The Purdue Custom Rate publication, EC-130, which lists average custom farming rates in Indiana, is one of the most requested Purdue Extension publications in Spencer County and around the state. However, as anyone who uses the custom rate report knows, it is far from perfect. For one, it is only updated every four to five years and as a result, it does not always accurately reflect changes in the current economic climate, such as changes in commodity or fuel prices.
Second, it contains a limited number of field operations, especially when compared to similar reports from Iowa State or Ohio State, and does not always provide all the information producers are seeking. Both of these problems are due, at least in part, to the data collection method and its very limited reach.
To address these problems, the data collection has been changed significantly for the 2012 report. In the past, the survey was a part of NASS surveys and reached only a couple hundred producers, leaving many items on the survey with little or no response. The custom rate survey is now available to any producer in the state who either does or hires custom work or otherwise has knowledge of custom work rates.
Locally, the survey will be available at upcoming events, such as PARP sessions, Crop Day, and Corn and Soybean Day. The survey is also available at the Extension Office and is posted on the Purdue Extension-Spencer County website under the “Hot Topics” section.
If you are involved with any type of custom work, I hope you will consider filling out the survey to help improve and expand this important resource.