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Custom rate update

Your Farm Business

April 15, 2011
From Wayne Schoper and Rich Baumann - South Central College , The Journal

South Central College

As we might expect with rising fuel costs, custom rates for farm machinery operations have also risen. Many farmers contract with other farmers to get some work done on the farm. A good example is hiring some to do some combining during the harvest season. For 2011, corn combining custom rates will be at $30.90 per acre. Remember that this number is an average from 179 custom operators, farm managers and ag lenders from around the state of Iowa and what they expected 2011 custom farm rates to be for various farm operations. The survey summary lists the average custom rate and the range for various tillage, planting, fertilizer and chemical application. Grain harvesting and forage harvesting are also mentioned. As a point of interest, many miscellaneous farming practices such as snow blowing and grain hauling are included. You will also find average machine rental rates for some equipment, and also a formula for estimating average machinery rental rates. You will also find average custom farming rates for corn, soybeans and wheat. The complete survey can be found at Iowa States website:

The "Iowa State Custom Rate Survey" is coordinated and analyzed by Iowa State University. This is the best information that we have available for the state of Minnesota. Years ago the University of Minnesota conducted a similar survey, but it went out a number of years ago due to budget cuts.

As previously mentioned, 2011 custom rates are up about 3-6 percent compared to 2009 and 2010 with an average of 4 percent. In addition to higher fuel costs, increasing prices for new and used machinery is also a factor in the higher custom rates.

All listed custom rates in the Iowa State Survey include fuel and labor, unless listed as rental rates or otherwise specified. Following is a sampling of what you will find on the survey. For best results, print a copy of the survey for your own use and use the average as a guideline.

Custom Farming Rates:

(Includes tillage, planting and harvesting)

* Corn - $108.95 per acre (range=$65 - $145)

* Soybeans - $96.40 per acre (range=$60 - $130)

* Small Grain - $81.45 per acre (range=$60-$100)


* Moldboard Plow - $15.00 per acre

* Chisel Plow - $13.70 per acre

* V-Ripper - $17.05 per acre

* Field Cultivator - $11.45 per acre

* Tandem Disk - $11.80 per acre

* Chopping Corn Stalks - $10.35 per acre

* Land Rolling - $6.55 per acre


* Planter with attachments - $15.70 per acre

* Planter w/o attachments - $14.80 per acre

* No-Till Planter - $16.30 per acre

* Soybean Drill - $14.85 per acre

Harvesting Grain:

* Corn Combining - $30.90 per acre ($33.45 with chopper head; $40.80 per acre with grain cart and truck)

* Soybean combining - $29.65 per acre ($38.15 per acre with grain cart and truck)

* Grain Cart (in field) - $5.65 per acre

* Hauling Grain (on farm) - $.10 per bushel

* Grain Auger Use (on farm) - $.06 per bushel

Harvesting Forages:

* Windrowing Hay - $12.25 per acre

* Hay Baling (small squares) - $.50 per bale

* Hay Baling (large square bales) - $9.45 per bale

* Hay Baling (Large Round Bales) - $9.95 per bale

* Corn Stalk Baling (Large Rounds) - $11.20 per bale

* Silage Chopping - $36.80 per hour per head row

* Haylage Chopping -?$9.05 per hour per foot head width



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