County Crop Tour planned

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By Joe Janak

While some of the crops grown in the county this year may be a disaster if rain doesn't come quick, the Victoria County Extension crops committee is still planning on hosting the County Crop Tour on June 16. At this time, it is planned to start at 1:30 p.m. at the Sons of Hermann Hall in DaCosta and conclude with an evening fish fry dinner. A number of agricultural demonstrations and stops are planned along the way.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the event will be recognized and can do so by donating $75, $150, $250 or more towards the tour. Donations can be sent to the following: Victoria Crops Committee, 442 Foster Field Drive, Victoria, 77904. More details will be forthcoming soon.

At this time, the corn crop is suffering the most with it already tasseling and much of it is less than five feet tall. It depends on a number of factors such as continued drought stress, future rainfall events, etc., whether aflatoxin will be an issue this year. At this stage, many are forecasting the corn yields to already be 30-50 percent of normal.

Ag Custom Rate Survey

In the early part of the year, Texas AgriLife Extension Agents provided a list of local agricultural custom operators to our Extension Economists to assess the custom rates they charge throughout the state. This survey is now complete and landowners and farmers can now access the survey and see the results. Survey respondents include both providers and users of custom services, and data reflect the prices paid for typical farm and ranch custom operations in 2011.

The survey data and publication include, for example: rates for tractor rental, row crop field operations, harvesting, hay baling, various land improvements and livestock services. Inclusions and exclusions are noted in each section, but typically materials are not included in the rates listed but the process includes the operator, machine and fuel needed to accomplish the task. For each rate, five statistics are reported: Number of responses and the average, minimum, maximum, and most common rate. For ease of printing in this article, I am including only the average and the most commonly reported rate for the most commonly used local ag practices. But it is noted that the minimum and maximum may vary considerably in some cases.

Some custom rates are charged based on a set of factors rather than a single rate. For example, corn harvesting may be priced at a rate/acre plus rate/bushel plus overage charge for yield over a specified level. For these combination rates, we simply report the statistics of each individual factor.

Reliability of rates and statistics reported are highly dependent on the number of responses in each category. Categories were left blank (n/a) if fewer than three useable responses were collected. While the survey data shouldn't be taken as the ultimate rates, it should give agricultural producers an idea of the cost that others are charging or paying in the area. In some instances, the most common rate may be lower than the average because of more responding with a lower price but others responded higher bringing up the average.

The survey coordinating team extends its gratitude to the survey respondents who took the time to complete and return the survey, as well as the AgriLife Extension County Agents who supported the survey process.

A total of 1,620 surveys were mailed to individuals covering 219 counties. A total of 307 usable responses were collected and analyzed for publication; 57 from the south (our) region of the state.

The complete custom rate statistic publication for 2011 is available at the County Extension office or at http://agecoext.tamu.edu/, where you can select the 2011 Texas Agricultural Custom Rates link under "What's New." The data presented in this publication represents the responses of the survey conducted in January through March of 2011 by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Agricultural Economics. Data are presented on a regional and statewide level only. Geographic regions (North, East, West, and South) follow the administrative regions of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

2011 Texas Agricultural Custom Rates (partial data shown)

Survey Conducted and Compiled by Texas AgriLife Extension Service Department of Agricultural Economics

Item Details Rate Charge Average Cost Most Common Cost

Tractor Only Less than 100 h.p $/Hr $49.13 $50

Tractor Only 100 to 149 h.p. $/Hr 37.79 n/a

Tractor Only 150 to 250 h.p. $/Hr 42.20 40

Tractor Only More than 250 h.p. $/Hr 45 n/a

Surface chisel (3 to 8 inches) $/Acre 16.31 15

Tandem disc $/Acre 17.06 15

Row crop cultivator $/Acre 8.03 n/a

Planting Only Row Crops $/Acre 14.12 14

Grass seeding $/Acre 18.30 25

Sprigging bermuda grass (does not include cost of sprigs) $/Acre 56.82 40

Dry mixed fertilizer application excluding materials $/Acre 6.87 6

Herbicide application excluding materials $/Acre 5.33 5

Picking cotton $/Lb 11 cents 12 cents

Combining/hauling corn, Flat Rate $/Bu 49 cents 40 cents

Combining/hauling soybeans, Flat Rate $/Bu 85 cents 1

Complete Haying Job (mow, condition, rake, and bale), excluding hauling Small Square Bales,

Twine or Wire Tie $/Bale 1.78 1.50

Complete Haying Job (mow, condition, rake, and bale), excluding hauling Round Bales

Less than 1,500 lbs,Twine or Wire Tie $/Bale 24.41 25

Hay Baling Only Small Square Bales

Joe Janak is a Victoria County extension agent.



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