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Published May 24, 2011, 10:24 AM

Average farm purchases were $655,651 in 2010, study says

In financial as well as social terms, the farmer means a lot to his community, according to Bob Way, farm business management instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute.

In financial as well as social terms, the farmer means a lot to his community, according to Bob Way, farm business management instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute.

In 2010, average farm business purchases totaled $655,651, an increase of $94,095 over 2009, according to a statistical analysis of each farm/ranch enrolled in South Dakota’s Center for Farm/Ranch Management’s Farm/Business Management Program.

Feed purchased topped the expense list in 2010 at $90,966 for the average enrolled farm. Much of this feed is produced and processed in South Dakota, creating a multi-million-dollar industry within the state.

Equipment repairs and purchases provide the basis for the ag equipment industry in local communities. The average farm generated $36,509 in repair bills. Gas and lubricant purchases added another $28,638 in dollars paid to local businesses.

The livestock health industry received an average of $20,860 per farm in 2010. “The industries save the producer millions in livestock losses, creating more spending revenue within each community,” Way said.

Crop input expenses also make up a large part of the farm purchases from local vendors. In 2010, the average farm spent $49,198 for fertilizers, $23,593 for chemicals and $79,330 for other crop expenses.

There are other farm expenses that benefit communities. Hired labor costs were $21,174 per farm in 2010, providing jobs and income for employees within the community.

Interest payments of $40,407 were paid per farm to lending agencies.

The average farm also generated $8,779 in property taxes. A large portion of community schools and local government budgets are supported by taxes paid by farms and ranches.

In addition, $655,651 spent on operating costs, ag operations spent another $188,713 on capital improvements. Expenses included $84,867 on new buildings and land and $90,668 on new machinery and livestock equipment. An additional $13,178 was spent on the purchase of breeding livestock. Family living costs were $52,252 in 2010.

The average farm consisted of 1,914 acres, of which 738 acres were farmer-owned and 1176 acres were rented. Total investment per farm by owner/operator and lenders is $2,013,305.

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