In northern Illinois, the expected corn yield is 186 bushels per acre and the expected soybean yield is 58 bushels per acre (see Table 1). The operator and farmland return is projected to be $284 per acre. This is the amount that can be split between the farmer and the cash rent land owner. 

Based on National Agricultural Statistical (NASS) cash rents, the average cash rent for northern Illinois is $275 per acre (see the farmdoc daily post "2013 County Cash Rents: Levels, Variability, and 2014 Cash Rent Decisions" for the equation used to estimate average cash rents). This average cash rent leaves a farmer return of $9 per acre ($284 operator and land return - $275 average cash rent).

At average cash rents, farmer returns are low or negative in all regions. Central Illinois with high productivity farmland has a $30 per acre farmer return, central Illinois with low productivity farmland has a $9 per acre farmer return, and southern Illinois has a -$27 per acre return

Many rents are $75 per acre higher than the average (see the farmdoc daily post "2013 County Cash Rents: Levels, variability, and 2014 Cash Rent Decisions"). At these high cash rents, farmer returns are negative. Northern Illinois has a -$66 per acre farmer return, central Illinois with high productivity has a -$45 per acre return, central Illinois with low productivity has a -$66 per acre turn and southern Illinois has a -$102.