What Counts Is Revenue Per Acre, Not Yield

Most seed companies expand plot results to include revenue per acre.

Published on: Oct 29, 2012

Bragging rights for a plot have always gone to the seed company with the hybrid that wins the plot on yield. Today, however, companies are realizing that what really counts is which hybrids turns out the most dollars per acre. Several companies are including this calculation using current prices in their printouts that they give to the farmer who had the plot, and that they distribute to customers who want to see how the various plots performed.

Two companies, DuPont Pioneer and Croplan Genetics, both issues a report on the same plot in Indiana recently, since both companies had hybrids in the trial. Their reporting format was different, but both included a column for revenue per acre.

Tests Crucial: Moisture content and in some cases test weight, if its too low, determine selling price for corn, and can affect gross revenue per field.
Tests Crucial: Moisture content and in some cases test weight, if it's too low, determine selling price for corn, and can affect gross revenue per field.

Moisture is often the major factor that affects revenue besides yield. In the plot noted here, there were major differences in moisture content among hybrids. Some hybrids that yielded more didn't pump out as many dollars because harvest moisture contest was higher. It must either be deducted as a dockage per point per bushel as would happen at a commercial elevator, or it must result in shrinkage and fewer bushels.

If you ask farmers what the most important trait is in a hybrid, most will still say yield. With that goes an underlying assumption that moisture will be equal to or less than hybrids which don't yield as well. What the real assumption is becomes that the hybrid yielding the most will bring in the most dollars when sold at the elevator. This particular plot and many others like it illustrate that there can be exceptions to that rule.

If your company doesn't provide information on value per acre or gross dollars of corn sold per acre, you can ask them for it, or you can do the calculations yourself. All you need is dry bushels plus moisture at harvest. You can use the dockage scheme from your local elevator to determine how much each hybrid should have brought to the farm in terms of revenue.