Farmers who hire a neighbor to perform fieldwork or other common jobs are paying only slightly more today than four years ago, according to a recent Purdue University study.

“Indiana Custom Rates 2004” found that while custom rates for tillage, planting and harvesting have gone up, they aren't significantly higher than in 2000, the last year the study was issued. In some cases, the rates are about the same or lower, says Craig Dobbins, a Purdue extension agricultural economist.

The Purdue study lists about 60 custom farming services in such areas as land preparation and machine rental. Here are some typical rates:

  • Applying insecticides with highboy sprayer — $5.44/acre.
  • Planting conventional-till corn in 30-in. rows — $12.56/acre.
  • Planting no-till soybeans, drilled — $13.45/acre.
  • Combining soybeans — $21.76/acre.
  • Combining corn at a yield average of 135 bu./acre-$22.29/acre.

To see the full listing, check online at www.ces.purdue.edu/extme dia/EC/EC-130-W.pdf