Published by AMTEC on 09th Nov 2023

Investing in Farm Machinery: Key Considerations for Success

Farm machinery investment requires careful consideration and long-term planning if it is to yield success for your farm.

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Wisely investing in farm machinery is hugely important to the management of a farm. From small farms to large-scale operations, effectively managing and investing in the right machinery at the right time can be a pivotal factor in the success of your agricultural enterprise.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that there should be several key considerations for investing in farm machinery. By having a clear process in place for how you invest, consolidate, and maintain your machinery, you’ll be on the right path to success.

Let’s take a look at a few of these key considerations for investing in farm machinery.

Assessing Farm Machinery Needs

The first and most obvious step for farm machinery investment is to understand the unique needs and requirements of your farm. The last thing any farm manager wants is to have machinery in their yard that they have no use for, but this can happen if you inherited the machines or if the right considerations aren’t made prior to investing. For example, farmers may choose to invest in a power harrow when looking for agricultural machinery that breaks up, and helps level soil.

You’ll need to consider things like the size of your farm, the conditions (e.g. soil type and health) and climate of where your farm is located, and the specific ways in which machinery and equipment could help make your farm more efficient.

Of course, your budget will come into this as well, but the main priority at this stage should be to think about how you can streamline your operations through investing in the right machinery, and how you can address the challenges you’ve faced in past seasons. After all, you want this investment to yield returns in terms of productivity and profitability.

These considerations will usually fall to a farm manager, but machinery management services such as those offered by AMTEC can take the stress away from farm managers, giving you one less thing to worry about!

Budgeting for Machinery Investments

We’d all love to have an open chequebook to purchase the machinery and equipment our heart desires, but the reality of modern agriculture is that financial outlays need to be closely monitored.

Recently, we have seen government subsidies wither, so by establishing a clear, realistic budget for your machinery investments, you’ll to be in the best position to ensure your purchases yield the best returns.

Failure to adhere to a strategic budget can lead to shortfalls in other areas of your agricultural enterprise, and at a time when farmers have never been more conscious of finances, it’s important to get this right.

New vs. Used Machinery

One key consideration for farm machinery is whether to buy new or used machines. Naturally, purchasing new machinery will mean you’re getting the latest and most reliable models under warranty, but the financial outlay will be significantly greater than if you’re buying second hand.

New machines will have a greater resale value, so if you find that after a time you no longer need the piece of machinery (and you’ve kept it in top condition) you’ll be able to make a greater return compared to reselling a used machine. However, new machines are big depreciating assets so you might get a lot less than what you were expecting.

Used machinery will obviously cost less than new, but you’ll need to factor in various considerations like the age of the machine, how much it’s been used, and whether it’s ever required repairs. It’s also worth noting that new machines are coming with lengthier lead times – anywhere from a few months to years.

Some benefits of buying used machinery from a reputable supplier, like AMTEC, are:

  • Save time by not having to source the machine.
  • Greater choice from a selection of machinery.
  • The supplier will arrange and manage the item to be delivered to your farm.
  • Save money from not having to bring the machine up to a serviceable condition yourself.
  • If the machine isn’t as described, it’s easier to engage with a trustworthy supplier, rather a private seller, to rectify the discrepancies.

While it might seem easier to go out and buy the newest machines on the market, taking time to assess second-hand options can be a great way to save money while getting a piece of equipment that meets your needs. It will all come down to your individual budget and machinery requirements.

Choosing the Right Machinery

Whether it’s ploughs, sprayers, cultivators, seed drills or any other piece of farm equipment, it’s vital to ensure you’ve got the right machinery for the right task.

There are different factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right machinery. This can include:

  • The size of the machine you need relative to your farm’s unique characteristics.
  • The make and model of the machine, and whether it’s a brand you trust.
  • Whether the machine is compatible with your existing machinery and/or tractor.
  • Your current or desired cultivation practices.
  • Government incentives and legislation.

Good investing in farm machinery will result in owning a piece of equipment that will bring value to your farm operations.

Maintenance and Repair

Ongoing costs, such as replacing consumable parts, repairs and regular maintenance are other important factors when it comes to investing in equipment. Regular maintenance of machines is key for any farm operations to avoid unexpected breakdowns when you need that machine most.

Having a reliable repair and maintenance service that you can call upon time and again is hugely important. You might want to ask other farmers in the area who they rely on for maintenance, or have a browse online to find the most trusted providers.

Planning for machinery acquisitions will include having a robust strategy for machinery service and maintenance. Farm machinery can be costly, so you want to make sure you’re investing in the machine’s longevity as well as the initial purchase.

Farm machinery investment requires careful consideration and long-term planning if it is to yield success for your farm. If you can have a robust strategy that takes all the above factors into account, you’ll be in a good place to get maximum returns from your machinery investments.

At AMTEC, we offer machinery management services that can take the stress away from these considerations. We’ll take stock of your existing machinery, listen to your current needs and struggles, and come up with a plan for managing machinery in the way that works best for you and your farm. Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more!


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