Custom-rate charges for fall and winter tasks show signs of easing back after years of steady gains. That’s the bottom line, according to custom machine rate-survey data collected by the Pennsylvania office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Each year Iowa State University Extension surveys farmers, custom operators and farm managers to find out what the typical custom rate charges are for different machinery operations in Iowa. Results of the 2010 survey were recently compiled.
I farm 1,200 acres of mostly corn and soybeans, with 40 acres in alfalfa. I own 400 acres and rent 800. I pay cash rent varying between $150 and $180 per acre. With declining crop prices, I can’t afford $180 rent for next year. I figure I’m better off renting whatever $150-per-acre ground I can get and letting the $180 ground go. That will leave between 800 and 900 acres total. The higher-priced land is the best land I farm, but it hasn’t been that much better than
Custom machinery work charges as gauged by survey reports from farmers and custom operators are generally higher this year. Pennsylvania custom rates are up less than 2% overall compared to last year, according to the 2011 survey by Pennsylvania’s office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Many Iowa farmers hire some custom work done in their farming business, or farmers sometimes perform custom work for other people. Other farmers rent machinery or perform other services. How much should you charge if you are doing the work? What’s a fair rate to pay if you are hiring the work done?