Estimating fuel costs for farm equipment

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

With skyrocketing fuel prices, now's a good time to see how fuel budgets for farming operations have been increasing over time and get a grasp on expected fuel costs for 2013.

For example, from 2005 to 2012 the average cost of #2 diesel increased from $1.89 to $3.43 per gallon, an increase of 77 percent. Given that a 310 HP tractor uses approximately 13.6 gallons of fuel per hour, the fuel cost for that hour of use increased from $25.65 in 2005 to $46.65 in 2012.

You can view the fuel cost changes over time and estimate your own costs for 2013 and 2014 using the an Excel worksheet I developed. You can either open the worksheet online or save it to your computer.

This worksheet is protected so you cannot change the worksheet except for the unprotected cells (in blue). You can add the average price per gallon of fuel that you'd like to use for 2013 and 2014. You may want to use actual historical prices or you can discover what the fuel cost would be given your own price scenario. (It should be noted that some new Tier IV engines are showing high fuel efficiency.)

Table 1 estimates the gallons of #2 diesel fuel consumed per hour for various power units multiplied by the average yearly #2 diesel fuel price per gallon for the 2005 to 2012. It includes 12 horsepower options for tractors and three options for combines.

Table 2 estimates the diesel fuel cost per acre for various field operations based on the anticipated fuel consumption multiplied by the average yearly #2 diesel fuel price per gallon for the 2005 to 2012. It includes 18 budget lines  for tillage, planting, miscellaneous equipment, and harvesting.

For updates to this worksheet and related farm management information also check the Lancaster County Acreage, Farm and Ranch website. Look under Hot Topics for the blue arrow and link to the Farm Management page. The Fuel Cost Estimator is linked under Custom Rates & Operating Costs.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Aluminum Grain Trailers

Maurer Manufacturing offers a complete line of high quality aluminum grain trailers. Manufactured in Spencer, Iowa, Maurer aluminum grain trailers ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form