Crops > Machinery > Custom Operations

2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey follows recent trend

AgDM Newsletter
March 2013

The 2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey followed the recent trend of small but consistent increases in rates each year. Most operations showed increases of 3 to 5 percent over the average rates in the 2012 survey.


The values reported on the survey are the average of all the responses received for each category. The range of the highest and lowest responses received is also reported. 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.

Several new operations and services were included in the 2013 survey, including vertical tillage, providing a seed tender, soybean combining with a draper head, and mowing lawns.

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 can be found under Crops, then Machinery in the Ag Decision Maker table of contents. The 2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey can be downloaded from the Extension Online Store, or the Ag Decision Maker website, as Information File A3-10, Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey. Print copies will be available at county extension offices.


William Edwards, retired economist. Questions?