Tag Archive: Labor

2016 NASS Farm Land Rent and Labor Survey Summary

2016 NASS Farm Land Rent and Labor Survey Summary

Some of the most challenging conversations, in almost any relationship, are the ones about money.  This is certainly true as land owners and farmers, or managers and laborers negotiate for the year ahead. It can be pretty challenging to determine what is a fair price to rent a specific farm, or to set the wages for the skill sets of a specific employee, but, if you know the average rate, it does provide an unbiased place to start negotiations.  As with all statistics, just knowing the average is only part of the story, but at least it offers a reference point for both parties to begin the conversation.

Farm Land Rental Rates

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) no longer provides annual summaries of land rental rates by county, but does compile a report on even years.  Unfortunately their survey summary does not offer the range of rates paid, but does offer county, regional, or state averages that provide an unbiased place to begin negotiations. There are a number of factors that influence the rental value of farm land.  Certainly farm size, crop history, soil type, and location influence lease rates.  A large, 300 acre field would be more attractive to rent than 15 acres, or a farm next door more valuable than an operation 10 miles away.  The amount of Farm Bill Base Acreage on the land also plays a role in setting the value of crop land rental rates.

The following is a summary of the information NASS provides on average land rental rates.  Table 1 provides the average rate for renting non-irrigated, or dryland crop land by county.  The average for the whole Panhandle region in 2016 was $ 64.50 per acre. There was certainly variation from county to county, with a high of $ 92.50/acre in Santa Rosa to a low $ 41/acre in Holmes County.

Table 1. Average Dryland crop rental rates reported by USDA NASS.

Since there are not as many irrigated farms, NASS reports their survey results by region, instead of by county.  Irrigated crop land is generally more productive and certainly more consistent, so the lease rates are generally much higher per acre. Table 2 shows the variation in irrigated farm lease rates in the tri-states region, with an average of $ 180/acre for the Southeast.

Table 2. Average irrigated crop land rental rates reported by USDA NASS.

Pasture rental rates were also surveyed.  Pasture lease rates are considerably lower than crop land, because livestock generate a much lower return per acre.  Table 3 illustrates the range of average pasture rent from $ 23.50/acre in Walton County to $ 40/acre in Escambia County.  The average pasture rent for the entire Panhandle was $ 34.50/acre in 2016.

Table 3 Average pasture rental rates reported by USDA NASS.

Farm Labor Wages

The other challenge that farmers and ranchers face is knowing what is a fair rate to pay their hired labor.  NASS only reports farm workers in general categories, so the averages provided in Table 4 may not fit specialized categories of workers.  NASS does not provide a regional or by county hired worker wage report, so this information came from across the state of Florida.

Table 4 Florida average farm worker wages reported by USDA NASS.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Services offers a wide range of additional information based on annual surveys and the Ag Census every five years.  To look at the information provided in this article, and other information from their surveys go to:  http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/2016-nass-farm-land-rent-and-labor-survey-summary/

“From Seed to Plate” – Youth Enjoy the Fruits of Their Labor

Students learn how to plant and cultivate a garden.  Photo credit Melanie Taylor, UF IFAS Gulf County Extension.

Planting Time

Did you know that something as simple as a garden can help youth not only learn to love vegetables, but also improve their science scores?  Fifth-graders at Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka Elementary Schools experienced the benefits of gardening this year through the 4-H Seed to Plate Program.  This program teaches youth how to plant, maintain, and harvest a vegetable garden, and is part of the science curriculum taught by 5th grade teachers.

Before the 130 students ever stepped foot in the garden they spent class time discussing the act of planting, the role that bees play in pollination and took a field trip to the North Florida Research and Education Center for 4-H Ag Adventures Day. This program is under the direction of Gulf County Extension Director Roy Lee Carter. The garden program is also supplemented with nutritional and food safety programs taught by Gulf County 4-H/Family & Consumer Science Agent, Melanie Taylor and Family Nutrition Program Assistant, Kay Freeman.

Carter said that the fifth grade is the ideal age level to learn gardening because the students are able to retain what they learn, and apply their new skills at home. The program is part of the science classes taught by the fifth-grade teachers each year.  David and Sally Beyl have been volunteers with the program for the last seven years. Both are Master Gardeners who trained at the University of Florida for 12 weeks and contribute more than 50 hours of horticulture-related volunteer work each year.

“The students love it,” said David Beyl. “You can tell that they enjoy the experience.”

