Crops > Machinery > Custom Operations

Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey

File A3-10
Updated March, 2015

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Many Iowa farmers hire custom machine work done in their farm business or perform custom work for others. Others rent machinery or perform other services. The information below is based on survey responses from 166 Iowa farmers, custom operators, and farm managers. For each operation, the average rate and the range reported are shown. Twenty-five percent of the respondents perform custom work, 11 percent hire work done, and 64 percent indicated doing both.

Values below are rates expected to be charged or paid, and include tractor, implement, fuel, and labor. The average price for diesel fuel was assumed to be $2.94 per gallon. A fuel price increase of $0.50 per gallon will cause total machinery costs to increase by approximately 5 percent. This rate schedule is intended only as a guide. Actual custom rates may vary according to availability of machinery in a given area, timeliness, operator skill, field size and shape, crop conditions, and the performance characteristics of the machine being used.

Rental rates for some machinery items are shown on the following page, along with a worksheet for estimating rental rates for other items.

Note: All rates include fuel, repairs, depreciation, interest, labor, and all other machinery costs for the tractor and implement.

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.

Links to Custom Rate Survey Information for other states.


Alejandro Plastina, extension economist, 515-294-6160,
Ann M. Johanns, extension program specialist, 641-732-5574,