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Sunday, 08 November 2020 16:45

A guide to selecting the right machinery and equipment for your farm

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Introduction

Farm mechanization is essential for efficiency in farm operations. Selecting the right farm equipment and machinery allows you to reduce operational expenses, generate more profit, and grow more crops with lesser efforts. Acquiring the right machinery and equipment for your farm operations though, is not easy. The farm business and its environment can go through changes resulting in machinery not compatible for your operations.  Some factors are not predictable so your goal should be to have a flexible system that adopts a broad range of weather and enterprise changes. There are 7 key factors you need to consider when selecting the right equipment for your farm business. These are (1) performance, (2) soils, (3) size of operations, (4) capital, (5) operating costs, (6) availability of repairing facility or service center and (7) type of business.

 

Performance

Farmers today have access to almost all types, brands, and sizes of farm machinery and equipment from local dealers and online platforms.

Each machinery or equipment must perform reliably under your field conditions which makes it a worthy investment.

 

Tillage implements should prepare a satisfactory seedbed while conserving moisture, destroying early weed growth and minimizing soil erosion potential. Planters and seeders should provide consistent seed placement and population as well as efficient fertilizer application. Boom sprayers also should properly apply pesticides. Harvesting equipment must harvest clean, undamaged grain while minimizing field losses.

The performance of a machine often depends on brand and skill of the operator, or on weather and soil conditions. Nevertheless, differences among machines can be evaluated through field trials, research reports, and personal experience. Always go for the tried and tested brands. Do not buy machinery or equipment based on the external appearance only, Buy reputable brands that have a good resale value. 

 

Soils

More lightly constructed equipment is meant for use in sandy soils whilst stronger heavier equipment is used in heavier soils.

 

Using light equipment on heavier soils reduces its lifetime. Presence of roots and or rocks may require the use of a disc plough than a mould-board plough. Steep slopes may also require that you use different equipment from that used on level land. Choose wisely.

 

Size of operations

Size of your farm operation may justify the purchase and use of tractors, combine harvesters, milking machines and other labour saving machines/ or equipment. Likewise, small farm operations may eliminate the need for more expensive equipment.

 

Capital

Available capital determines the type of machinery to be acquired. Fewer funds may require you to purchase second hand or less complex machines. It may also mean hiring until you have raised enough capital for purchasing your own. With enough capital, more durable machines can be purchased.

 

You can pool resources with other farmers for community-owned machinery or equipment.

 

Operating costs  

How much a machine requires to run when compared to alternatives is important in deciding on which type to acquire. Such costs include fuel, service, lubricants, and repairs.

 

Would you buy a machine for a low price but with a high depreciating rate and high operating costs? Some equipment is expensive to buy but cheaper to maintain. Brand, durability and running costs are very important in making a decision on what to buy.

 

Availability of Repairing Facility or Service Center

It is important to select a brand whose spares and technical support is easily and locally available. Imagine the trouble of importing spares when the need arises. 

 

Type of business

A cattle ranching business requires different machinery and equipment when compared to a poultry production business. Equipment like hay balers, spray races may not be necessary for a poultry farmer.

 

The same applies to a maize farm and a citrus farm, different machinery is required.

 

List down the machinery and equipment needed for your farm business. 

 

Always remember that a selected farm machinery or equipment will only be ideal if it provides a solution that you are actively seeking, to a problem keenly felt by the farm family. This means that it must be compatible with the farming system and the needs of the farm family taking technical, social and economic factors into account. 

 

Abut Farmec

We are a truly global brand and closer to home, have represented Massey Ferguson as its Flagship for over 60 years here in Zimbabwe. Indeed, we are proud of our distinctive Zimbabwean footprint which enables every tractor and genset to receive the best in class service and support, resulting in low cost ownership and high resale value. We offer fully-established support, spares-provision and back-up services – a Zimbabwean leader in value driven, mechanised agricultural equipment solutions.

 

https://farmec.co.zw/

 

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