2024 Ohio Farm Custom Rates Released

(This article originally posted at 2024 Ohio Farm Custom Rates Released | Ohio Ag Manager (osu.edu))

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform tasks is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Custom rates increased for the majority of field operations in 2024 as compared to surveyed rates in 2022 but the increases did vary by operation. Examples include an increase of 6% for Planting Corn (30 Inch Rows with Fertilizer Application), 5.6% for Harvesting Corn (Combine, Grain Cart, Haul Local to Farm), 21% for Spraying (Self-Propelled Sprayer, Crop Protection Chemicals) and 24% for Field Cultivator.

New field operations in this year’s survey and summary include drone/UAV application and cover crop seeding.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates

Click here for PDF of the 2024 Ohio Farm Custom Rates

The “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2024” publication reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 333 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2024. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and labor for the operation.

Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:

  • Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 9-shank)
  • Size and shape of fields
  • Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations)
  • Skill level of labor
  • Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities
  • Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income

Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family or community relationships. Discounted rates may also occur when the custom work provider is attempting to strengthen a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a future purchase, cash rental or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.

Charges may be added if the custom provider considers a job abnormal such as distance from the operator’s base location, difficulty of terrain, amount of product or labor involved with the operation, or other special requirements of the custom work customer.

The data from this survey are intended to show a representative farming industry cost for specified machines and operations in Ohio. As a custom farm work provider, the average rates reported in this publication may not cover your total costs for performing the custom service. As a customer, you may not be able to hire a custom service for the average rate published in this factsheet.

It is recommended that you calculate your own costs carefully before determining the custom rate to charge or pay. It may be helpful to compare the custom rates reported in this fact sheet with machinery costs calculated by economic engineering models available online. The following resources are available to help you calculate and consider the total costs of performing a given machinery operation.

  • Farm Machinery Cost Estimates, available by searching University of Minnesota.
  • Illinois Farm Management Handbook, available by searching University of Illinois farmdoc.
  • Estimating Farm Machinery Costs, available by searching Iowa State University agriculture decision maker and machinery management.

Volatility in diesel price may sometimes cause concern for custom rate providers that seek to cover all or most of the costs associated with custom farm operations. The approximate price of diesel fuel during the survey period (January – April 2024) ranged from $3.20 – $3.50 per gallon for off-road (farm) usage. As a custom farm work provider, if you feel that your rate doesn’t capture your full costs due to fuel price increases you might consider a custom rate increase or fuel surcharge based on the increase in fuel costs.

The complete “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2024” publication is available online at the Farm Office website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management/custom-rates-and-machinery-cost


Author information:

Barry Ward (Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources), Eric Richer (Field Specialist, Farm Management, Ohio State University Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources), John Barker (Extension Educator, Agriculture/Amos Program, Ohio State University Extension Knox County) and Amanda Bennett (Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension Miami County)

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Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

Are you a farmer or farmland owner wanting to learn more about the recent tax law issues? If so, join us for this webinar on Friday, December 15th, 2023 from 10am to noon. This webinar is a part of our Farm Office Live Series and serves as our Farm Office Live! Webinar for December. To register for this webinar go to: https://go.osu.edu/register4fol

This webinar will focus on issues related to farmer and farmland owner income tax returns as well as the latest news on CAUV and property taxes in Ohio and the big changes to the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax (CAT). This two-hour program will be presented in a live webinar format via Zoom by OSU Extension Educators Barry Ward, David Marrison and Jeff Lewis along with Purdue faculty member Dr. Michael Langemeier. Individuals who operate farms, own property, or are involved with renting farmland should participate.

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To register: https://go.osu.edu/register4fol

For more information, contact Barry Ward at ward.8@osu.edu or Jeff Lewis at lewis.1459@osu.edu

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Corn Dry Down

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Ohio has over 76,000 farms and 13 million acres of farmland.  In such a large and diverse industry, conflicts commonly arise that can lead to disputes, litigation, and appeals.  Ultimately, these conflicts can cause harmful effects that threaten the viability of Ohio agriculture.  To address these issues, a new program has been developed – Ohio Farm Resolution Services at The Ohio State University (OFRS).  The goal of OFRS is to cultivate solutions to the conflicts that impact Ohio’s farms and farm families.

OFRS will provide a three-pronged approach to assist farms and farm families in resolving problems and conflicts:

  1. Education resources.  The first approach will be to provide educational resources that may lead to a resolution.  Educational resources may be in the form of bulletins, publications, articles or individual discussions.  For example, OFRS may provide a law bulletin on farm leasing to a tenant and landowner involved in a lease dispute.  Some disputes can be resolved through education alone.
  2. Consultation and informal resolution services.  OSU Extension attorneys and farm management specialists will be available to meet with parties to assist with resolving their issues.  These services will be more informal and may include sitting at the kitchen table with a family struggling with transition planning or perhaps meeting in a pasture to discuss shared fence line concerns between neighboring farmers.
  3. Formal mediation.  Sometimes conflicts escalate to hard feelings and entrenched positions.  When this happens, formal mediation may be appropriate.  This process will involve the intervention of a trained mediator to assist the parties in negotiating jointly acceptable resolution of issues in conflict. The mediator meets with the parties at a neutral location, often shuttling between separate rooms, where the parties can discuss the dispute and explore a variety of solutions.  Formal mediation is often the last step before litigation.

Most consultation and mediation services will be conducted by OFRS’ primary consultants/mediators: Peggy Hall, David Marrison, Jeff Lewis and Robert Moore.  OFRS will also develop a pool of outside mediators who can assist with matters that require special or unique technical knowledge.  OFRS is committed to providing individuals who have both the knowledge and skill to help understand and resolve issues.

OFRS will be able to assist on a wide variety of matters.  The following are issues for which OFRS can provide assistance:

  • Family communication
  • Farm transition planning
  • Business entities
  • Business practices
  • Land use
  • Property issues/neighbor issues
  • Zoning
  • Farm leases
  • Energy leases
  • Farm labor issues
  • Farmland drainage
  • Crops/agronomy/soils disputes
  • USDA administrative appeals
  • ODA administrative appeals
  • Farm lender/creditor negotiations

OFRS is available to provide educational and consultation services now.  Mediation services will be available beginning in January 2024.  For more information or to refer someone to OFRS, contact Robert Moore at moore.301@osu.edu or 614-247-8260.  Information is also available at farmoffice.osu.edu/ofrs.


This article originally appeared at farmoffice.osu.edu on October 13, 2023: Ohio State University to Provide Resolution Services for Ohio Farms | Farm Office (osu.edu)

Alexus Masterson Starts as Family and Consumer Sciences Educator in Muskingum County

The Muskingum County office of Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce that Alexus Masterson has been hired as the Family and Consumer Science Educator. She will provide leadership to the Muskingum County Family and Consumer Science program, which consists of clientele at many stages of life, from birth to death.

Alexus is a native of Morgan County and has served as the Family and Consumer Science Program Assistant in the Washington County Extension office for the past 9 months. During that time, she coordinated Food Preservation classes, Healthy Living programs, and Real Money. Real World., while helping to deliver many other aspects of the county FCS program. She is a 4-H Alumni of 7 years from Morgan County as well.

Alexus obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Public Health from Ohio University and a Master of Public Health from Ohio University.

Contact Alexus at 740-454-0144 or masterson.98@osu.edu