, land and overhead costs as well as machinery repairs, fuel and machine hire costs. Costs per bushel were 65 cents higher in northern Illinois, 73 cents higher in central Illinois with the higher rated soils, 55 cents higher in central Illinois with the lower rated soils and $1.38 higher in southern Illinois.
The average corn yield in 2022 was 19 bushels per acre higher than 2021 in northern Illinois, 14 bushels to 22 bushel higher in central Illinois and 12 bushels lower than 2021 in southern Illinois. The 2022 average corn yield in the different geographical locations ranged from 7 bushels higher to 21 bushels per acre higher than the five-year average from 2018 to 2022.
Costs per acre for corn were higher in all the different geographic regions in Illinois compared to 2021. Across the state, total costs per acre to produce corn increased from 24 to 25 percent. Fertility costs increased the most statewide.
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