What is in this article?:
- Q&A: At what financial point will you switch away from continuous corn?
- Neil Wagner, Wayne, Ohio
- Nathan Wentworth, Warrensburg, Ill.
Nathan Wentworth, Warrensburg, Ill.
Soybeans over $12 per bushel coupled with declining corn prices and steady input costs have already led us to decrease our corn-on-corn acres. Agronomic factors also contributed significantly to that decision.
Bean prices have been so high at $14 to $15 per bushel, and our bean yields have stayed the same, about 55 to 60 bushels per acre. It really pencils out economically.
It isn’t necessarily just about the price of corn, but what our expenses are going to be, particularly the cost of N fertilizers. At this point (August), fall 2013 anhydrous ammonia will cost about $750 per ton, or $0.46 per pound of N, or approximately $100 per acre. With corn prices at $4.50 per bushel, coupled with the potential for reduced yield in second-year corn, we opt to plant soybeans.
As for the agronomic factors, the dry conditions since 2010 have made the yield drag from corn-on-corn more pronounced in this area. Corn yields of 200 to 250 bushels per acre aren't uncommon in east-central Illinois, but in some fields, for maybe a variety of reasons, yields have been reduced dramatically in second-year corn in our area.
That was enough to make us, and several others in our area, rethink corn-on-corn.