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Rates For Custom Farm Work Rising

Rates For Custom Farm Work Rising
The rates custom farm workers are paid in Ohio are rising, according to a new statewide OSU survey.

The new 2014 Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey found that the rates paid to farm workers and machinery operators for custom farm work have increased thanks in part to increased supply costs and the agriculture industry boom in recent years, according to Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension.

The survey of Ohio farmers, farm managers, landowners and farm equipment operators is conducted every two years to learn about the hiring of farm workers and machinery operators by Ohio agricultural producers and what rates producers are paying these workers for their services. This contracted labor is referred to as "custom farm work" or "custom work."

Rates For Custom Farm Work Rising

The survey is targeted to both those who hire custom farm work and those who perform the work, Ward says.

"There is a consistent trend in that custom rates have risen each year," he says. "We find that this partly reflects inflation due to increases in the cost of equipment, gas, and other supplies.

"Additionally, the significant boom that we've seen over the past few years in the agricultural sector has put upward pressure on these rates as well."

Some of the significant increases in custom farm work rates from 2012 to 2014 included:
• Hay/straw harvest: 15.4% increases on average.
• Ground fertilizer application: 10.9% increases on average.
• Harvesting operations: 10.5% increases on average.
• Planting operations: 10.4% increases on average.
• Soil preparation and tillage operations: 9.9% increases on average.

"Custom workers are often engaged due to a farm business owner's lack of proper equipment, lack of time, or lack of expertise for a particular operation," Ward says. "A 'custom rate' is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider."

To see the full survey results, see the PDF available at

Source: OSU Extension

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