Verified FBN Member (NE)
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What a good salary for a full time experienced row crop operation only?

I’m thinking of hiring. Providing a truck and fuel for work and transportation to and from work. Flexible schedule also for family time and vacations. Wanting to offer fair wages not sure what others are paying there guys?

Verified FBN Member (CO)

Depends on “experience”. Are we talking a person that could replace you if you were to be put out of work for awhile due to an accident? Or someone that has a few years in tractor seat but needs more babysitting on day to day non tractor driving stuff?

For a full on replacement type of experienced fellow, ask yourself what you’d want to be paid for the type of job if it were offered to you. For the other experienced but not experienced fellow, it would depend on how teachable they are. I’d say your starting range is 36-45k.

There’s just too many unknowns in your question for me to give a more accurate answer. Biggest thing will depend on what your operation can afford to pay.

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Depends how good they are. If they are someone who can do what he is told and nothing more then mid 30s is pretty fair. If they can run the farm better think 70+

Verified FBN Member (KS)

An “experienced” guy can be more expensive than you think. Sure you don’t have to teach him how to run your machines, but he’s going to run it the way someone else taught him. Might cost you a lot in repairs. I’d rather get a guy that works hard and cares about me being happy with the job he did. Those guys are worth whatever it costs to keep them.

Verified FBN Member (AR)

Bad experience is worse then no experience! Just remember If he is looking for a job, there might be a reason why!

Verified FBN Member (MN)

There is a lot of difference base on experience. Putting someone behind a semi/gravity wagon or tractor that has never done could set back harvest really fast if messed up! Biggest thing is finding someone that understand new and old technology. I used to work for a another Farmer beside farming my self. He could take off any day he wanting and he knew things would get done and would get done right! But he wasn't quite ready for a full-time employee. No experience but knows how to drive things in 25-35s thousand. Experience 35-65s thousand. Benefits is big thing now days too so that always helps!

Verified FBN Member (NE)

We have 2 full time guys and we are paying 42k plus some benefits

Verified FBN Member (TN)

What type of benefits?

Verified FBN Member (WI)

What size operation do you have?

Verified FBN Member (KS)

As many have said.....”what type of help”. Someone that can totally be my replacement and i know will do it exactly like i would and need no help.....60k+. A warm body in a seat....25-30

Verified FBN Member (MN)

We are 48k with benefits and a yearly bonus that varies anywhere from $2500-$15k depending on the year we have And if we do any custom work. This is salary based on 2000 hours a year. Usually take a month or so off after harvest and don’t work many Fridays in the summer. Guys clock in and out everyday. If they get more than 2000 hours at the end of the year that is reflected in there bonus

Verified FBN Member (MN)

young hard working guys with ambition and experience. I could take the whole year off and have full confidence I would not be disappointed

Verified FBN Member (TN)
(edited)

What type of benefits?

Verified FBN Member (WI)

What size is your operation?

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Have a guy that only works April 1 - Nov 31st. He hauls all about 200 loads of corn and beans on his own schedule. Runs combine in fall. Can do some tillage and minor equipment repairs. Pay $30k salary. He takes time off in the summer because it’s slow. I’m not at the farm during the week so he is the guy around the yard too.

Used to be hourly but that was to variable with other part time help “taking” hours from him. Interested of others think this is in the range.

Verified FBN Member (MT)

The best help I get has just worked out. I have one guy that helps on a regular basis. Semi retired and became a bachelor. I help keep him busy with a hourly pay that wasn’t really high. Just provided a cheap car and fuel to get to the farm. Been around for almost a year and he just moved into my parents old house after mom moved to town. So, I have paid harvest help on the high end to get good help I needed. That worked, nothing broke and they did a god job. Then I have paid less with other benefits.

Verified FBN Member (KS)

I'm in Northwest Kansas. Row crop and cow calf operation. Looking for a full time hired hand if anybody is reading this and knows someone looking for work.

