Managing for Profit

Equipment, labor bartering could make financial sense

Farmers trying to keep costs under control may work with neighbors to share equipment and labor for some production tasks.  Michigan State University (MSU) has assembled its Farm Machine Work Rate report that can be used as a reference tool to estimate values for farm machine work exchanges.  MSU farm business management specialist Dennis Stine says the report uses averages to come up with a point of reference to determine the value of equipment.   Stine tells Brownfield there are a lot of possible equipment exchange options, but what are most common are swapping planting equipment back and forth.

“Farms today, to get the very best equipment, often will specialize the type of planters they get,” said Stine, “so it may be that one farm has a piece of equipment that does very well planting soybeans, and the next one might do the corn.”

The concept is old fashioned bartering.  Stine says bartering equipment and services may provide a distinct benefit during times when less cash is available.

AUDIO: Dennis Stine (3 min. MP3)

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