Custom Rates for Farm Machinery in New York State, 1963
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The trend to larger farm units and greater specialization has made it feasible for more commercial farmers to own most, if not all, of the machines they need to perform the mechanized operations on their growing farm operations. This has resulted in a steady decline in custom machine work of many types. At the same time, the declining number of farms in many rural areas has reduced the opportunity to make custom work profitable. It appears that an increasing proportion of the custom jobs now being done are performed by farmers and other machine owners who are only incidentally interested in income from custom work. Despite these trends, custom operators still perform a useful service for many New York farmers. Custom hiring is still the most economical solution for some machine tasks on many farms. Further, as new machines are developed, custom operation often serves to introduce them and pave the way for their general use. Requests are regularly received by County Agents, Agricultural Leaders, and the College cof Agriculture for current information on custom rates being charged. In order to meet the demand for information, surveys of custom operators have periodically been made. Earlier surveys were made in 1951, 1953, and 1957. The information in this report was obtained in the fall and winter of 1963-1964. High School Vocational Agriculture Teachers and County Agricultural Agents obtained information from over 250 men in 46 counties who had performed custom jobs during 1963. Some of the operators contacted reported rates for only one or two jobs or machines. others reported rates for a wide variety of jobs or machines. Teachers and Extension Agents transmitted the information obtained to the Department of Agricultural Economics, New York State College of Agriculture, for summarization. Information obtained in the survey represents a wide range of working conditions. The rates reported are not recommended rates, but are those rates being charged. Circumstances will often justify a departure from the typical rates reported.