Farm production expenditures reached a record-high $318.7 billion in 2011, a 10.2 percent increase over 2010, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2011 summary released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Average production expenditures per farm were $146,653 in 2011, an increase of 11.3 percent over the previous year. The largest expenditure category was feed, on which farmers spent an average of $25,129 in 2011, followed by farm services ($17,075); livestock, poultry and related expenses ($13,163) and farm labor ($12,334). Together, these four categories accounted for nearly half of all production expenditures on U.S. farms in 2011.
Nearly a third of all 2011 farm production expenditures occurred in the Midwest region, where farmers reported spending a total of $98.7 billion. Expenditures in the other regions were as follows: $73.8 billion in the Plains region, $69.8 billion in the West region, $39.1 billion in the Atlantic region, and $38.2 billion in the South region. Among states, California accounted for $31.2 billion in total farm production expenditures.
As in prior years, fuel costs accounted for a significant portion of farm production expenditures, with farm operations spending more than $15.3 billion on it in 2011. Diesel fuel made up nearly two-third of all fuel expenditures, with farmers spending more than $10 billion on this fuel type in 2011, a 23.7 percent increase from 2010. They spent $2.8 billion on gasoline, $1.6 billion on liquefied petroleum gas and $820 million on other fuel in 2011.
The Farm Production Expenditures summary provides the official estimates for production input costs on U.S. farms and ranches. These estimates are based on the results of the nationwide Agricultural Resource Management Survey, conducted annually by NASS. The entire Farm Production Expenditures 2011 summary is available online at http://bit.ly/FarmExpenditures.