One of the ways to help bring in a little more income on a farm is to use the equipment you own to help others with tasks on their farms. Known as custom work, this is a good way to help pay for equipment or labor that might be underutilized.

Several universities in the Midwest do surveys to collect information about the rates for this custom work. Purdue, for instance, does a survey every other year. Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska routinely publish such information too. Most of the university data lists the average of the rate, as well as a high and a low. For example, Purdue’s custom rate information reports an average custom rate of $6.18/acre for broadcasting dry fertilizer, with a range of $4.62 to $7.74 per acre.

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or

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