Illinois farm operators’ 2007 net returns are considerably above the last five- and 10-year averages, according to Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association records of 2,748 Illinois farms.

The average return to the Illinois farm operators’ labor and management income in 2007 was $171,507, the highest for any year of the past five. This return can be thought of as the farmer's wage, or what remains from the operator's net farm income after a fair return to the operator's equity in machinery and land have been subtracted. The 2007 returns were $98,689 above the 2006 average of $72,818 and $88,168 above the average for the last five years. The 2005 earnings were the lowest. Labor and management incomes have ranged from a low of $38,787 in 2005 to the high of $171,507 in 2007.

The 2003-2007 five-year average of labor and management earnings was $83,339, while the 1998-2007 10-year average of labor and management earnings was $40,817 ($130,690 below the 2007 earnings).

Net return per-acre for continuous corn in 2007 on high productivity Northern Illinois farm ground was $335. Returns from corn grown following beans was $402/acre, and soybeans returned $90 per acre.

Average farm operator returns for labor and management on was higher for all state geographic areas in 2007 compared to 2006 and above the average for the last five years.

For high productivity Illinois farmland, the returns were $466 for corn following beans, $393 for continuous corn, and $131/acre for soybeans.

For details on per-acre costs and returns in Illinois by region and productivity, go to http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/crop_budgets.asp.