Crops > Machinery > Custom Operations

2010 Iowa farm custom rate survey available

AgDM Newsletter
March 2010

xls file

xls file

The 2010 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey followed the recent trend of small, but consistent annual increases in rates. Most tillage operations showed increases of one to two percent over the average rates in the 2009 survey, while harvesting rates were up slightly less than that. Some operations showed no change or a slight decrease from the 2009 survey.

The values reported on the survey are simply the average of all the responses received for each category. The range of the highest and lowest responses received is also reported. Values are rates expected to be charged or paid, including fuel and labor. These values are intended only as a guide. There are many reasons why the rate charged in a particular situation should be above or below the average. These include the timeliness with which operations are performed, quality and special features of the machine, operator skill, size and shape of fields, number of acres contracted, and the condition of the crop for harvesting. The availability of custom operators in a given area will also affect rates.

TableA total of 187 people responded to this year’s survey. Of this group, 30 percent indicated that they performed custom work, 18 percent indicated that they hired work done, and 52 percent indicated that they did both. New in the 2010 survey is information on straw or corn stalk baling listed both with and without wrap. The average price for diesel fuel was assumed to be $2.25 per gallon. Machinery rental rates can be estimated on the back of the survey publication.

The Ag Decision Maker offers a Decision Tool to help custom operators and other farmers estimate their own costs for specific machinery operations. The Machinery Cost Calculator (file A3-29) can be found under Crops, then Machinery in the Ag Decision Maker table of contents.

The 2010 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is available at ISU Extension county offices or online as publication FM-1698 from the ISU Extension online store, or as Information File A3-10, Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey, on the Ag Decision Maker website.


William Edwards, retired economist. Questions?