Verified FBN Member (NC)

My full time man does great and I don’t have to be there 80% of the the I’m paying him 15 a hour no taxes took out just cash

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Where do you get that kind of CASH!? And how many hrs a week avg does he get?

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Depends on experience but $45-60,000. For a good one figure no less than 55,000.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

$55-65k. We also use H2A labor from South Africa which cost us about $35k for 10 months.

Verified FBN Member (WI)

So do the South Africa guys have equipment and truck driving experience

Verified FBN Member (MO)

yes

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Are you going to be able to get the South African help this year with this Covid-19 issue?

Verified FBN Member (SD)

how much would you work for? What are you offering that has non monetary value. Myself having worked in town I wouldn't do a thing for less than 50. It takes that much to live and save a little of you aren't providing housing.

Verified FBN Member (MS)

I’m looking to hire someone in the central MS Delta to run my operation when I’m not there.

Verified FBN Member (NE)

start everyone at 35K and tell them they have the opportunity to double that salary within 18 months if they learn it and earn it. If they prove to be willing to turn-key handle certain aspects of your operation and take some work load off of you and are willing to stick it out till the job is done (as farmers we need hired help that are finishers!) if they are the type that starts to think they need to go home every night at 5pm then they are not getting a raise they are probably getting let go. I really judge my employees on how much they want to get off work! It amazes me how most people are in such a hurry to "get outta here" as early as possible, i call them clock watchers, they are not farmers and don't belong on your farm they should go get a job in town if they want to be home every night at 5! How do they react when you tell them the plan is to work late tonight to beat a potential storm coming? They need to be the type that doesn't complain and sticks with you and keeps good morale. (doesn't complain) Many farm hands get tired of the hours after a few years and become morale killers. we as the employers need to empower and impart a sense of ownership in the operation, if i have a guy that takes ownership and works all kinds of crazy hours and is a finisher, he doesn't quit until the job is finished he's getting that salary increase. Me advice never start anyone at 70K a year, just like you had to put your blood sweat and tears into your farm to keep it going your hired help should go through a similar journey to get to a higher salary or wage. They will appreciate it more and stick with you if you incentivize them and reward them with incremental pay increases, they will naturally take ownership. if 35K a year is to low of a starting salary make it clear they are the only ones that can do something about that! i want people that want to earn it! i have started a guy at 35K and within 30 days i gave him a raise to 50K he earned it and then word spreads and other top quality help want to come work for you

Verified FBN Member (SD)

That is great advice! If you start too high on pay the incentive is not there, there has to be “up” opportunities for the hard worker. 9-5 er’s don’t work in this business.

Verified FBN Member (MS)

I'm in total agreement with the thoughts of a finisher.

Verified FBN Member (AB, CAN)

We are looking for some one full time and having problems finding anyone that wants to work! We are paying $28/hr (canadian) and would welcome a monthly salary all year long. Strictly a grain farm of about 5800 acres and new equipment but we can't find anyone! Nobody even applying!

Verified FBN Member (SD)

$15-$17/hour USD

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Find someone to pay you for the ag experience.

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Start them where you feel comfortable you can always increase their pay if you feel they earn it and don’t do hourly unless you have a time clock for them to clock in and out of.

Verified FBN Member (NC)

I work as a farm manager and my salary is at the high end of the range of the other postings here. I am basically the owner's replacement doing most everything except writing the checks and selling the grain. I have worked as a grunt employee over the years for a couple of different operations and I can tell you that money will only last so long as a motivator for an employee especially if the weekly pay is fixed and the hours are long. A good employee wants to make a difference and to feel as if he is contributing toward the success of the operation. My current employer asks for my input and considers my perspective even if he doesn't follow all of my suggestions. My suggestion is that whoever you hire, give them the opportunity to learn, grow and contribute to your operation. Encourage them to go to farm shows, get additional training in areas they are interested in, and occasionally ask for their input on decisions. In short - make them feel appreciated and challenge them with new responsibilities as they show that they are capable. Do this, and you'll find that you'll keep good employees even if you are not paying them top dollar.

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