Custom Rates 'Power up' – Again

Pennsylvania's 2007 custom rate survey averaged a 4% increase.

The 2007 Pennsylvania Machinery Custom Rates guide was recently released by the National Ag Statistics Service's state office. And while the average rate of increase for all custom-hired tasks slowed from last year, it was still 4% above year-ago levels.

That's the word from Ag Statistician Adam Pike, who coordinated the survey of farmers and custom operators. Here are a few key changes we turned up compared to last year:

Haying: Mowing posted a 9% gain over year-ago rates.

Planting: Corn planting rates generally posted gains of 6 to 10% over year-ago rates.

Specialty tasks: Post hole digging, once again posted the biggest year-to-year gain – a 22% jump. Bulldozing increased 10%.

Tractor rentals: Smaller tractors posted the biggest percentage gains, with those under 80 hp averaging 16% over year-ago rates and 80- to 120-hp horses rising 13%.

The complete 2007 Pennsylvania Machinery Custom Rates, with mountain and valley rate breakouts and a range of rates is available here by clicking here or by going to  

You can also subscribe at the ag department Web site for a free e-mail copy. Or, get a free regular mail subscription by calling 800-498-1518.

Watch for a more detailed analysis in American Agriculturist's May issue.

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