An increased number of farm operators are now providing some type of custom work to other farmers during the growing season. Many times, the farmers involved in custom work arrangements wonder what a fair custom rate is for the various faming practices that were performed. Iowa State University releases the annual Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey (pdf) each year in February, which is based on a survey of custom operators, farm managers, and ag lenders on what they expect custom farm rates to be for various farm operations to be for the coming year. This is probably the most widely used and updated custom rate information that is available in the Upper Midwest.
The 2013 Iowa Custom Rate Survey includes farm custom rates for typical tillage, planting and harvesting practices, as well as custom farming rates. All listed custom rates in the Iowa Survey results include fuel and labor, unless listed as rental rates or otherwise specified. These average rates are only meant to be a guide for custom rates, as actual custom rates charged may vary depending on increases in fuel costs, availability of custom operators, timeliness, field size, etc.
High-Moisture Levels in Some New-Crop Corn Deliveries May Warrant Atmospheric Testing to Protect Employees
NGFA was recently was notified by a few member companies of isolated incidents where the post-harvest respiration of some new-crop harvested corn appears to be occurring rapidly after unloading; thus, leading to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and depleted oxygen levels -- particularly in low-lying storage areas -- both at farms and commercial facilities.
Importantly, this respiration, which reports have linked primarily to high-moisture corn deliveries, has occurred over a period of hours, rather than days. When handling a wet crop, it is possible that unusually high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and low levels of oxygen may be present in areas where employees work, such as boot pits, tunnels and basements.
In these situations, managers are advised to take precautions by monitoring atmospheric conditions when working in or near areas where high-moisture corn is present, particularly boot pits and other below-grade-level work spaces.
As the bulk of this fall's harvest nears, the NGFA wishes to remind the industry about prudent procedures to protect employee safety, as well as applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and relevant NGFA and OSHA safety training materials that are available. Members also should consider sharing this information with farmer-customers to apprise them of this potential situation when storing new-crop corn in farm bins.
Members with any questions regarding this advisory are encouraged to contact NGFA Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer at 202-289-0873, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See full advisory for additional information.
Disclaimer: NGFA makes no warranties, expressed or implied, concerning this information, and any responsibility for the use of this information is disclaimed. Further, nothing contained herein is intended as legal advice. Individual circumstances may be unique. Consultation with legal or other experts may be advisable on the matters covered herein.