Farm Expenditures Climb in 2012

The Farm Production Expenditures report published by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service shows U.S. farmers spent a record-high 351.8-billion dollars on agricultural production in 2012. That's an increase of 10.4-percent from 2011. Crop farms accounted for the majority of expenditures - increasing 17.4-percent from 2011 to 200-billion dollars. NASS reports low interest rates boosted new machinery purchases in 2012 - increasing the overall farm expenditures for the year. Chemicals, fertilizers and seed cost crop farmers 55.5-billion dollars - accounting for 27.8-percent of total expenses for crop farms. On the livestock side - the expenditures report shows farmers spent 152-billion dollars - up 2.4-percent from 2011. Feed was the largest expenditure at 54.4-billion dollars spent in 2012. NASS notes the drought reduced feed availability - causing prices to climb - making it the costliest category in the entire agriculture sector.

The largest increase in production expenditures on a regional basis was in the Plains. Expenditures rose 15-bllion dollars from 2011 to 88.8-billion. Overall - the Plains had the second highest total expenditures. Expenditures in the Midwest were 112-billion - with expenditures of 69.9-billion in the West, 42.6-billion in the Atlantic and 38.6-billion in the South. Average per-farm expenditures totaled $162,743 compared with $146,653 in 2011 - an increase of 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 summary is available online at bit dot ly slash FarmExpenditures (

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