Today's farm machinery is big, fast and efficient. But, only when it's running. When it's not, though, that efficiency can become inefficiency.
That makes it important to match your machinery technology with your farm size and be ready to make changes on the fly, economists said during a session at the Successful Farming Center Stage at 2013 AG CONNECT Expo in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday.
A good example, says Kansas State University Extension ag economist Kevin Dhuyvetter, is a new, high-tech combine. When it's running in the field, efficiencies are maximized. But, that's the case just a small fraction of the time.
"We spend a lot of time on the road, we take headers off and on, we have down time, we are waiting on trucks, we're unloading...those are all inefficiencies," Dhuyvetter says.
Altogether, those small inefficiencies add up to more cost to harvest a crop. But, what if you can trim some of those inefficiencies by using new technology and farm management strategies? Dhuyvetter says the right combination can make a considerable difference.
"What if I had a telematic system that lets machines talk to each other better? I might be able to unload on-the-go more often," he says. "It came about because I used my machinery efficiently but still used it to capacity.
"Some people will view technology to save time. That's fine. But, the next guy over will say 'I can farm more acres and lower my costs even more,'" Dhuyvetter adds.