AMES, IOWA – Farmers can expect to earn or pay an average of $25.25 per acre for custom planting in 2024 or $21.40 for drilling soybeans on no-till acres.

The figures are part of the Farm Custom Rate Survey published in Iowa State University’s Ag Decision Maker based on information provided by Iowa farmers, custom operators and farm managers.

Ann Johanns, program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and editor of Ag Decision Maker, said this year’s numbers seem more in line with the current farm economy.


Johanns: “We’ve seen increases in rates the past two years (3% to 10% and 10% to 15%). The steady to slight decline in rates generally seen across the 2024 survey is closer to changes observed prior to the last two years.”

While the projected fuel price increased, production challenges and crop prices seem to have impacted custom rates as well. The rates use an estimated diesel fuel cost of $3.92 per gallon.

Average custom harvesting costs are listed at $44.04 per acre for corn with a range that goes up to $88.

Soybean harvesting is listed at $42 per acre with a range up to $70.

The cost of hay mowing averages $13.85 per acre. Removing snow is $106 per hour.