Precision grading of agricultural crop land is an example of a land improvement practice that increases the value of agricultural land. In addition, precision grading is important when portions of the field have been disturbed by agricultural and non-agricultural activity, such as pipeline construction and maintenance activities. In these cases, it is important that the entire field be re-graded. The costs of precision grading represent a long term investment in the productive capacity and profitability of crop land. The main purpose of precision grading is to level the surface of the field and to grade the field to a specific slope that will improve drainage. This report presents cost estimates of precision grading sugarcane fields for which the sugarcane producer purchases the laser-leveling and dirt-moving equipment and performs the work with farm labor. Both variable and fixed costs associated with precision grading are estimated on a per hour of operation basis as well as costs per acre and per cubic yard of dirt moved.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture