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Blog by Bradley Zwilling, Illinois FBFM Association and Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

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Data from the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) for 2011 through 2020 was used to analyze selected differences between the highest profit grain farms (high one-third) and the lower profit grain farms (low one-third). The analysis was done for 2020 and for the 2011 through 2020 ten-year average. Farms in the higher profit group were larger, had higher corn yields, crop shared a larger percent of their acres, and had higher gross returns and lower costs. Management returns, a profit measurement, was significantly greater for the higher profit farms.

Farms are grouped by region in the state - north, central and south. The central region is also divided into a group of higher productive soils and a group with less productive soils. All farms were at least 500 acres in size with no or very limited livestock enterprises.

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