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U.S. Farm Production Expenditures Keep Climbing


Aug 8 - U.S. farmers spent a record-high $351.8 billion on agricultural production in 2012, a 10.4 percent increase from 2011, according to the Farm Production Expenditures report, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Crop farms accounted for the majority of production expenditures in 2012. These expenditures totaled $200 billion, increasing 17.4 percent from 2011. Low interest rates boosted new machinery purchases in 2012, increasing the overall farm expenditures for the year. Also, chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds cost crop farmers $55.5 billion last year, accounting for 27.8 percent of crop farms total expense.

On the livestock side, farmers spent $152 billion, up 2.4 percent from 2011. The largest expenditure for livestock farms was feed, on which the producers spent $54.4 billion in 2012. The drought reduced feed availability, causing prices to climb last year, making it the costliest category in the entire agriculture sector.

Regionally, the largest increase in production expenditures was in the Plains, where expenditures rose by $15 billion from 2011. In 2012, total expenditures by region were:

Per farm, the average expenditures totaled $162,743 compared with $146,653 in 2011, up 11 percent. On average, U.S. farm operations spent $27,338 on feed, $18,457 on farm services, $14,802 on livestock, poultry and related expenses, and $14,247 on labor.

The Farm Production Expenditures summary provides the official estimates for production input costs on U.S. farms and ranches. These estimates are based on the results of the nationwide Agricultural Resource Management Survey, conducted annually by NASS. The entire Farm Production Expenditures 2012 summary is available online at