Monday, May 10, 2010

Farm Production Expenses Comparable to Last Year

The overall price index for U.S. farm production inputs was unchanged this March compared to a year ago. The USDA reports that price declines in fertilizers, feed, seed and chemicals were off-set by increases in fuel and machinery costs. Fertilizer prices showed the largest decline, while fuels prices increased the most from a year ago.

Compared to March 2009, the U.S. prices paid index for fertilizer was down 25.6 percent. The decrease can be attributed to a decline of 24.5 percent for mixed fertilizer, 22.4 percent for nitrogen, and 35.0 percent for potash and phosphate.

The U.S. prices paid index for fuels saw a 44.5 percent increase from March 2009. Diesel prices increased 51.0 percent, gasoline 43.2 percent, and L.P. gas 16.4 percent from the previous year. The U.S. prices paid index for feed saw a decline of 5.4 percent from March 2009. Prices fell for the following feed categories feed grains, hay/forage, complete feeds and supplements, but were up for concentrates.

Hay and forages realized the largest decrease at 15.9 percent. Feed grains were down 7.3 percent, complete feeds 5.2 percent, supplements 1.9 percent, while concentrates were 2.2 percent higher.

The national seed price index declined 6.3 percent from March of last year. Field crop seed prices were 5.9 percent lower, while grass and legume seed cost dropped 13.7 percent compared to a year ago. U.S. chemical prices were 4.6 percent lower compared to March 2009. Herbicides were down 8.3 percent, fungicides were down 0.6 percent, while insecticides were up 2.5 percent.

The U.S. prices paid index for machinery rose 2.7 percent from March 2009. The price indices both for tractors and self pro-pelled machinery were up 2.2 percent, and other machinery prices increased by 3.9 percent.

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