Crop farmer expenditures set a record

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In 2011, national total U.S. crop farms expenditures increased to $170.2 billion, up 7.4 percent from 2010, while livestock farms expenditures increased to $148.5 billion, up 13.7 percent, according to Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service numbers released this month. Combined these provide the total farm expenditures of $318.7 billion in 2011, a 10.2 percent increase over 2010.

Expenditures indicate that ag retailers and agribusinesses in general should have had a good year on income earned from doing business with farmers and ranchers in 2011. 

The largest expenditures for crop farms was rent at $22.1 billion, (13.0 percent of total expenditures). The other highest expenditures for 2011 included fertilizer, lime and soil conditioners totaling $21.7 billon, (12.7 percent). Farm services expenditures reached $21.6 billion, (12.7 percent). Combined crop inputs (chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds) were $48.2 billion, accounting for 28.3 percent of crop farms total expenses.

Fuel expenditure (diesel, gasoline, LP) might have been expected to be a larger number but totaled only $9.6 billion (5.6 percent).    

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 sample of farmers and ranchers surveyed in 2011 totaled 34,070. The entire Farm Production Expenditures 2011 summary is available online at

Nearly a third of all 2011 farm production expenditures occurred in the Midwest region, where farmers reported spending a total of $98.7 billion. Expenditures in the other regions were as follows: $73.8 billion in the Plains region, $69.8 billion in the West region, $39.1 billion in the Atlantic region, and $38.2 billion in the South region. Among states, California accounted for $31.2 billion in total farm production expenditures.

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