Margin Minute: Farmers Prefer Making Money Over Planting Corn

April 18, 2017 12:00 PM

The notion that farmers love to plant corn has been around for a long time. But that assertion fails to account for the fact farmers are business people who seek good margins and strong budget management, regardless of their cropping decisions, says Chris Barron, an Iowa producer with Ag View Solutions.

His firm has developed a free corn-vs.-soybean analysis tool (you can request it for free by emailing Chris at that helps producers assess which crop has greater financial potential.

 “It’s not about what you love to plant,” Barron says. “It’s about loving to try to improve the margins, trying to increase profitability. That’s really the bottom line.”

Other factors to monitor as you decide which crop to plant include:

  • The ratio between market prices for corn and soybeans
  • The yield ratio between those crops on a given farm or field

“It may be that corn is going to make us more money. It may be that soybeans are going to make us more money,” Barron says. “What I would like to point out today is that we really truly need to run a side-by-side comparison even up until the last minute, until the planter goes in the field, of what’s going to make me more money on my bottom line.”

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