Farm production expenditures reach record high

WASHINGTON—U.S. farm production expenditures reached a record-high $318.7 billion in 2011, a 10.2 percent increase over 2010, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2011 summary released in August by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Average per-farm production expenditures were $146,653 in 2011, an increase of 11.3 percent over the previous year. The largest expenditure category was feed, on which farmers spent an average of $25,129, followed by farm services ($17,075); livestock, poultry and related expenses ($13,163); and farm labor ($12,334). Together, those four categories accounted for nearly half of all 2011 production expenditures on U.S. farms.

The top three average expenses per farm with the largest dollar increase were feed, up $4,424 or 21.4 percent; livestock, poultry and related expenses, up $2,035 or 18.3 percent; and fertilizer, lime and soil conditioners, up $1,975, or 20.6 percent.

In 2011, crop farm expenditures increased to $170.2 billion, up 7.4 percent, while livestock farm expenditures increased to $148.5 billion, up 13.7 percent.

The largest expenditures for crop farms were rent at $22.1 billion (13 percent); fertilizer, lime and soil conditioners at $21.7 billon (12.7 percent); and farm services at $21.6 billion (12.7 percent). Combined crop inputs (chemicals, fertilizers and seeds) totaled $48.2 billion, accounting for 28.3 percent of crop farms’ expenses.

The largest expenditures for livestock farms were feed at $51.2 billion (34.5 percent); livestock, poultry and related expenses at $25.6 billion (17.2 percent); and farm services at $15.5 billion (10.4 percent), accounting for 62.2 percent of livestock farms’ expenses.

The average total expenditure for a crop farm was $183,829. The average total expenditure for a livestock farm was $119,058.

Nearly a third of all expenditures occurred in the Midwest, where farmers reported spending a total of $98.7 billion. Expenditures in the survey’s Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, were $39.1 billion.

As in prior years, fuel costs accounted for a significant portion of farm production expenditures, with farm operations spending more than $15.3 billion on it in 2011. Diesel fuel made up nearly two-thirds of all fuel expenditures, with farmers spending more than $10 billion on that fuel type—a 23.7 percent increase from 2010. They spent $2.8 billion on gasoline, $1.6 billion on liquefied petroleum gas and $820 million on other fuel.

The Farm Production Expenditures summary provides the official estimates for production input costs on U.S. farms and ranches. The entire 2011 summary is available online at

Contact Bryan Combs, 202-720-9168, or Alex Minchenkov, 202-690-8121, NASS.

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