Nebraska Farm Custom Rate Guides Updated - 2012
June 28, 2012
Covers spring and summer operations, including tillage, planting, haying, fertilizer application, and spraying operations as well as small grain harvest.
Generally covers fall operations related to harvest.
More UNL information on production economics, including crop budgets, and other resources from the Department of Agricultural Economics
The information in these publications comes from surveys we conduct in Nebraska in even-numbered years. Those who are familiar with the past publications will find that these are very similar.
Most of the survey is on rates for field operations such as tillage, planning, and harvesting, but it also includes some other operations such as drying grain, cleaning and treating seed, elevating grain, and checking pivots. The publications also include rates for some livestock operations such as checking cattle, grinding feed, and hauling livestock. Rates for other related operations include waste handling, mowing pasture, digging post holes, driving posts, and trenching. There are also rates for renting various-sized tractors, hiring labor, and additional charges for employing an auto-steer system.
The surveys are not based on a random sample of custom operators but rather on operators who choose to share.
Tabulated results include the number of operators reporting (results are not reported unless there are at least three survey responses) the average rate, the range of rates, and the most common rate if there is one.
Survey results are tabulated by the eight crop reporting geographic districts used by the Agricultural Statistics Service. A map of Nebraska is included to show district boundaries.
There is considerable variation between rates even within a geographic area. For this reason, these surveys should only be used as a guide. There may be good reason for these rate variations including factors that impact efficiency such as size. One respondent reported doing custom work on 30 acres during the year while another reported doing custom work on 9,000 acres.
Other possible reasons for rate differences may be the differences in topography including field size and size of operations. A custom operator who could harvest large numbers of acres with fewer moves should be willing to do it for less.
Extension Farm Management/Enterprise Budget Analyst