According to the Farm Production Expenditures 2009 summary released by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service Tuesday, U.S. farm production expenses decreased by almost $20 billion last year for the first time in nearly 25 years. A main contributing factor to the decrease in overall expenses was the fall of petroleum prices, which led to lower fuel, fertilizer and ag chemicals costs. The report shows farmers and ranchers spent $12.4 billion, 22.5% less than in 2008, on fuels.
All major categories in farm expenses decreased, including average feed costs, costs for farm services and costs for fertilizer, lime and soil conditioners. The estimates in the summary are based on results of the nationwide Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which is done every year by NASS.
Go to www.nass.usda.gov for the summary and other NASS reports.