July 8, 2011
Field Crops 28.9 - 85

Even with High Corn Prices, Production Efficiency is Key to Profitability

Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist

2011 PEPS Entry Form

For many years, the question most asked by corn farmers has been, "How do I save a buck?" During the last three years the question has changed to, "How do I grow another bushel?" Growers are thinking creatively about ways to increase yields through new, innovative production techniques. The PEPS program provides an outstanding way to compare the economics and efficiency of your cropping system to others. It is an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, technical insight and demonstrate your farming skills for conserving resources and improving water quality. The 2010 most efficient farmers in the PEPS program are shown in Table 1.

In the 2010, the average yield in the cash corn and dairy/livestock corn divisions was 218 and 216 bushels per acre with production costs of $439 and $408 per acre. The average cost per bushel was $2.05 and $1.88. Using PEPS production costs for an acre and the WI USDA average of 162 bushels per acre, the average cost per bushel was $2.71. It cost $724 per acre to grow corn silage with an average cost per ton of dry matter of $77 ($27 at 65% moisture).

Table 1. PEPS Most Efficient corn farmers in the 2010 Cash Corn, Dairy/Livestock Corn and Silage Corn Divisions.

Division District County Participant Cost/Bu
Cost/A Yield Hybrid Verifier
Corn, Cash Crop 1 Marathon Steve Kloos $1.89 $443 235 Pioneer 37Y12 Philip Ely
  2 Jackson Stetzer Farms $1.66 $468 282 DeKalb DKC52-59 Trisha Wagner
Corn, Dairy Livestock 1 Polk Dale Wester $1.56 $362 232 DeKalb DKC42-72 Kieth Zygowicz
  2 Buffalo Diversified Farms $2.01 $432 215 Pioneer P0461XR Carl Duley
  3 Grant David Gehrke $1.76 $363 206 Kussmaul GL807GT Steve Mueller
Corn, Silage 1 Marathon Steve Kloos $71.05 $588 8.3 Pioneer 35F38 Philip Ely

The ""Green Fields – Blue Waters" award is given to a farmer to recognize and promote stewardship and sustainable corn production practices.

For previous PEPS reports and 2011 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.

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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