Data from the 2010 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and ERS cost of production accounts present a snapshot of the production costs, production practices, and characteristics related to U.S. corn production in 2010. This study found considerable variation in the operating and ownership costs for corn, ranging from an average of $1.74 per bushel for low-cost producers to $3.88 per bushel for high-cost producers. In 2010, high corn prices meant that most producers covered their corn production costs from harvest-month prices. The Heartland continues to be the major corn production region with the lowest operating and ownership costs per bushel, mainly because of the region’s high corn yields. The operating and ownership costs per bushel did not vary significantly by enterprise size where size is measured by the number of planted corn acres per farm. However, these costs per planted acre were lowest for farms with the smallest corn enterprises and highest for farms with the largest corn enterprises. Production value less operating and ownership costs per acre from organic corn production was higher than that from conventional corn production because higher prices more than offset lower yields for organic corn.


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