2023 corn crop most expensive planted

An economic analysis of the 2023 corn crop shows it wasn’t budget friendly for farmers.

Brad Zwilling, vice president of data analysis with Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM), tells Brownfield…

“When we look at costs to produce corn in 2023, when we compare it to ‘22, they were higher in all areas of the state.”  He says, “Even though we even had higher yields, we had greater fertility costs, seed costs, machinery depreciation and then also we had higher non-land costs and then also our land cost went up as well.”

He says that all added up to the most expensive corn crop planted.

“The highest on record for corn, second highest was in 2012.”  He says, “We had the drought, so we had lower yields. So, we look at it on a per bushel basis and also costs were increasing in 2012.”

Zwilling says some of those costs, such as fertility, are projected to decline this year.

“That’s good news, right?”  He says, “But we know that operating interests are still continuing to be going up.  Land costs are going to continue to go up a little bit. So, when you compile that with these lower projected grain prices, that means we’re probably going to be looking at lower returns for 2024 versus what ‘23 was.”

Zwilling encourages producers to update their crop budgets frequently throughout the year to keep up with their operation’s break evens.

The group broke down the state of Illinois’ corn crop by regions:

Costs per bushel in ’23 compared to ’22 were 52 cents higher in northern Illinois, 72 cents higher in central Illinois with the higher rated soils, 78 cents higher in central Illinois with the lower rated soils and 85 cents higher in southern Illinois.

AUDIO: Brad Zwilling – Illinois Farm Business Farm Management

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