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Senior Advisor

Reducing Power Costs

Can you cut power (machinery) costs in half?  They have doubled in the last 8 years.  With lower grain prices, is there any chance tthey can be cut back?

 

http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2014/02/controlling-costs-with-lower-crop-revenue-machinery-costs.h...

 

"Now that crop revenues have decreased, reducing capital expenditures from over $100 per acre level back near $40 per acre range is important. Previous experience suggests that lower capital expenditures may be difficult..."

 

"Summary

Machinery related costs increased between 2006 through 2012. Now that crop revenues have decreased, the elevated capital expenditure levels occurring from 2010 through 2012 need to be reduced. Other means of lowering machinery costs also may have to be undertaken.

Issued by Gary Schnitkey
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois"

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6 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

Switch to no-till and that is 50% of the savings on one decision. The other 50% comes from dedicated research and wise management decisions.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

I plan on more no-till also. However I also think I'll be covering more acres. So bigger machinery may be needed also.
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Advisor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

Going all no till you can cover a lot of acres. Can pull a big planter with the HP it took to pull the recreational field cultivator.
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Senior Advisor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

Everyone who rolls their eyes or balks at no-till needs to dedicate one field to no-till and stick with the practice for a minimum of 5 years. I was one of the worst advocates against it until I did that very thing and I was sold. However, no-till involves more than just the absence of tillage, proper crop rotation along with a chemical program accompanied with a cover crop plan can help bridge the gap between tillage and no-till. One needs to want the system to work otherwise we will come up with every excuse in the book as to why it isn't working.
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Advisor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

Have a neighbor who says no till won't work on his dirt.  This is on the otherside of the fence where we have been no till for 20+ years.  Some will just never admit change works. 

 

Agree Shaggy, gotta stick with it for a few years and manage correctly.  A great planter is a must.

 

A farmer once asked what is the best piece of advice to start a no till program?  Told him first thing to do is to line up your recreational tillage equipment, cut it up and sell for scrap.  That way you won't talk yourself into using it!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Reducing Power Costs

I started from scratch with no-till. Some of my ground had been pasture years. I tried it for seven years only to see my yields not match up to the county average. Then in 2008 I started ripping or chisel plowing all corn ground and some bean ground. Now I consistently out yield the county average by 40 -50 BPA on corn. I wanted notill to work but think if I stuck with it I would be out of business by now. $4 corn may make it more attractive on some ground.... Maybe.
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