A series of reports on the costs of completing field, harvesting and forage operations on Illinois farms are now available on the University of Illinois's (U of I) farmdoc Web site. The reports also include per hour costs for operating tractors.

"Overall, estimated costs for most machinery operations are much higher in 2005 than in 2003, the last times costs were updated," said Gary Schnitkey, U of I Extension farm financial management specialist, who co-authored the reports with Dale Lattz, Extension farm management specialist. "Machinery costs rose because of higher fuel prices and higher prices on new machinery."

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

"Cost increases between 2003 and 2005 can be over 20%," said Schnitkey. "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."

A report discussing the cost increases is available at: www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/newsletters/fefo05_08/fefo05_08.html.