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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ohio State Seeks Participants for Ohio Farm Custom Work Rate Survey

Jan. 16, 2016
Photo: Thinkstock

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Agricultural economists from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University want to know how much Ohio growers engage farm workers and machinery operators as part of the college’s 2016 Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey.

The survey is conducted biannually by Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension, as a means of gauging farm work completed by others, which is often referred to as “custom farm work” or “custom work,” he said.

The survey is targeted at both those who hire custom farm work and those who perform the work, Ward said.

“Custom farming providers are often engaged due to a farm business owner’s lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation,” he said. “A ‘custom rate’ is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.”

The data gathered through the custom rate survey is published by OSU Extension and is used by Extension professionals in their work with Ohio communities, Ward said. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

The survey has proved useful over the years as custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming rate by utilizing OSU Extension survey results, he said.

“We need farmers’ assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates, and hired labor costs in Ohio,” Ward said. “We would ask that you respond even if you know only a few rates. 

“We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire custom work or what you charged if you perform custom work.”

The survey can be completed online at: The deadline is March 31.

The survey is administered through Ohio State’s Farm Management program, which is overseen by Ward and provides resources such as budgeting tools, decision tools, and data and statistics, for those working in agriculture across the state of Ohio and beyond. To learn more about the program,



Nicole Pierron Rasul


Barry Ward