Harvest Time

Harvest Time

A portion of what grows in the gardens was donated by Bonnie Plants in Alabama, the Florida Farm to School program, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.  The Farm to School Partnership (administered by IFAS) works with local farmers to improve the supply of fresh produce to schools.  Cabbage, lettuce, strawberries, potatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, watermelon, beans, peppers, squash, sugarcane and various herbs made up this year’s garden with produce grown in-ground and in pots.  “We use pots to show the students that even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can still have a garden,” Beyl said.  In small groups, students learned how to plant seeds, rake, fertilize, cultivate, and harvest. Students even took home cabbages, carrots and potatoes to prepare and share with their families. Those who had an interest in starting their own gardens were given seeds to plant at home.

The highlight of the program is a luncheon prepared by cafeteria staff with produce grown by students.  Everything the students munched on came from the garden they spent eight months cultivating. Both school principals are supportive and find this hands-on opportunity a great addition to the science program. This 4-H and public school collaboration is a very successful, educational and fun-filled learning experience.

If you have a green thumb, consider going “totally green” as a 4-H gardening volunteer or Master Gardener. 4-H needs caring adults like you to share their knowledge and passion for gardening with the next generation. Through the 4-H gardening project, youth not only learn gardening knowledge and skills, they also learn responsibility, teamwork, and other life skills that will help them grow up to be compassionate and competent citizens. To get involved, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org./volunteers.

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PG

Author: Melanie Taylor – metaylor@ufl.edu

Melanie Taylor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/05/22/from-seed-to-plate-youth-enjoy-the-fruits-of-their-labor/

2014 NASS Farm Land Rent & Labor Survey Summary

2014 NASS Farm Land Rent & Labor Survey Summary

Irrigated farm land rented for an average of $   per acre in the tri-states region in 2014

The annual USDA BASS Survey indicated that irrigated farm land rented for an average of $ 132 per acre in the tri-states region in 2014, which was $ 22/acre less than what was reported for 2013.

It is the time of year when land owners and farmers negotiate lease agreements for renting farm land. One of the toughest parts of negotiation is having a handle on what is a fair price.  The USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) does an annual survey to estimate rental rates for a specific region.  The survey summary does not provide the range of rates paid, but does provide annual county average rates.  Not every county is surveyed each year, so it is helpful to look at the results from neighboring counties as well.

There are a number of factors that influence the rental value of farm land.  Certainly farm size, crop history, soil type, and location influence lease rates.  A large, 300 acre field would be more attractive to rent than 15 acres, or a farm next door more valuable than an operation 10 miles away.  While the NASS Survey Report only provides average prices, it does offer an unbiased place to start the negotiations.

The new Farm Bill programs, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Base Acreage associated with each farm, may also affect land rental value in the years ahead.  For example a farm with a large percentage of either peanut or generic (formerly cotton) base will be more attractive for peanut farming than land without base acreage that can be utilized with the new peanut program.

14 Non-irriagted rent

Table 1 Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

Non-irrigted or dryland farm acres are commonly rented or leased in Northwest Florida.  Table 1 above shows the variation of average dryland farm rent by county, which ranged from $ 32/acre in Walton County to $ 88/acre in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties.  Some counties have enough survey results to report individually, while others are grouped in a category called “other counties”.   The average rental rate for non-irrigated crop land in the Panhandle regions was $ 57/acre in 2014.

Table 2.  Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

Table 2. Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

Since there are not as many irrigated farms, NASS reports their survey results by region, instead of by county.  Irrigated crop land is generally more productive and certainly more consistent, so the lease rates are generally much higher per acre. Table 2 shows the variation in irrigated farm lease rates in the tri-states region, with an average of $ 132/acre for the area.

Table 3.  Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

Table 3. Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

Pasture lease rates are considerably lower than crop land, because livestock generate a much lower return per acre.  Table 3 illustrates the range of pasture rent from $ 23/acre in Holmes County to $ 36/acre in Washington County.  The average pasture rent for the Panhandle was $ 29.50/acre in 2014.

14 Avg Labor

Table 4. Data provided by National Agricultural Statistics Service

The other challenge that farmers and ranchers face is knowing what is a fair rate to pay their hired labor.  NASS only reports farm workers in general categories, so the averages provided in Table 4 may not fit specialized categories of workers.  NASS does not provide a regional or by county hired worker wage report, so this information came from across the state of Florida.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Services offers a wide range of additional information.  To look at the information provided in this article and other information from their surveys go to:  http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/NASS Logo

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Jackson County Extension Director, Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/31/2014-nass-farm-land-rent-labor-survey-summary/