Fifteen percent more for corn and 10% more for beans are the estimated increases in production costs for 2008 crops compared to last year, say University of Illinois Extension economists Gary Schnitkey and Dale Lattz. Those operational costs would be $370 for corn and $220 for beans per acre, and those do not include land costs, cash rents or mortgage payments.

The additional costs result from anhydrous ammonia prices climbing to $700/ton and total fertilizer costs estimated at $30 more per acre for corn and $10 for beans. Then add land costs and corn production rises to $550/acre and beans to $400/acre. That means breakeven prices are $3.06 on 180-bu. corn and $7.41 for 54-bu. soybeans.