This map shows estimates of profitability of fields in corn or soybean. This map is meant to provide insight into alternative land management to improve farm profitability using publically available (and funded) data, thus allowing access without purchase of a private farm data management plan. While useful for insight into relative performance of areas within fields, and representative of Iowa farm management, this map does not contain individual economic or management data, and actual profitability will depend on actual expenses, revenue and management. We present a snapshot of the current possibilities with the available data and hope to improve this map in the future to allow user-defined values for individualized results. Local variations of yields, management and marketing practices, land tenure, and inaccuracy of the underlying spatial data result in deviations from the estimates presented here.
For a complete description of the underlying data and methods, please refer to the research article “Subfield profitability analysis reveals an economic case for cropland diversification,” that can be freely accessed online.
The analysis was performed for fields that were planted in corn or soybeans according to the cropland data layer (CDL) for 2010-2013. The 2013 CDL was used for 2015. Patches of similar profitability are defined by soil survey (SSURGO) and common land unit (CLU, 2008) delineations. Profitability was calculated by deducting cash rent and crop production cost estimates from the crop revenue (crop yield x grain price). Potential yields were taken from the Iowa soil properties and interpretations database (ISPAID) and adjusted to average county yields (NASS, 2010-2013) or to trend county yields (USDA RMA, 2015). Grain prices are the average monthly prices of each marketing year, and the forecast for 2015 from the USDA WASDE report of May 2016. Cash rents are taken from county surveys (ISU extension, 2010-2013, 2015), adjusted to corn suitability rating (CSR). Crop production costs were taken from the ISU Ag Decision Maker cost estimates.