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Factors Affecting Farm Machinery Needed

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  • 24-03-2021
Factors Affecting Farm Machinery Needed

What factors affect the farm machinery needed for an agricultural business? Find out more about whether you should hire or buy farm machinery.

What Factors Affect the Farm Machinery Needed?

Many farmers choose secondary machinery to go with their tractors. However, machinery selection is so important, which is why you need to take all the factors into account that could affect the size of the machinery you need. For example, will they be able to handle all your labour jobs, including harvesting, planting and soil management, and will they be able to cover your farming land?

It would help if you also considered timeliness for crop production and job completion each year. You may also need to consider the scale of your farm; is it small or large? 

Here is a list of the main factors affecting the size of the agricultural machinery you need to buy:

What Factors Affect the Farm Machinery Needed
What Farm Machinery is Needed

  Number of Crop Acres 

  Labor Supply

One of the most critical factors to consider when buying a piece of agricultural machinery is the number of acres it will complete in one day. It is even more important to consider the machine's width or how many acres the machine can cover in an hour. If you increase the labour supply by paying your staff to work extra hours or hiring new staff to operate the machines, you could end up saving money at the time, but you will lose more in the long run. 

When farmers start expanding the number of crops they are growing and farming, they will usually need larger-scale agricultural machinery to ensure planting and harvesting season will go quickly and efficiently. Instead of purchasing larger-scale farm machinery, farmers can also purchase a second piece of agricultural machinery. 

Tillage Practices Machinery
Crop Mix Machinery

  Tillage Practices

  Crop Mix

Depending on how many jobs you need to do on each acre of your field, you will have a certain number of field days you need to have before you complete your planting. If you reduce the number of tillage practises you perform or start completing more than one job on the same trip, you will decrease the machinery capacity used. You will also save a lot of money on agricultural machinery costs and chemical costs. 

When it is essential for field operations to be completed, farmers will usually plan diversification of crops and spread them out more. For example, if some crops are planted later, then there will be yield reductions. Farmers can also lengthen the amount of time it takes for harvesting to be completed. This means that the more crops you grow it will reduce the agricultural machinery capacity. 

  Risk Management

  Weather

Even when your agricultural machinery, the number of crops, labour supply, or the number of acres of land doesn't change, there may still be fluctuations in the number of field days which cause changes in the cost. If you decide to invest in a larger-scale machine, you may decrease the costs if you make sure your crops are harvested on time. Fixed costs would usually work out more expensive if you choose larger-scale machinery, but they won't change, providing you keep the machinery set the same. 

The weather pattern and the climate will affect the fieldwork, as some days may not work. This can be a problem because weather conditions can't really be predicted, especially for dates far ahead; however, many farmers tend to use weather conditions from previous years to give them an idea. 

Costs of Farm Machinery Ownership

Farm machinery is costly, not only to buy but also to use. To purchase one, you have to be committed to capital, which can sometimes affect your business. Farmers take pride in providing an efficient service, which means they will need reliable machinery. Many farmers choose to have their own vehicles; however, some other options include sharing with other farmers, finance options, hiring machinery as needed, and more, which all work out cheaper. 

Costs of Farm Machinery Ownership

It would help if you thought about so many costs with machinery ownership, including insurance, housing the machinery, investment interest, depreciation, and taxes. It is essential to decide whether it is worth it to ensure you don't lose money. If you require any further assistance regarding factors affecting the machinery's size, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a professional. 

Should I Hire or Buy Farm Machinery?

The answer to this question will depend on your own personal choices. For equipment and machinery that you don't use often, it is more cost-effective to hire it. Another benefit of hiring is that if you want to try a piece of machinery for a while, but you aren't sure whether to buy it or not, you can hire it to try it out. 

Before buying a piece of machinery, you need to see if the machine will pay for itself over at least a 5 year period, and do you really need the equipment, or can you do without it? If the answer is no, it most likely isn't worth it, and you should consider the other options. 


If you work in the agricultural industry in Scotland, you can find a range of agricultural machinery for hire. For Farm Machinery Hire in Aberdeenshire and North Scotland follow this link to find out more.