A fair amount to charge for custom machine work



EAST LANSING, MI. — As the 2022 harvest nears and the growing season draws to a close with harvesting, wheat planting and fall tillage, some farmers are content with custom work they have hired or performed for others. What is the fair amount to charge or pay for such work?

Michigan State University conducted a survey of data from its 2021 custom machine and tillage estimates. Farmers and landowners can download this document simply by searching Google for 2021 MSU custom rates. Tillage fall, harvest, fertilizer application, grain haul and other custom rate numbers for the following may be helpful to farmers when settling accounts. MSU numbers are average prices with a range of upper and lower numbers included in the college charts. Some prices may be higher or lower than survey data from a year ago.

Rates in different parts of Michigan can be higher or lower than the state average depending on several factors. In Monroe County, factors influencing how custom machines work can include field size and shape, ease of access, amount of non-farm traffic to get to the field, machine size, width roads or bridges, litter, weeds, trees or brush interfering with work. on the ground, the depth of the ground drain, the terms of payment and other factors.

Prices below include tool, power unit, operator and fuel. All rates are per acre unless otherwise stated. No price was listed for diesel fuel per gallon.

• Chisel plow with front disc (16.3 feet)


• V-shaped ripper, 30 inch center, 17 feet


• Subsoiler, 10 feet (12 inches to 15 inches deep)


• Drilling, direct seeding (15 feet)


• Combine corn, 8 rows


• Combine corn with stalk chopper head


• Combine soybeans, 30 foot head


• Combine soybean, air reel, 25ft flex


• Combine, tow, haul to storage, corn


• Combine, tow, transport to storage, soybeans


• Soil analysis (GPS grid samples)


• Backhoe loader

$101.39 per hour

• Lime application (per acre)


• Custom farming (maize)


• Grain transport: from farm to market (25 miles)

21 cents per bushel

In addition to figures from MSU, Ohio State University has updated its biannual agricultural tariff survey for 2022, the University of Illinois has a cost estimate for machinery for 2021, and Purdue has tariffs. 2021 Indiana farms available.

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