Many farmers and ranchers were operating in the red this past year. According to a new USDA report on production costs, fertilizer was the biggest operating cost for Northern Great Plains corn farmers last year totaling nearly $94 per acre. For wheat farmers, fertilizer was also the biggest operating cost at $27 per acre. Seed was the most expensive line item for soybean farmers at nearly $57 per acre. For cow-calf operations, feed was the biggest cost; $514 per cow per year. The feed bill was also the biggest cost for dairy farmers in the Heartland region, at $9.46 per hundredweight.
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