Machinery and Labor Sharing Workshops
William Edwards, Faculty, Economics
Medium-scale farmers often find that they do not farm enough acres to justify a full of modern crop production equipment. In addition, some operations can be more efficient when more than one person is involved. Sharing ownership of some or all of their machinery and trading labor with other operators can help them achieve efficiencies equal to those attained by larger operators. However, many operators who would like to share labor and equipment lack knowledge of how to develop and manage sharing agreements.
Farm operators who have interest in machinery and labor sharing arrangements will understand:
- the benefits and drawbacks of such agreements
- how sharing agreements affect income taxes and USDA farm payment eligibility
- how to adjust costs paid by each partner based on machinery ownership and usage
- what personal characteristics contribute to successful sharing agreements
Two producer workshops were held, in Fort Dodge and Mount Vernon, with total attendance of 70 persons. Six different Extension specialists discussed the topics listed in the objectives above. I discussed how to fairly distribute machinery costs based on ownership and usage, and how to schedule the use of jointly owned machinery. Written materials on the topics were posted on the Ag Decision Maker website and in Farm News.
45 percent of the participants in the workshops strongly agreed that the information presented would help them in their businesses, and 43 percent agreed with the same statement. At a later time a follow-up evaluation will be done to determine what changes participants have made in their farming operations as a result.
July 3, 2007
120 Farm and Business Management
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August 2, 2007
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