Sep 19, 2014
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Fertilizer Helps the Bottom Line in 2010

November 19, 2009
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Linda H. Smith, Top Producer Executive Editor
Lower fertilizer prices could slash per-acre nutrient outlays by a third, says Purdue University Economist Bruce Erickson. "Some farmers s[pent as much as $200/acre to fertilize 2009 corn—more than rent in some cases—including N,P,K and lime. We are projecting $100 to $130 for next year, depending on soils and crop rotation.”
Purdue pegs total variable costs on average soils at $363 for continuous corn, $351 rotational corn and $194 rotational soybeans. For their complete spreadsheet, including estimates for low- and high-productivity soils, click here.
The University of Illinois breaks its estimates both by geography within the state and by high- and low-productivity soils. Their economists see fertilizer (they do not specify whether this includes lime) for corn in the $90-$100 range, and the total for fertilizer, pesticides, seed, drying, storage and crop insurance about $150-$300. They break out machinery and fuel costs separately, adding another $80-$85/acre. For their complete tables, click here.

You can view Ohio State University's corn, soybean and wheat cost of production estimates, by clicking here


You can e-mail Linda Smith at

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