Labor is highest cost factor for California farmers

Labor is the largest cost segment for California farmers, according to the U.S. government.

Farm production expenses climb 8.6% in California

Labor is largest cost for California farmers  

California’s total farm production expenditures totaled $36.6 billion in 2013, up 8.6 percent from the 2012 revised estimate of $33.7 billion.

At 10 percent, California had the largest percentage of the 2013 U.S. total expenditures.

Expense items showing the largest increase from the previous year were: feed, up $680 million; labor, up $570 million; and farm improvements and construction, up $420 million.

The three largest decreases occurred in: tractors and self-propelled farm machinery, down $50 million from 2012; and miscellaneous capital expenses and fuels, both down $40 million.

Expenditures per California farm averaged $470,218 in 2013, compared with $433,119 in 2012. On average, California producers spent the most on labor at $113,607 per farm, followed by farm services at $80,488 and feed at $79,204. 

U.S. total farm production expenditures were $367 billion for 2013, up from $360 billion in 2012. The 2013 total farm production expenditures were up 2.0 percent compared with 2012 total farm production expenditures.

All expense items showed increases from the previous year except farm services, fertilizer, lime and soil conditioners, trucks and autos, and miscellaneous capital expenses.

Farm services showed the largest decrease with $2.1 billion. The top three largest itemized expense increases from 2012 were in the following categories: feed, up $1.9 billion; rent, up $1.7 billion; and farm improvements and construction and seeds and plants, both up $1 billion. The four largest expenditures at the United States level totaled $167.6 billion and accounted for 45.6 percent of Total expenditures in 2013. These include feed, 17 percent, farm services, 10.6 percent, livestock, poultry and related expenses, 9.3 percent, and labor, 8.7 percent.

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