Let’s say you don’t want to retire and rent out your farm, but you don’t want to do it all yourself either. Could custom farming work? And how do you set a rate? University of Illinois ag economists publish machinery cost estimates intended to represent the actual costs associated with individual farm field operations, which can provide a baseline for setting a custom rate to ensure that costs are covered.
Gary Schnitkey, ag economist at U of I, says they’ll publish 2021 machinery cost estimates by the end of September. And he expects 2021 costs to be 8% to 10% higher than 2019.
Here’s a look at those 2019 numbers.
Tillage. Includes tractor overhead, implement overhead, fuel and lube and labor:
- Chisel plow at $12.70 per acre
- Disk ripper at $25.70 per acre
- Vertical tillage, rolling basket at $11.70 per acre
- Moldboard plow at $39.80 per acre
- Mulch tiller at $21.40 per acre
- Offset disk at $14.70 per acre
- Strip tillage at $16.70 per acre
- V-ripper (shanks only) at $22.50 per acre
- Field cultivator at $9.90 per acre
- Mulch finisher at $15.40 per acre
- Tandem disk at $12.60 per acre
Harvest. Includes tractor overhead, platform overhead, fuel and lube, and labor:
- Combining only for corn at $37.60 per acre
- Combining only soybeans at $32.60 per acre
- Grain cart for corn at $14.20 per acre
- Grain cart for soybeans at $7.80 per acre
- Grain hauling at $0.10 per bushel
Planting. Includes tractor overhead, implement overhead, fuel and lube, and labor:
- Broadcast seeding at $8.90 per acre
- Conventional planter at $14.40 per acre
- Split-row planter for soybeans at $12.50 per acre
- No-till planter at $17.20 per acre
- Grain drill at $14.50 per acre
- No-till drill at $25.80 per acre
- Air-seeder at $16.80 per acre
Spraying. Depending on your situation, you may want to consider the following spraying and ammonia application total costs from 2019:
- Self-propelled at $4.40 per acre
- Pull-type at $3.90 per acre
- Anhydrous ammonia at $16.50 per acre
- Liquid fertilizer applicator at $23.50 per acre
Also consider fuel and labor costs:
- Fuel. Fuel costs are based on $2.50 per gallon for diesel fuel. Fuel costs will vary with each operation’s fuel use.
- Labor. Labor costs are based on a $19 per hour.
Check out the entire list of cost estimates at Farmdoc: