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Cost of Farming Rose in Wisconsin Last Year
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 08/03/2018

The cost of running an average-sized farm operation in Wisconsin last year went up a bit compared to 2016. According to the USDA, total state farm production expenditures were estimated at $11.6 billion in 2017. That's up six percent from the past two years, but lower than the record high of $13 billion set in 2014.

Feed costs represented the largest single production expense for Wisconsin farmers at $1.89 billion, though that category was down three percent for the year. Farm services, the second largest expense, totaled $1.63 billion--about five percent more than the prior year.

Ag economists say most of the areas on the expense column rose on the annual report, with the largest category increase found in miscellaneous capital expenses, which rose by 60 percent.

Other increases were found in livestock, farm services, rent, lime and chemicals, fertilizer, interest, taxes, fuel, farm improvements, tractors and other farm machinery, seed and trucks. However, labor and farm supplies did cost farmers less money last year.

By the numbers, expenditures per Wisconsin farm averaged $168,686 in 2017, compared with $158,806 the previous year. The average operation spent $27,591 on feed, $23,796 on farm services, $10,511 on fertilizer, and $15,036 on labor.

Meanwhile, expenditures on all Midwestern farms averaged $188,637 last year--up by nearly $1,416 from 2016.

Nationally, farm production expenditures totaled $346.9 billion in 2016, down 4.4 percent from 2015. Expenditures per U.S. farm averaged $176,352 last year, compared with $169,035 in 2016. On average, American farms spent $27,056 on feed, $20,635 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, $21,468 on farm services, and $17,204 on labor.

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