2012 MTI report: How farmers financial contribute to communities

What does the farmer mean to local communities? In financial terms it means a lot, according to Dawn Melikant, Farm Business Management Instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute. The average business purchases within local communities based on information provided by farmers enrolled in South Dakota’s Farm/Business Management Program was $703,250 an increase of $47,599 over 2010.

Feed purchased topped the expense list in 2011 at $111,517 for the average enrolled farm. Much of this feed is produced and processed in South Dakota creating a multi-million dollar industry within the state.

Equipment repairs and purchases provide the basis for the ag equipment industry in local communities. The average farm generated $42,913 in repair bills. Gas and lubricant purchases added another $36,375 in dollars paid to local businesses.

The livestock health industry received an average of $15,744 per farm in 2011. “The industries save the producer millions in livestock losses, creating more spending revenue within each community,” said Melikant.

Crop input expenses also make up a large part of the farm purchases from local vendors. In 2011 the average farm spent $60,231 for fertilizers, $24,370 for chemicals, 67,326 for seeds, and $20,874 for other crop expenses.

There are other farm expenses which benefit their communities. Hired labor cost were $20,527 per farm in 2011, providing jobs and income for employees within the community. Interest payments of $35,622 were paid per farm allowing lending agencies to raise funds for other community investments.

The average farm also generated $7,115 in property taxes. A great deal of the budget of community schools and local government is carried by taxes paid by each farm or ranch.

In addition to $703,250 spent on operating costs, ag operations spent another $137,152 on capital improvements expenses included $36,061 on new buildings, and $101,091 on new machinery and livestock equipment. An additional $17,805 was spent on the purchase of breeding livestock. Family living costs were $66,103 in 2011.

– Mitchell Technical Institute