US animal feed expenditures at 17 percent in 2011

Costs most significant among all farm production expenses

Farm production expenditures in the U.S. are estimated at $318.7 billion for 2011, up from $289.1 billion in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

The four largest expenditures totaled $147.1 billion and accounted for 46.1 percent of total expenditures in 2011, with animal feed the largest among these at 17.1 percent. Farm services (11.6 percent), livestock, poultry and related expenses (9 percent) and labor (8.4 percent) rounded out the top four. On average, U.S. farm operations spent $25,129 on feed in 2011, compared to $20,705 in 2010, according to the USDA. Feed provided the largest average increase in expenses, up $4,424 or 21.4 percent.

Feed was the largest expenditure for livestock farms in 2011, costing them a total of $51.2 billion — 34.5 percent of their total expenses. This number compares to the farms’ other top expenses: livestock, poultry and related expenses, at $25.6 billion (17.2 percent); and farm services, at $15.5 billion (10.4 percent).