If you want to see how costs for completing field, harvesting and forage operations have changed, check out reports on Illinois farms available from the University of Illinois' (U of I) farmdoc Web site.

Estimated costs for most machinery operations are as much as 20% higher in 2005 than in 2003, the last time costs were updated, say Gary Schnitkey and Dale Lattz, U of I Extension farm financial management specialists.

“Machinery costs rose because of higher fuel prices and higher prices on new machinery,” Schnitkey says. “Harvesting both corn and soybeans had some of the largest increases. The costs of combining corn are estimated at $31.10/acre, an increase of 21% from 2003 estimates. Combining had some of the largest cost increases because of much higher new prices for combines.”

The reports can be viewed online at www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/machinebuilding_index.html.