U.S. ag production cost nearly $400b in 2014

Feed expenses see largest increase since 2013, rising 16% to 2014's total of $63.7b.

U.S. farmers spent $397.6 billion on agricultural production in 2014, up 8.3% from 2013, the largest increase since 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Aug. 4 "Farm Production Expenditures" report.

Feed, already the largest expenditure category for U.S. farmers, also saw the largest increase since 2013. In 2014, producers spent $63.7 billion on animal feed, up 16% from the previous year. Farm services; livestock, poultry and related expenses, and labor were the other three major categories that saw an increase of 11.4%, 11.3% and 8.6%, respectively.

Per farm, the average expenditures total $191,500 compared with $175,270 in 2013, up 9.3%. As in the previous year, crop farms account for the majority of production expenditures in 2014, although the gap between the crop and livestock sectors was significantly smaller than in the previous years. The average expenditure per crop farm totals $213,150 compared to $173,285 per livestock farm, USDA said.

Regionally, the largest increase in production expenditures was in the Plains region, which includes Kansas and Texas. In that region, expenditures rose by $11.6 billion from 2013. For 2014, total expenditures by region are:

* Midwest, $124.0 billion;

* Plains, $99.3 billion;

* West, $85.6 billion;

* Atlantic, $48.2 billion, and

* South, $40.5 billion.

The "Farm Production Expenditures" summary provides the official estimates for production input costs on U.S. farms and ranches.

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