2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey Results Available

If you hire custom work done on your farm or do custom work for other farmers, here's a look at the going rates.

Published on: Mar 1, 2013

The 2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is now available to download from the Extension Online Store or ISU's Ag Decision Maker website as Information File A3-10, "Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey". Printed copies of the two-page publication will soon be available at Iowa State University Extension county offices.

Iowa farmers who perform custom work, hire custom work done, or do some of both, have the 2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey results to refer to as a guide in helping them determine custom rates for various jobs, says William Edwards, ISU Extension farm economist. Rates are listed for various types of field operations such as tillage, planting, spraying, fertilizer application, harvesting, drying, hauling, haying operations, etc. A number of miscellaneous services are also listed -- from removing snow, to building fence, to applying manure to chopping brush to tiling and many more.

POPULAR PUBLICATION: Each year in late February Iowa State University Extension publishes results of its annual "Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey." The 2013 version is now available to download for free from the ISU Extension Online Store as publication FM 1698 or you can download it from ISUs Ag Decision Maker website, or view it on that site, as information File A3-10.
POPULAR PUBLICATION: Each year in late February Iowa State University Extension publishes results of its annual "Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey." The 2013 version is now available to download for free from the ISU Extension Online Store as publication FM 1698 or you can download it from ISU's Ag Decision Maker website, or view it on that site, as information File A3-10.

For each operation, the average rate charged and a range of rates are shown

This information for 2013 is based on a survey this winter of 249 Iowa farmers, custom operators and farm managers. For each operation, the average rate from the survey and the range of rates reported are shown.

"Many Iowa farmers hire some custom machine work done in their farm business, or they perform custom work for others," notes Edwards. "The information we've reported in the publication is based on the responses to our survey. For each operation, the average custom rate and range of rates reported is shown. In our survey, 26% of the respondents reported that they perform custom work, 14% hire custom work done and 60% indicate that they do both."

The values listed are rates expected to be charged or paid this year. The rates include tractor, implement, fuel and labor. The average price for diesel fuel was assumed to be $3.50 per gallon. A fuel price increase of 50 cents per gallon will cause total machinery costs to increase by approximately 5%, says Edwards.

Use these rates as a guide, as actual custom rates can vary from area to area for several reasons

"These custom rates we report in our survey results each year are only intended to be used as a guide," emphasizes Edwards. "Actual custom rates can and do vary according to availability of machinery in a given area, timeliness, operator skill, field size and shape, crop conditions and the performance characteristics of the machine that is being used for the job."

Rental rates for some machinery items are also shown in the publication of custom rate survey results, along with a worksheet that farmers can use for estimating rental rates for other items. Edwards notes that all of the custom rates that are listed in the publication include fuel, repairs, depreciation, interest, labor and all other machinery costs for the tractor and implement.