Updated June, 2024
File C1-10

2023 Iowa Farm Costs and Returns

graphic of money and farmThe farm record data utilized in this report were obtained from the Iowa Farm Business Association. The average of all farms in each table represents a weighted average of the values for each size group listed.  Weighting factors are based on the number of farms in each size group in the state, as computed from the most recent Census of Agriculture. Only farms with sales of $100,000 or more were counted in making the weighting.

All records were kept on the accrual, or inventory, basis. On rented farms, only operator income and expenses were recorded. Data for ending assets and liabilities represent those of the operator only, and do not include the value of rented land.

These farm record data are presented in the accompanying "pdf" file that you can access by clicking here or on the icon above.

Definitions of Terms Used

Net farm income, cash-Total sales and other cash income minus cash expenses, including purchases of livestock and feed. Does not include principal borrowed or repaid, sales and purchases of capital assets, or nonfarm income and expenses.

Net farm income, accrual-Cash net income adjusted for inventory changes and accrued expenses. Represents a return to unpaid labor, net worth (equity), management, and profit.

Value of farm production-Value of crops produced (at market price), livestock production (net of feed and purchased livestock), inventory value gain or loss, and miscellaneous income. This measures the total production per farm.

Management return-Accrual net farm income less 4% interest on value of equity (net worth), and wages for operator and family labor. The wage rate used for operator labor was $2,500 per month.

Inventory value gain or loss-Change in value of crops or livestock sold due to differences in opening inventory price and final sale price.

Livestock returns per $100 feed fed-Value of livestock production minus livestock purchases, divided by value of feed fed, multiplied by 100.

Machinery cost per crop acre-Total of machinery repairs, fuel, custom machine hire, utilities, machinery depreciation and auto expense, less 75% of all custom hire income received, divided by crop acres. Depreciation is estimated at 10% of current value of the machinery. Interest is not included.

Return on assets-Net farm income, plus interest expense, minus value of operator and family labor, divided by total farm assets owned.

Return on equity-Net farm income minus value of operator and family labor, divided by net worth.

Operating profit margin ratio-Net farm income, plus interest expense, minus value of operator and family labor, divided by value of farm production.

Working capital-Current assets minus current liabilities.

The data for this report were collected by Iowa Farm Business Association consultants and compiled by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.


Alejandro Plastina, extension economist, 515-294-6160, plastina@iastate.edu


Alejandro Plastina

extension economist
View more from this author