Knowing the average rates for agricultural expenses like labor and custom work is beneficial for both parties.


Last blog we discussed average rates for pasture leases, a common ag expense in Florida. Many ranches utilize rented pasture for grazing cattle. The information was compiled by Doug Mayo, the UF Extension director in Jackson County, and published in a recent issue of Southeast Cattle Advisor. In the publication, Mayo maintained that he compiled the data to give both parties a starting point when it came to negotiating prices for common agriculture expenses, like the average rates per acre to rent grazing land. Mayo researched the averages of other typical agriculture expenses, like labor and custom work, too. See the data for labor and custom work for Florida below.

Average Agriculture Expenses for Florida


Average Pay for Labor

Mayo’s data for Florida came from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS), from the state of Florida and from The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average pay an hour for various farm labor positions in 2016 was:

  • $10.85- FL Crop Worker
  • $12.50- FL Animal Worker
  • $12.21- Hired Farm Labor

Bureau of Labor Statistics for national average pay rates per hour for 2015 (the latest date available) were:

  • $10.64- Crop and Nursery Worker
  • $12.58 Livestock Worker
  • $14.13- Ag Equipment Operator
  • $21.47- Animal Breeder or A.I. Technician
  • $23.22- Foreman/ Crew Supervisor
  • $33.60- Farm/ Ranch Manager

Average Pay for Custom Work

At various times, a farm or ranch may need to pay to have custom work done, or may be bidding on offering such services to others. Mayo tapped into data published by the Iowa State Extension every year for these numbers. While it’s not data from the Southeast, Mayo argues that the data from Iowa can help farms and ranches “get in the right ballpark from an unbiased source for negotiations.” Data included:

  • $12.30/acre- Mowing hay
  • $.66/small bale to $12.35/ large round bale with wrap- Baling hay
  • $15.00/hr- Building barbed wire fence, materials not included
  • $10.60/ ton- Grinding or mixing feed

More detailed  information can be accessed from the publication or the sources Mayo cites.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.