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2015 crop cost estimates released

pdf fileAgDM Newsletter
January 2015

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach released its annual publication titled Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa - 2015. The publication is intended to help farmers determine their own potential 2015 crop costs per acre and per bushel for various crop costs considering rotations, tillage practices, machinery, inputs, labor, land and yield expectations.

Slight decline in costs expected

Crop cost estimates for 2015 for both corn and soybean production in Iowa are expected to drop slightly from 2014. The ISU estimates show the total cost per acre and per bushel using a variety of assumptions. Figure 1 indicates the 2015 cost estimates for three different crop rotations assuming conventional tillage practices and medium yield expectations. Total costs for a Soybeans after Corn rotation is expected to decline by 2 percent with a cost per bushel projection of $10.96 per bushel. Total costs for both Corn after Soybeans and Corn after Corn rotations are expected to drop by 1 percent. The cost per bushel is projected at $4.23 per bushel and $4.93 per bushel, respectively.

Cash rent equivalent estimates for medium- and high-grade land are estimated to decline by 5 percent in 2015, while rents for lower-grade land are projected to drop 7 percent. Machinery operating costs are estimated to decline by 7 percent, driven by an expected 17 percent decline in diesel fuel prices and a 9 percent drop in LP gas. Lower crop futures prices will result in lower crop insurance revenue guarantees and therefore lower insurance premiums.

The cost of seed corn is estimated to be 2 percent higher, while the cost of fertilizer and lime for corn production is estimated to increase by 6 percent. Herbicide costs are up slightly from the 2014 projections.

The cost of soybean seed in 2015 is projected 8 percent higher for the GMO varieties, at $55 per acre, but 2 percent lower for non-GMO varieties, at $41.80. Fertilizer and lime costs for soybean production are expected to rise by 4 percent for both type of seed varieties. However, herbicide costs for the GMO varieties are projected to increase more than for the non-GMO varieties.

The publication for Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa - 2015 is FM-1712 or the online version is file A1-20 - Estimated Costs of Crop Production - 2015.

Both versions have blanks where farmers can insert “Your Estimate” to help with estimates reflecting different costs related to crop rotations, tillage practices, machinery, inputs, labor, land as well as various yield expectations.

figure 1


Steven D. Johnson, farm and ag business management specialist, 515-957-5790,