Monday, May 16, 2011

Farm Production Expenses Were Up During Past Year

The April price index for U.S. farm production inputs increased 16 percent from a year ago. The USDA says higher prices for nitrogen, feed grains, diesel, and complete feeds more than offset lower prices for concentrates, supplements, and herbicides. Fertilizer prices showed the largest increases, followed by fuels.

Compared to April 2010, prices paid for fertilizer was up 34 percent. The increase can be attributed to nitrogen rising by 40 percent, mixed fertilizer by 33 percent, and potash and phosphate by 21 percent.

Fuels saw a 31 percent increase from April 2010. Diesel prices increased 37 percent, gasoline 31 percent, and LP gas 8.3 percent from the previous year.

Feed increased 29 percent from April 2010. Prices rose for all feed categories. Feed grains saw the largest increase, at 88 percent. Complete feeds were up 25 percent, hay and forages 24 percent, concentrates 11 percent, and supplements 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the national seed price index rose 18 percent from April of last year. Field crop seed prices were 19 percent higher, while grass and legume seed prices rose 4.3 percent from a year ago. U.S. chemical prices were unchanged from April 2010. Fungicides were up 4.2 percent and insecticides increased 1.8 percent, while herbicides were down 3.0 percent.

The U.S. prices paid index for machinery rose 5.7 percent from April 2010. The price indices for both tractors and self propelled machinery were up 6.8 percent, and other machinery prices increased 3.8 percent.

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