Even as the price per bushel has fallen more than 25% in the last year, it’s still extremely expensive to grow corn. So how much does it cost?
The answer can be complicated, but using the South Dakota State Extension 2015 Crop Budget Calculator, the average cost to raise an acre of corn in South Dakota is approximately $403 (not including land costs or machinery ownership). This is up 20 per acre from 2014.
South Dakota farmers are expected to plant around 5.2 million acres of corn in 2015 according to the March 31st USDA/NASS prospective plantings report.
So if you were to multiply 5.2 million acres by $403/acre, it comes to a grand total investment of $2,095,600,000.
Yes that’s $2 billion, with a B. Farmers make enormous investments each year in seed, fertilizer, crop insurance, and fuel to name a few of the larger expenses that are required in order to grow next year’s supply of food, feed, fuel and fiber.
So where does all the money go? To local co-ops, elevators, shippers, seed companies, fuel distributors, implement dealers, insurance companies, technology firms, repairmen, hired help and many more local businesses that provide farmers with the many products and services they need to grow a successful corn crop.
It’s no wonder why agriculture is the state’s number one industry as more than $2 billion is generated in order to grow the state’s number one commodity. Paving the way for billions more in value-added opportunities and exports.