Today’s USDA/NASS Prospective Plantings Report estimates that South Dakota farmers will plant around 5.5 million acres of corn in 2012. That amount would tie the record set in 1931 meaning we could be looking at another record crop. But with each of those acres comes a very large commitment from producers who hope to meet the future demands of food, feed, fuel and fiber.
According to iGrow agronomist, Paul Johnson, a South Dakota corn farmer can expect direct input costs to total around $450/acre. That includes seed, fertilizer, herbicide, crop insurance, machinery usage and other variable costs. That number does not include land payments, rent or machinery ownership costs.
So with 5.5 million estimated acres of corn being planted x $450 in direct costs per acre = a total investment of $2.475 billion from our states farmers. An expensive investment, but a necessary one as market demands and supplies signal the need for more corn as our hungry world continues to grow.