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Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Corn Farms, 2001


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  • Foreman, Linda F.


Corn production costs per bushel vary considerably among U.S. producers, depending on yields, farm location, tillage practices, irrigation, previous field usage, enterprise size, and weather. In 2001, the operating and ownership costs per bushel for corn ranged from an average of $1.08 for the 25 percent of U.S. producers with the lowest costs to an average of $2.98 for the 25 percent with the highest costs. Heartland corn producers had the lowest costs per bushel on average. Corn producers with small corn enterprises had the highest costs due to their lower-than-average corn yields. Operators of part-time and low-sales corn farms have higher production costs per bushel than operators of farms with higher sales. In 2001, 59 percent of corn producers earned a positive net return per bushel after covering their operating and ownership costs from the market value of corn. When loan deficiency payments (LDPs) on corn were added to the value of corn production, 64 percent of producers covered their corn operating and ownership costs. When income consists of the value of production, LDPs, production flexibility contract, market loss, and disaster assistance payments, 73 percent of producers earned a positive return per bushel after accounting for their operating and ownership costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 7205.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:7205

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Keywords: corn; costs of production; operator characteristics; production practices; cost variation; Agricultural Resource Management Survey; ARMS; Crop Production/Industries;


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Cited by:
  1. Aktas, Erkan & İpek, Selçuk & Işık, Serkan, 2009. "Türkiye’de Tarım Sektöründe Kullanılan Mazota Yönelik Vergi ve Destekler
    [Taxes and Subsidies for Diesel Fuel Used in Turkey's Agricultural]
    ," MPRA Paper 28829, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Feb 2010.
  2. Rebecca S. Dodder & Amani Elobeid & Timothy L. Johnson & P. Ozge Kaplan & Lyubov A. Kurkalova & Silvia Secchi & Simla Tokgoz, 2011. "Environmental Impacts of Emerging Biomass Feedstock Markets: Energy, Agriculture, and the Farmer," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 11-wp526, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  3. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Colson, Gregory J. & Ginder, Roger, 2009. "A Return of the Threshing Ring? Motivations, Benefits and Challenges of Machinery and Labor Sharing Arrangements," Staff General Research Papers 13065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Sylvie Bonny, 2011. "Herbicide-tolerant Transgenic Soybean over 15 Years of Cultivation: Pesticide Use, Weed Resistance, and Some Economic Issues. The Case of the USA," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1302-1322, August.
  5. Saitone, Tina L. & Sexton, Richard J. & Sexton, Steven E., 2008. "Market Power in the Corn Sector: How Does It Affect the Impacts of the Ethanol Subsidy?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(2), August.
  6. Anthony D. Becker & Rebecca P. Judge, 2012. "Measuring the Effects of Decoupled Payments on Indica Rice Production Under the 1996 and 2002 Farm Bills," Working Papers 201201, St. Olaf College, Department of Economics.
  7. Douglas Gollin & David Lagakos & Michael E. Waugh, 2014. "Agricultural Productivity Differences across Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 165-70, May.
  8. Colyer, Dale, 2004. "Land, Land Use and Competitiveness," Working Papers 19099, West Virginia University, Department of Agricultural Resource Economics.
  9. Song, Feng & Swinton, Scott M. & DiFonzo, Christina & O'Neal, Matthew & Ragsdale, David W., 2006. "Profitability Analysis Of Soybean Aphid Control Treatments In Three North-Central States," Staff Papers 11489, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  10. David Pimentel, 2009. "Energy Inputs in Food Crop Production in Developing and Developed Nations," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, January.
  11. Huerta, Alexandria I. & Martin, Marshall A., 2002. "Soybean Production Costs: An Analysis Of The United States, Brazil, And Argentina," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19621, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  12. Johansson, Robert C. & Kara, Erdal & Ribaudo, Marc, 2006. "On how environmental stringency influences BMP adoption," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21207, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  13. Bonny, Sylvie, 2009. "Issues, impacts, and prospects of the first transgenic crops tolerant to a herbicide. The case of glyphosate-tolerant soybean in the USA," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51449, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  14. Wolfley, Jared L. & Mjelde, James W. & Klinefelter, Danny A. & Salin, Victoria, 2011. "Machinery-Sharing Contractual Issues and Impacts on Cash Flows of Agribusinesses," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(1), April.
  15. Michael A. Gunderson & Allan W. Gray & Jay T. Akridge, 2009. "Service quality in agronomic inputs: does the hierarchical model apply?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 500-519.
  16. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  17. Fabienne Femenia & Alexandre Gohin & Alain Carpentier, 2010. "The Decoupling of Farm Programs: Revisiting the Wealth Effect," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 836-848.
  18. Linacre, Nicholas A. & Thompson, Colin J., 2005. "The emergence of insect resistance in Bt-corn: implication of resistance management information under uncertainty," EPTD discussion papers 136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).


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