Custom rate charges for machinery services are taking a substantial jump this year. That's according to the latest farmer surveys by University of Maryland Extension and Pennsylvania's National Agricultural Statistics Service office.
Pennsylvania's custom rate average of all charges jumped 4.45% higher than 2012, reports Ag Statistic Adam Pike. That's the largest overall increase since 2009.
Rates include the cost of hiring the machine plus fuel and operator labor, he adds. They exclude seed, fertilizer and other materials unless specified.
Biggest rate-changers were . . .
Here are some of the major spring and summer tasks recording the largest year-to-year shifts in the Pennsylvania survey:
•Small square baling charges increased close to 14%.
•Haylage harvest rates for using one man, two wagons and one tractor climbed18% while the two-man rate rose nearly 17%.
•Sod plowing increased more than 11%.
•Disk plowing jumped 15% per acre; tandem disking rose nearly 13%; harrowing rose almost 16%.
•Bushhogging was up more than 13%.
•Sidedressing rates rose nearly 18%.
•The biggest rate drop was in long-distance grain hauling – down 13%.
Pennsylvania's complete 2013 guide, with mountain and valley rate breakouts, plus a range of rates can be downloaded or printed off the Web at: www.americanagriculturist.com . You'll find it under the left-hand "More Farm Progress" tab.
It's also available at the NASS website: www.nass.usda.gov/pa . Click on "Pennsylvania publications". Or, get a free mail copy and subscription by calling 800-498-1518.
Maryland rates also higher
Maryland survey data is gathered every two years by University of Maryland Extension Educator Shannon Dill. Download a copy of the fact sheet (FS 683) from online. That every-other-year gap is one reason that most custom rates have risen in the Maryland survey.
You'll also find survey summary results on spring and summer custom tasks from both states in the upcoming May issue of American Agriculturist.
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