Due to the high cost of investment in farm machinery, an ever-increasing number of farmers are hiring other people to provide some or all of their machinery resources for their farm operation. This is especially true with new and younger farmers, as well as with children who decide to start farming with their parents.
Some farmers also hire specific work to be done by a custom farmer, such as combining, grain hauling or hay baling. Many farmers negotiate these types of custom rates and custom farming arrangements in the spring, while others wait until harvest is completed.
Even though fuel prices have been fairly stable the past year, higher labor costs, together with custom operators trying to more fully cover their expenses, have resulted in slightly higher average rates this year.
Overall, average custom rates for tillage, planting and harvest operations are expected to increase slightly more than 7 percent from last year.
Custom farming rates for corn and soybean production are also expected to increase by about 9 percent.
These results are based on the annual Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey that is coordinated and analyzed by Iowa State University. The average custom rates in southern and western Minnesota tend to be very close to the Iowa rates.
The complete 2019 survey is available at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a3-10.html.
SELECTED CUSTOM RATES
(includes tillage, planting and harvesting costs)
Corn $132.25 per acre (range: $80-$225)
Soybeans $121.20 per acre (range: $75-$210.25)
Small grain $118.35 per acre (range: $100-$140)
Moldboard plow $20.20 per acre
Chisel plow $18.35 per acre
Disk/chisel $19.70 per acre
V-ripper (deep tillage) $23.45 per acre
Field cultivator $16.00 per acre
Tandem disk $15.40 per acre
Chopping cornstalks $12.40 per acre
Planting and spraying
Planter with attachments $21.80 per acre (Extra charges for GPS, seed shutoffs, etc.)
Planter without attachments $20.40 per acre
No-till planter $22.90 per acre
Soybean drill $19.10 per acre
Grain drill $18.35 per acre
Crop spraying (broadcast) $7.65 per acre (self-propelled sprayer)
Corn combine $35.95 per acre ($41.35 with chopper head)
$54.10 per acre with grain cart and truck
Soybean combine $35.10 per acre ($38.50 with draper head)
$51.55 per acre with grain cart and truck)
Small grain combine $31.90 per acre
Corn grain cart (in field) $6.55 per acre
Soybean grain cart (in field) $5.75 per acre
Hauling grain (5 miles or less) $0.10 per bushel
Hauling grain (5-25 milies) $0.16 per bushel
Grain auger use (on farm) $0.06 per bushel
Windrowing hay $15.40 per acre
Hay baling (small square bales) $0.68 per bale
Hay baling (large square bales) $10.95 per bale
Hay baling (large round bales) $12.35 per bale ($13.05 per bale with wrap)
Corn stalk baling (large bales) $12.35 per bale ($13.60 per bale with wrap)
Haylage chopping $ 8.40 per ton
Silage chopping $ 6.75 per ton