Current Tools

ARC/PLC Payments per Base Acre in Iowa

This decision tool provides a simple and intuitive way to compare annual ARC-CO and PLC payments for corn and soybean base acres across counties in Iowa.

Cash Rental Rates for Iowa

The cash rental rate information is from a survey of farmers, landowners, agricultural lenders, and professional farm managers. They supplied information based on their best judgments about typical cash rental rates for high, medium, and low quality cropland in their counties, as well as for land devoted to production of hay, oats, and pasture.

Historical Ethanol Operating Margins

The return over operating costs is one signal of the level of profitability to producing ethanol. This return is calculated as the difference between the revenues from ethanol plant outputs (ethanol and dried distillers grains with solubles [DDGS]) and the costs of variable production inputs (corn, natural gas, and other costs such as enzymes, labor, electricity and water).

Historical Biodiesel Operating Margins

CARD is tracking biodiesel returns over operating costs based on a typical continuous flow plant that uses soybean oil as feedstock for biodiesel production. Given soybean oil and biodiesel prices for Iowa reported weekly by the Agricultural Marketing Service, and methanol prices reported monthly by Methanex, we have computed the biodiesel operating returns from April 13, 2007, to the present.

Earlier Tools

2014 Farm Bill Analyzer

The ISU Farm Bill Analyzer focuses on decisions at the single-farm level for corn and/or soybean producers in Iowa. PLC and ARC-CO payments and probabilities are not affected by the number of enrolled farms, while ARC-IC payments and probabilities might be. Using historical information and expectations about prices and yields, the ISU Farm Bill Analyzer calculates expected payments and probabilities associated with payments under all possible combinations of programs across crops.


Average Crop Revenue Election, or ACRE, is a new commodity program included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. CARD researchers offer information and policy analysis about the ACRE program, and links to available ACRE calculators.

Ingredient Value and Cost Calculator

Daily Corn and Soybean Basis Maps for Iowa

On a pilot basis CARD is posting daily basis maps for corn and soybeans. The purpose of this pilot project is to determine if farmer decisions about where to deliver corn and soybeans can be enhanced. We present maps showing both old crop basis and new crop basis.

Loan Deficiency Payments

CARD has removed its Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP) Web site because of the persistence of higher crop prices, forcing LDP rates to zero, and because of the existence of USDA Web sites that carry the same type of information. Please see the USDA-Farm Service Agency price support page for current LDP information.