From 1986 to 2010, North Dakota haying rates about doubled, from $5.28 to $9.73/acre for mowing and conditioning, $4.11 to $9.13/acre for swathing, and from $2.28/acre to $4.18 for raking. That’s according to the NASS-North Dakota State University Extension 2010 custom work rates report.
The report also compared corn silage chopping rates of $16.06/acre in 1986 to $46.52/acre or $284.69/hour in 2010. Chopping and hauling average costs 25 years ago were at $19.54/acre; today they average $60.51/acre or $412.30/hour.
Other North Dakota 2010 custom rates, assuming a fuel cost of $2.73/gallon, included per-bale rates of $1.83 for small squares (reported as 250 lbs or less), $8.63 for large squares, $8.23 for round bales 1,500 lbs or less and $9.11 for 1,500-lb+ round bales.