Revised October 2012

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2012 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri

Ronald L. Plain and Joyce White
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Editor's note
Rates are available in print or as a PDF file.

The rates reported in this guide are based on a statewide survey conducted by mail in the summer of 2012. Farmers, agribusiness firms, aerial applicators and land improvement contractors responded to questions on the rates they were charging or paying in 2012 for custom services, excluding the cost of materials being applied.

There is no assurance that the average rates reported in this guide will cover your costs for performing the service or that you will be able to hire a custom operator in your area for the rates shown. Calculate your own costs carefully before deciding the rate to charge or pay. Before entering into an a agreement, discuss with the other party all the details of the specific job to be performed.

Fuel prices have a big impact on custom rates. In 2012, the average retail price of gasoline was about $3.60 a gallon, or $1.10 a gallon higher than when our 2009 survey was conducted.

Explanation of the rates in this guide

Rates in this guide reflect each respondent’s judgment of a “normal” job. Operators may add charges if they consider a job abnormal, such as in distance from the operator’s base location, the amount of product or labor involved, the difficulty of the terrain, or special requirements of the customer or location.

The “Number reporting” and “Range in rates” columns are important. Some items had very few responses or a wide range in rates, so the average rate may not accurately reflect rates in your area. Possible explanations of the wide ranges are the type or size of equipment used, the value of labor involved, the mix of labor and equipment used, or different income needs of full-time custom operators compared to  local farmers supplementing their income.

The “Average rate” column indicates the basis of the charge for all of the rates in that row.  The “Mid” rate has an equal number of responses higher and lower.

Note
Calculate your own costs carefully before deciding the rate to charge or pay. Before entering into an agreement, discuss with the other party all the details of the specific job to be performed.

G302, revised October 2012


G302 2012 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri | University of Missouri Extension