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Costs rise for 2012 corn crop

What did it cost you to raise your 2011 corn crop? Add about $50/acre to that and that's about what it will be this year.

That's according to some new research from University of Illinois Extension ag exonomist Dwight Raab. For the state of Illinois, he projects the 2011 crop cost, on average, about $788/acre to raise. For this year, he's upped that number to $832/acre.

"An allocation of the cost to produce corn from over 600 farms in each of the previous four years reveals that costs to produce corn on higher productivity soils in central lllinois have risen from $655 per acre in 2008 to $788 in 2011," Raab says. "This includes all costs of production including land. When one considers the estimated cost to produce the 2012 corn crop, the total cost of corn production increases by an additional $44 to a total of $832 per acre."

Land costs lead the charge for price increases; last year's total corn land cost tally was about $224/acre and this year's that's jumped to $245/acre. Soil fertility, seed, machinery and grain storage also will see increases this year, Raab says.

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Chart courtesy Dwight Raab & University of Illinois Extension

So, what kind of price will it take to cash-flow these kinds of costs? Raab estimates that, at a $5.00/bushel corn price, 117 bushels/acre will cover your non-land costs. Now, add 49 bushels that to cover everything including land costs.

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Chart courtesy Dwight Raab & University of Illinois Extension

"With the 2012 corn crop yet to be planted, one can assume trend yields. Current corn price levels offered for the fall of 2012 would seem to be at attractive levels that would cover production costs," Raab says.

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