The Van Trump Report

Farm Expenses Up More Than +7% in 2021

Farm production expenditures in the United States reached an estimate $392.9 billion last year, an increase of +7.3% over 2020. Of the 17-line items tracked by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 15 showed an increase from the previous year while only “interest” and “seeds and plants” witnessed a decrease.

The four largest expenditures for US farmers – “feed”, “farm services”, “livestock, poultry, and related expenses”, and “labor” – accounted for just over 48% of total production costs in 2021 at $189.4 billion. Feed takes the largest share at 16.6% with the average farm operation spending $32,540 in total, versus $28,250 spent on feed in 2020. The remaining three top expenses for last year come in at $21,161 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, $22,458 on farm services, and $18,366 on labor.

Everyone was already feeling the pinch from escalating fuel prices last year, too, with diesel expenditures up more than +18% in 2021. At $8.4 billion, diesel expenditures accounted for 65.3% of total fuel expenses. Gasoline was up a whopping +22.7% while LP gas was up more than +11%. Total fuel expenses came to an estimated $12.9 billion compared to $11.1 billion in 2020.
Crop farms expenditures increased to $207.6 billion, up 6.2 percent, while livestock farms expenditures increased to $185.3 billion, up +8.5%. The largest expenditures for crop farms are labor at $25.4 billon (12.2%), farm services at $27.0 billion (13%), and rent at $27.3 billion (13.2%). Combined crop inputs (chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds) are $61.3 billion, accounting for 29.6% of crop farms total expenses.

Not surprisingly, feed is the largest expenditure for livestock farms at $63.3 billion (34.2% of total), livestock, poultry, and related expenses at $40.1 billion (21.6%), and farm services at $18.0 billion (9.7%). Together, these line items account for 65.5% of livestock farms total expenses. The average total expenditure for a crop farm is $219,593 compared to $175,092 per livestock farm.

The Midwest region contributed the most to total US farm expenditures with expenses of $124.9 billion (31.8 percent), up from $112.8 billion in 2020. Other regions, ranked by total expenditures, are the Plains at $99.2 billion (25.2%), West at $86.7 billion (22.1%), Atlantic at $42.9 billion (10.9%), and South at $39.2 billion (10.0%).

Combined total expenditures for the 15 estimate states is $266.4 billion in 2021 (67.8% of the United States total expenditures) and $242.3 billion in 2020 (66.2%). California contributed most to the 2021 United States total expenditures, with expenses of $42.2 billion (10.7%), followed by Iowa at $34 billion (8.7%) in expenses. Other states with more than $24 billion in total expenditures are Texas with $26.0 billion and Nebraska with $24.5 billion. The full USDA ERS report is HERE.

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