As would be expected with increasing fuel costs, average 2007 custom rates for farm work have also risen, compared to 2006 and 2005 custom rates. Most custom rates for farm work in 2007 are 3-5% above the rates a year earlier, with an average increase of about 4%. In addition to higher fuel costs, increasing cost for new and used machinery is also a factor in the higher custom rates.

These results are based on the annual “Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey” that is coordinated and analyzed by Iowa State University. The survey sampled 165 custom operators, farm managers, and ag lenders on what they expected 2007 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 functions on the farm. It also includes many miscellaneous faming practices, lists average machine rental rates for some equipment and a formula for estimating average machinery rental rates. The survey lists average custom farming rates for corn, soybeans and wheat. The complete 2007 “Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey” is available on the following web site: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/pdf/a3-10.pdf

All listed custom rates in the Iowa survey results include fuel and labor, unless listed as rental rates or otherwise specified. These average rates are only meant to be a guide for custom rates, as actual custom rates charged may vary depending on continued increase in fuel costs, availability of custom operators, timeliness, field size, etc. Following are the average custom rates for some common farming practices for 2007, based on the Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey:

Custom Farming Rates:
(Includes tillage, planting and harvesting costs)
· Corn – $89.00 per acre (Range = $70.00 - $125.00)
· Soybeans – $79.00 per acre (Range = $65.00 - $105.00)
· Small Grain – $64.00 per acre (Range = $60.00 - $76.00)

Tillage:
· Moldboard Plow – $12.70/acre
· Chisel Plow – $12.30/acre
· V-Ripper (deep tillage) – $15.45/acre
· Field Cultivator – $9.05/acre
· Tandem Disk – $9.45/acre
· Row Cultivator – $7.75/acre
· Chopping Cornstalks – $8.65/acre

Planting:
· Planter With Attachments – $13.05/acre
· Planter Without Attachments – $12.15/acre
· No-Till Planter – $13.65/acre
· Soybean Drill – $12.45/acre
· Grain Drill – $10.50/acre

Harvesting Grain:
· Corn Combine – $26.60/acre
· Soybean Combine – $25.80/acre
· Small Grain Combine – $23.70/acre
· Grain Cart (In Field) – $5.45/acre
· Hauling Grain (On Farm) – $.06/bu.
· Grain Auger Use (On Farm) – $.05/bu.

Harvesting Forages:
· Windrowing Hay – $10.55/acre
· Hay Baling (Small Square Bales) – $.45/bale
· Hay Baling (Large Square Bales) – $8.30/bale
· Hay Baling (Large Round Bales) – $8.50/bale
· Silage Chopping – $30.55 per hour per row
· Haylage Chopping – $82.05/hour (7-ft. head)

Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.