July 8, 2010
Field Crops 28.9 - 85

Production Efficiency is featured in the 2010 PEPS Program

Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist

2010 PEPS Entry Forms

The global climate change question, increasing regulations, and the food versus fuel debate have put unprecedented pressure on farmers. Farmers must remind society that they are good stewards, and that while growing corn they can conserve soil, improve water quality and produce adequate food, feed, fiber and fuel. The Profits through Efficient Production Systems (PEPS) program provides an outstanding opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, technical insight and demonstrate your farming skills. It provides a unique method to compare the economics of your cropping systems to others. The 2010 PEPS program features profitability through efficient production systems.

In 2009, the cost per bushel in the PEPS program ranged from $2.01 to $2.85 for corn yield levels ranging from 142 to 276 bushels per acre (Table 1). The average yield in the cash corn and dairy/livestock corn divisions was 214 and 194 bushels per acre with production costs of $531 and $428 per acre. The average cost per bushel in these divisions was $2.51 and $2.19. Using PEPS production costs for an acre and the WI USDA state average of 153 bushels per acre, the average cost per bushel was $3.47. For corn silage, it cost $734 per acre with an average cost per ton of dry matter of $81.95 ($28.68 at 65% moisture).

Table 1. PEPS Most Efficient corn farmers in the 2009 Cash Corn, Dairy/Livestock Corn and Silage Corn Divisions.

Division District County Participant Cost/Bu
Cost/A Yield
Corn, Cash Crop 1 Waupaca Larry Danke $2.64 $520 197 Paul Knutzen
  2 Columbia Daniel Padley $2.01 $499 248 Daniel Sandwick
  3 Grant David Gehrke $2.35 $478 203 Steve Mueller
Corn, Dairy Livestock 1 Rusk Rusk Rose Holsteins, Inc. $2.01 $324 161 Gary Pomeranke
  3 Dane Ron Dresen $2.06 $435 212 Vernon Meinholz
Corn, Silage 1 Marathon Steve Kloos $66.51 $539 8.1 Philip Ely
  3 Sauk Meadow Lane Farms $80.71 $845 10.5 Denise Brusveen

The intent of the PEPS program is to encourage the development of profitable new and innovative corn management practices that conserve resources and improve water quality.

Two options are available to growers in the PEPS program:

  •  Contest option: The top-participant of each district and division is recognized with a plaque and cash award at the state level.
  •  Verification option: Farmers can compare the economics of their cropping system to other farmers without entering the public contest.

The ""Green Fields – Blue Waters" award is given to a farmer to recognize and promote stewardship and sustainable corn production practices. The 2009 awardee was Steve Kloos of Marathon county.

For previous PEPS reports and 2010 Entry forms see the website: http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/PEPS.

Fields entered in the PEPS program may also qualify for other contests such as the National Corn Yield Contest.

New for 2010 are four county yield contests offered by the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association – 1) Juneau, Adams, and Marquette, 2) Columbia, 3) Dodge and Fond du Lac, and 4) Rock, Walworth and Jefferson counties. See http://www.wicorn.org for details.

If you have any questions, please call Amy Cottom at (608) 262-7702 or e-mail at: agcottom@wisc.edu.

Have a safe and profitable growing season!

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