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U.S. ag production costs sharply decline in 2015U.S. ag production costs sharply decline in 2015

Long-term trend reverses as farm expenditures fall 8.8% in 2015.

Krissa Welshans 1

August 4, 2016

1 Min Read
U.S. ag production costs sharply decline in 2015

U.S. farmers spent $362.8 billion on agricultural production in 2015, down 8.8% from 2014, reversing a long-term trend of growing costs, according to the “Farm Production Expenditures" report, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Feed and farm services, the two largest expenditure categories for U.S. farmers in 2014, both declined 8.2% last year. Producers spent $58.5 billion on animal feed and $41.6 billion on farm services in 2015.


One of only two expenditure categories that increased last year was livestock, poultry and related expenses, on which  producers spent $45.4 billion last year, an increase of 0.7% from 2014. The other was miscellaneous capital expenditures, at $700 million, an increase of 16.7%.

Unlike the previous years, in 2015, the livestock sector accounted for the larger portion of the production expenditures. Livestock producers spent $182.6 billion, down 6.6% from 2014. Crop growers spent $180.3 billion, down 10.9% from 2014.

Per farm, the average expenditures totaled $176,181, down 8.0% compared with $191,500 in 2014. Last year, an average U.S. farm spent $28,408 on feed, $22,047 on livestock, poultry and related expenses, $20,202 on farm services and $15,443 on labor.

Regionally, the largest decrease was in the U.S. Midwest, where agricultural production expenditures decreased by $11.0 billion since 2014. However, the Midwest region also contributed the most to total U.S. expenditures, with expenses of $113.1 billion (31.2%). The other regions, ranked by total expenditures, are the Plains at $93.5 billion (25.8%), the West at $74.9 billion (20.6%), the Atlantic at $44.2 billion (12.2%) and the South at $37.1 billion (10.2%).

Combined total expenditures for the 15 states was estimated at $238.1 billion in 2015, 65.6% of the U.S. total.

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