Home' Smart Farmer : April 2012 Contents April 2012
By DAVID EAST
HE cost of buying and owning farming
equipment can tie up a considerable
amount of valuable capital, especially if
the items are only used once or twice a year.
Equipment ownership is to a large extent
dependent on the size of the property and the
type of production it is used for, and it is these
factors that primarily determine the size and
type of machinery needed.
It has been calculated that the cost of equip-
ment ownership can be as high as 45 per cent
of the annual cost of production per hectare
that it produces.
These costs include interest if money has
been borrowed for its purchase, operating
costs which include fuel, repairs and mainte-
nance, depreciation and in some cases a time
cost where that time could be more produc-
tively used in other tasks.
Some alternatives to buying and self-owner-
ship of equipment include using contractors,
short-term hiring, leasing, or sharing equip-
ment ownership with other landholders by
forming a cooperative.
Using a contractor for all or part of the oper-
ations on a farm not only preserves vital and
sometimes scarce capital, but more often than
not will give the landholder a better and high-
Using a contractor also allows landholders,
both fulltime and part time, to devote their
time to other areas and jobs.
The choice of a contractor will, to some
degree, depend on the type of equipment and
the type of tasks the landholder requires.
Successful contractors use modern and well-
maintained equipment that usually allows
them to get the jobs carried out at the opti-
There are many contractor services avail-
able, some working in localised areas only and
others that offer what may be described as
A handful of contractors offer a full-farm
service that includes ground preparation and
planting through to harvesting, but most usu-
ally offer limited and specialised assistance.
These services can generally be categorised
as crop spraying, fertiliser spreading, hay and
silage making, crop harvesting, fence erection
and earth works including dam sinking.
Probably the most common services come
under the headings of crop spraying, fertiliser
spreading and hay and silage making.
Contractors can offer a complete haymaking
service that includes mowing, raking and bal-
ing, wrapping or just one or more part-ser-
vices depending on what equipment (mower
or rake etc) the landholder has and wants to
Another factor here is the handling and cart-
ing of the hay, both after baling and at feeding
out, and again this comes down to what
equipment, if any, the landowner has or needs.
Most professional contractors employ the
very latest equipment and as a result, a quali-
ty job is generally guaranteed.
The only problem which sometimes arises in
relying on the services of a contractor can be
in the timing of some tasks. The contractor's
services can be required by a number of peo-
ple in the area or region at the same time, and
any delay may cause some deterioration of
both yield and quality.
As an alternative to relying totally on con-
tractors, some landholders may decide to buy
a piece or two of equipment and offset some of
the cost by undertaking contract work them-
In this case they have the advantage of at
least carrying out some operations when
everyone else is calling for the services of a
Hiring equipment on an 'as needed' basis is
another alternative, but here the problem can
be a matter of supply.
There are a number of equipment-hire com-
panies around but few, if any, cater for farming
machinery beyond post hole diggers and
Very few farm equipment dealers will hire
out some of their second-hand or traded
equipment, particularly items that they may
have had in stock for some time, but relying
on the availability of this equipment can be a
trouble out of
ownership costs Hay and silage making is among the more common services contractors offer.
Modern equipments optimise quality
Beware of multi-tasking pitfalls
Choose to fit requirements
A COMPLETE liquid application system capable
of applying fertilisers, trace elements, fungicides,
inoculants, soil wetters and other liquid-fluid
products is set to revolutionise cropping around
Already, the liquid application carts and com-
ponents developed by Adelaide-based Liquid
Systems (SA) Pty Ltd are being eagerly sought in
North America, with giant multi-national John
Deere sourcing the product and components for
its own seeding equipment.
Developed by Liquid Systems founder Peter
Burgess, it incorporates all the necessary compo-
nents to apply multiple applications of liquid fer-
tiliser and chemicals.
Mr Burgess said the North American interest
in the multi-application liquid cart was so
huge that 70 per cent of his business was
being taken-up by crop planters there.
"We make up all the application
and distribution components in
our premises at Melrose Park and
have contracted the Mannum-
based Horwood Bagshaw compa-
ny to make the cart frames
and chassis, and we
source our modular plastic tanks from the Rapid
Spray company in Mildura, Victoria," he said.
"By using any of our auto-rate injection sys-
tems including our Stacker distribution system
there is virtually no end to the tank mixes that
can be applied".
Mr Burgess said the number of Australian
manufacturers and distributors of seeding and
planting equipment using his distribution sys-
tems continued to grow, including Horwood
Bagshaw, Gason, Gyral, Morris, Seedhawk and to
a lesser extent, Simplicity.
-- DAVID EAST
This new liquid injection cart
is breaking new ground.
SA-made liquid system goes global
Rimek Pty Ltd Trading as
ACN 092 378 482 ABN 43 092 378 482
ALL SHEARING NEEDS
• Lister Shearing Plants & Grinders
• Moffat Virtue Shearing Plants
• Wide Grind Handy Crutchers
• Stockshear Clothing
• Dominator Woolpresses
• Holdmaster Lamb Cradles
• Lyco Woolpress Spares
• Wool Bale Trolleys
DISTRIBUTORS OF LISTER & SUPERSHEAR
All General Shearing Needs Spares for all other makes and
models of shearing equipment Repairs in Workshop and On Farm
Telephone (08) 8321 9155
25 Lindsay Road, Lonsdale SA 5160
Fax (08) 8381 1988
Mobile 0427 837 310
• Paddock Renovation
• Fertiliser & Lime
• Hay & Silage Baling
• Silage Wrapping
• Hay Sales & Carting
• Mowing & Raking
• Post Knocking/
Servicing the Fleurieu Peninsula
Ph: 0418 858 047
Call Trevor Whittlesea for all your agricultural needs
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