Soybean Returns Fall, Still Beat Corn by $50 Per Acre

April 7, 2017 01:00 PM

When weighing your corn versus soybean planting options, soybeans still beat corn despite recent drop in price. Soybeans would need to fall below $8.40 per bu. before the two have the same profit margin, according to University of Illinois economists.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) shows corn contracts staying at an average of $3.92 per bu. Soybeans on the other had showed November 2017 CME average at $10.19 in February and on April 3 November contract settled at $9.50 per bu., a 7% drop from February, Illinois economist note.

The economists used this information along with their own to develop new 2017 crop budgets. They used $3.60 per bu. corn price and $9.20 per bu. soybean price, resulting in $188 per acre return for corn and $238 per acre return for soybeans (not including land cost).


illinois crop budget

With a current $50 advantage over corn, soybeans will likely continue to be the favored crop. Illinois economists estimate soybean price per bu. will need to drop below $8.38 for corn to be more favorable—that number can be lower in more productive areas, too. For example, in high yielding northern Illinois when corn is at $3.60 per bu. soybeans would need to drop below $7.75 per bu. for corn to have the advantage (without considering crop insurance payouts).

Input your own numbers into this calculator to see what your crop budget might look like. 

How do recent price fluctuations influence your crop decisions? Let us know in the comments.

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