Farmers Say Average Corn Breakeven is $3.69

April 5, 2017 04:46 PM
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It’s a question that matters more than most in farming – what’s your breakeven cost of production? According to a March 2017 Farm Journal Media survey of more than 500 farmers, the overall mean average cost of corn production this year is $3.69 per acre.

A total of 535 farmers responded to the survey, offering breakeven corn prices ranging between $1.90 up to $5.50 per bushel. Two-thirds of the answers provided were below $4 per bushel.

Respondents were also asked if they expect commodity prices for corn to be lower or higher than 2016. About half (53%) expect “about the same,” with another 22% predicting higher prices and 25% predicting lower prices.

When respondents were asked about row-spacing preferences, results showed that 30” row spacing is by far the most popular among respondents, with 86% choosing that set-up. Another 5% prefer 20” rows, 4% opt for 36” rows and 2% prefer 38” rows.

Respondents also answered a question about seeding rates. Answers varied moderately with 30,000-32,000 (28%), 32,000-34,000 (37%) and 34,000-36,000 (27%) being the top three responses.

When it comes to average corn stands, 84% of respondents reported at least a 90% corn stand after planting.

When selecting seed, respondents say consistency of performance (39%) and yield (31%) are the number one factor driving that decision.

This planting study has been conducted annually since 2012.

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Spell Check

Holcomb, KS
4/6/2017 10:22 PM

Amarillo, TX
4/6/2017 07:56 AM

  All these surveys give the "market makers" the info they need to keep the average farmer in business until the REITs and investment funds can get majority ownership of US farmland. If you started farming like i did with no "relative finance", $3.69 will not work

Westphalia , MO
4/6/2017 01:22 PM

  This blurb is way too vague. What kind of yields are these people basing their per bushel cost on? In order to reap any comparisons to your farm there needs to be a budget included or that 3.69$ per bushel breakeven cost is worthless.


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