Tracking the Profitability of Corn Production

AgMRC Renewable Energy Newsletter
Created July 2008

(updated monthly)


The profitability of producing                             View the monthly profitability and
corn varies greatly from year to                                underlying assumptions.
year and within years.  To track
this variability we have developed typical
corn farming enterprises that represent farms in central and northern Iowa.  We track the monthly profitability of corn production by comparing the break-even cost of production to the monthly corn selling price. The analysis shows the per bushel profit (loss) potential each month.

The cost of corn production varies greatly depending on the land ownership arrangement. So, the monthly profitability is computed under three land ownership scenarios.

  • The farmland is owned by the farm operator (debt free).
  • The farm operator rents the farmland from a landlord.
  • The farm operator owns forty percent of the farmland and rents the remaining sixty percent.

The analysis is updated monthly to show the current profitability. It will be available each month in future newsletters.