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Equipping for Efficiency

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Tim Livingstone (Strawberry Hill Farm) presents at the 2014 ACORN Conference.

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Equipping for Efficiency

  1. 1. Equipping  for  Efficiency  2014 Tim  Livingstone Strawberry  Hill  Farm www.strawberryhillfarm.ca
  2. 2. Why  use  equipment • Replace  Labour  –  make  work  easier • Improve  quality/producJon • Ease  pinch  points  in  producJon  Jming • Physically  do  jobs  you  can  do  by  hand – Plow – Lay  plasJc  Jghtly – Mow – LiN  weights
  3. 3. Type  of  system  long  term? • Max  2  acre  market  style  garden? • What  about  Livestock? • Is  good  farmland  very  limited? • What  system  is  best  suited – All  by  hand   • Most  work,  least  cost,  most  efficient  use  of  space – Walk  behind  tractors • Easier,  faster,  more  expensive,  and  sJll  quite  efficient – Larger  Tractors  (40  hp  and  up) • Much  easier,  much  faster,  much  more  expensive,  less   efficient  use  of  space
  4. 4. $$  What  is  a  reasonable? • Our  basic  cost  proporJons? – Crops:  25%DC,    50%  Labour,  25%  Farm – Livestock:  50%DC,  25%  Labour,  25%  Farm • Try  to  allocate  10%  of  gross  sales  to  equipment   and  other  capital  improvements  every  year. – Want  to  see  overall  farm  net  worth  constant  or     rising  all  the  Jme.    Usually  do  a  full  assessment   once  a  year  and  spot  check  throughout.
  5. 5. How  to  spread  the  $ • Lease  –  expense  the  equipment • Outright  purchases  –  10%  tax  rebate  in  NB – Up  front  Purchase  –  3%  savings  possible – Purchase  over  Jme     • ie:  12  month  no  interest • ie:  72  month  with  monthly  payments
  6. 6. Making  the  choice! • $  Spent  versus  $  Saved – Tunnel  paid  in  first  year – Bed  shaper  and  plasJc  mulch  layer  pays  annually • MulJ-­‐use  equipment – Tractor  with  loader – S-­‐Jne  culJvator • Equipment  with  the  most  hours  uJlized
  7. 7. Borrow/Rent,  or  Own • Borrowing  or  renJng  can  be  ideal – Round  baler  for  120  round  bales  a  year – Get  to  know  the  neighbors – Buy  a  trailer  so  you  can  transport  equipment – “Borrow”  and  fix  up  an  old  implement • Own  the  items  you  use  a  lot  and  don’t  have   other  access  to • Benefit  of  using  a  more  tradiJonal  tractor – More  likely  to  find  a  bush  hog  then  a  BCS  flail   mower
  8. 8. New  or  Used • Are  you  a  mechanic? • Do  you  have  employees  using  it? • Does  it  have  lots  of  moving  parts? • Can  you  find  it  used?
  9. 9. Few  other  Factors • Concurrent  Use – Self  powered  zero  turn  mower – Gator   – Truck  with  flat  bed • Changing  Implements  /  FuncJons – Belly  mount  versus  3  point  hitch • Maximizing  labour  in  busy  Jmes – Ex:  PlasJc  mulcher  versus  a  vacuum  seeder – Gator  or  UTV
  10. 10. Other  Equipment  for  Efficiency • Vacuum  Seeder • Storage  boxes  and  bins • Storage  faciliJes – Truck  box – Heated/cooled  rooms • Drum  Washers • Furnace • Flame  Weeders • Covers  and  Sand  bags

Tim Livingstone (Strawberry Hill Farm) presents at the 2014 ACORN Conference.

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