Despite the drought, income for Minnesota farmers in 2012 increased 47 percent from the year before, according to analysis released by the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
The study found that high crop prices as a result of the drought combined with average yields made for a profitable season for farmers in the state. Data came from 2,200 participants in MnSCU farm business management education programs and 110 members of the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association.
Other findings included improved corn yields over 2011 at 170 bushels per acre, slightly higher than the 10-year average of 166 bushels; and soybean yields of 46 bushels per acre exceeded the 10-year average of 41 bushels.
The study found crop prices significantly higher, with the average price for corn coming in at $6.08 per bushel, 91 cents higher than 2011; soybeans at $13.08 per bushel, $1.73 higher than 2011; and spring wheat at $8.18 per bushel, up 94 cents from 2011. Production costs also increased, with land rental rates for corn up 17 percent, fertilizer up 26 percent, and total cost to grow an acre of corn up 13 percent from 2011 to $88 per acre.
Livestock farms also saw increased profitability, although the average price for milk at $19.60 per hundredweight was down 36 cents from 2011. The study concluded much of the profitability was due to the cropping side of operations. Market hog prices were down $3 to $63 per hundred pounds, while market beef prices increased $9 to $122.
The results can be found at the Center for Farm Financial Management’s FINBIN database at www.finbin.umn.edu.