A number of agricultural producers throughout Oklahoma should be taking steps to fill out and mail back a custom rates survey they received from Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
“Producers are encouraged to respond by Oct. 11,” said Roger Sahs, OSU Cooperative Extension agricultural economist. “Our Extension educators are frequently asked questions about reported custom rates in a given area. The research will help them provide reliable estimates, which benefits producers who hire work done as well as those performing the custom work.”
Sahs added reported custom rates are a good place to start discussions between farmers and custom operators as rates are negotiated.
Custom work is defined as machine operations performed for the customer with the custom operator furnishing the machine, fuel, labor and other inputs directly associated with the machine. Custom operators do not usually furnish materials such as seed or fertilizer unless it is explicitly stated.
“We know everyone’s time is valuable but most producers will find completing the survey should only require about 20 minutes,” he said.
Once completed, use the enclosed postage paid Business Reply envelope.
“Be aware a producer’s mailing identification will be kept separate from his or her individual questionnaire to protect confidentiality and survey response,” Sahs said. “Only totals, averages and other statistical measures will be published.”
Results will be published in OSU Extension Current Report CR-205, “Oklahoma Farm and Ranch Custom Rates.” The current report will be available to the public through OSU Cooperative Extension offices and a mobile-friendly OSU website after the first of the year.
“It’s not unusual for NASS to follow up and call individuals who received a survey but did not respond,” Sahs said. “The information really is that important.”
OSU Cooperative Extension reports, fact sheets and other publications are available online at http://facts.okstate.edu and through all Extension county offices, typically listed under “County Government” in local directories.
“The longstanding partnership between OSU and NASS in collecting agriculture custom rates data has proven to be very valuable,” said Troy Marshall, NASS state statistician for Oklahoma. “Our goal is to make available the best information possible to those who need it. To do that, we need responses to our surveys.”
NASS is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Founded in 1863, NASS is charged with providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. The organization publishes hundreds of survey results annually.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and is a key part of the university’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.