Crops > Machinery > Custom Operations

Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey

File A3-10
Updated March, 2014

download in pdf format pdf format - original 2 page


download in pdf format pdf format - 4 page, larger font


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Many Iowa farmers perform custom machinery work for other producers and landowners, while others hire custom work done. Some producers rent machinery or perform certain services for a fee. To help both custom operators and people who hire custom work done to arrive at a reasonable rate for each service contracted, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conducts an annual survey of farm custom rates.

Values shown below are the average and the range of the rates that survey respondents reported that they expected to pay or charge in the coming year. A total of 195 Iowa farmers, custom operators, and farm managers replied to the survey. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents reported that they performed custom work for others, 12 percent reported hiring custom work done, and 61 percent indicated that they did both.

Custom operators are assumed to provide the implement, the tractor to pull it (except for self-propelled machines), the operator, and fuel. The average price for diesel fuel was assumed to be $3.25 per gallon for the coming year. A change in diesel fuel price of $0.50 per gallon will change total machinery costs by approximately 5 percent. Rental rates for some machinery items are shown on the last page of this summary. Rental rates do not include fuel, an operator, or a tractor to pull an implement. Rental rates for equipment items not included in the survey can be estimated by using the worksheet on the final page.

The Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is presented in the accompanying "pdf" file that you can access by clicking here or on the icon above. A larger font, in a 4 page format is also available.

Links to Custom Rate Survey Information for other states.


William Edwards, retired economist. Questions?
Ann M. Johanns, extension program specialist, 641-732-5574,