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With Prices Soaring, How Much Should You Budget To Grow Soybeans?

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With markets demanding more soybeans by means of higher prices, many producers are likely considering the legume. When outlining your budgets for the rest of the year, accurately account for costs and decide if you want to spend a little more on soybean acres to boost yields.

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently compiled a report that averaged the soybean operating costs per acre. It does not include the price of cash rent/land payments or other fixed costs associated with growing soybeans.

Cost estimates include:


Fuel, lube and electricity






Fertilizers including commercial fertilizer, soil conditioners, manure



Chemicals including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides





USDA found it costs $162 per acre on average across the U.S. to produce soybeans.

This varied greatly by region, with the Mississippi Portal reporting the highest costs at about $225 per are. These higher costs are driven by irrigation expenses, as well as the highest chemical and seed costs at $40 per acre and $61 per acre, respectively. The Mississippi Portal is about 50% irrigated.

Notably, operating costs in the Northern Great Plains region are the lowest and have particularly low chemical and fertilizer expenses at $16 and $14 per acre.

Check out USDA’s findings in the chart below to compare how you stack up to the average for your region.

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