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Cost of Farming Went Up in Wisconsin Last Year
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 08/03/2020

The cost of running an average-sized farm operation in Wisconsin went up a bit last year compared to 2018. New figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that total state farm production expenditures were estimated at $10.6 billion in 2019. That's five percent more than a year earlier.

Feed costs represented the largest single production expense for Wisconsin farmers at $2.15 billion. That category also saw the largest year-to-year increase at 17 percent, mostly due to the unusually wet weather conditions. Farm services, the second largest expense, totaled $1.47 billion--about five percent higher than the previous year.

Ag economists say most of the areas on the expense column rose on the annual report. Besides feed costs and farm services, other increases were found in rent, fertilizer, interest, labor, supplies, construction, farm machinery, seeds and automobiles. However, livestock, chemicals, property taxes, fuel and miscellaneous expenses did cost farmers less money last year.

By the numbers, expenditures per Wisconsin farm averaged $162,558 in 2019, compared with $155,093 the previous year. The average operation spent $33,128 on feed, $22,650 on farm services, $10,478 on fertilizer, and $17,411 on labor.

Nationally, farm production expenditures totaled $357.8 billion in 2018, up one percent. Expenditures per U.S. farm averaged $177,564 last year, compared with $175,169 in 2018. On average, American farms spent $29,478 on feed, $21,240 on livestock, poultry and related expenses, $21,822 on farm services, and $16,775 on labor.

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