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Production Inputs

The per-unit costs of agricultural production inputs such as feed, fertilizers, crop chemicals, and ‎seed also vary widely due to production systems. For instance, a corn farmer might have nitrogen ‎fertilizer costs of $50 per acre while a soybean farmer down the road might have no nitrogen ‎fertilizer costs due to a legume's ability to fix nitrogen. Crop chemicals such as herbicides, ‎insecticides, and fungicides are applied on an "as-needed" basis and applications vary widely from ‎farm-to-farm, and from crop-to-crop. Seed costs tend to vary based on conventional or biotech ‎varieties. For instance, farmers may pay an average of $200 per bag of seed corn for a non-GMO ‎seed and around $300 per bag of GMO seed. (*1) While seed costs vary by the type of seed, per-unit ‎costs vary somewhat less across types of crops. For instance, a more expensive bag of seed corn ‎would plant about 2½ acres, while a less expensive bag of soybeans would plant about an acre.‎

In addition to land, machinery, fertilizer, crop chemicals, and seed, farmers face costs for ‎buildings, grain handling facilities, hired labor, fuel for vehicles, heating, and conditioning crops, ‎livestock, feed and veterinary care for the livestock, taxes, crop insurance, property insurance, and ‎the list goes on. All of the expenses add to the challenge of remaining profitable and economically ‎viable for the long term. ‎

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Sources:

"Purdue Agriculture News." Ag Economist: Seed Prices Going Up, but so Will Revenues. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/ag-economist-seed-prices-going-up,-but-so-will-revenues.html>Exit EPA

US. USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farm Production Expenditures ‎‎2011 Summary. N.p., 8. Aug. 2012. Web. ‎‎<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/FarmProdEx/FarmProdEx-08-02-2012.pdf>.‎Exit EPA

 

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