Study: Navigating direct cost surges in corn production — from Brazil to Central Illinois

Insights on navigating the economics of the international corn market with analysis from economists at the University of Illinois and Ohio State University.

A recent analysis conducted by agricultural economists from the University of Illinois and Ohio State sheds light on a notable surge in direct costs for corn production in Brazil’s central region since 2016. While the per-acre direct costs have been higher in the United States, a crucial adjustment for corn yields demonstrates a cost advantage for Illinois producers.

One of the key factors contributing to the increase in direct costs in Brazil is the notable spike in fertilizer expenses. This component plays a significant role in shaping the economic landscape for corn production in the region.

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Interestingly, when projections are considered, there emerges a contrast in the trajectory of total direct costs for the upcoming season. Central Illinois anticipates a decline in total direct costs, offering a more favorable economic outlook for local producers. On the other hand, Central Brazil is projected to experience a 3-percent increase in total direct costs, marking a potential challenge for corn producers in the region.

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