This has been a difficult start to the planting season with weather delays constantly occurring or at least seeming that way.  

If it looks like some of your crop may not be planted during the optimum window or you get behind for whatever reason, it may be time to consider having some of your crop custom planted.

It may also be an opportunity, if available, to have your crop precision planted with an up to date planter. Planters today have made great strides in their technology to assist in getting the crop off to the best start possible.

We also sometimes find producers who have gotten through with planting and may be wanting to spread their fixed cost out by picking up some custom planting or may be asked to help out a neighbor.

We always get calls for how much should be charged for custom planting. The University of Tennessee 2013 Crop Budgets calculates the total cost for a 16 row corn/ soybean split row planter at $15.42 an acre.

A 12 row cotton planter is calculated to cost $12.20 an acre.

This does not include any costs a producer would have for a seed tender or other methods of getting seed to the planter.

Published Custom Rate Guides from Kentucky and Iowa can shed further light on custom planting cost.

We hope to have a Tennessee guide in the future to be able to use.

I will use the custom rates from the Kentucky Guide since it is summarizing custom rates from 6 states. I would note the Iowa Guide is similar.

The Kentucky Guide uses an average rate as well as lists 15 percent below average and 30 percent above average. These differences help account for the efficiency among producers.