By Kari Burnett PAg., Regional Farm Business Management Specialist
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Swift Current
As harvest approaches in this part of the province, farmers will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast. Time can be a limiting factor for many producers as they race against shorter days and cooler temperatures to get the crop in the bin while the quality is still available. Some producers will look to hire custom combiners, while others will want more security and control to get the job done and will rent or purchase additional combine capacity. There will also be operators looking to do some custom combining. So what is the going rate for custom combining this year? That depends…
The Ministry of Agriculture has an updated Custom and Rental Rate Guide for 2014-15 that gives detailed information regarding guidelines for machine ownership, operating costs, custom rates and rental rates for farm machinery. This information is provided as a guideline and should be interpreted and adjusted for individual situations. There is also an online calculator that has been updated to provide approximate costs for renting equipment or obtaining custom farming operations from another farmer. An alternative use for the calculator is when farmers share equipment and need to establish the value of the machinery and/or farming operation that is being contributed to each farm.
As before there is an option on the calculator to customize details for a particular situation, such as cost of the machinery, acres covered per hour, labour cost and so on. It also allows users to calculate the costs associated with the combination of up to three pieces of farm equipment. The Farm Machinery Custom and Rental Rate Guide Calculator is available online by following the link: http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=f4b84942-e058-4b5f-92eb-b4f5435bc9d6 .
Machinery costs are comprised of both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are the costs of ownership, and won’t change as the machine sees more use. These are costs such as depreciation, interest, insurance, storage. Although the yearly expense will not change by adding more acres, the cost per acre or per hour will go down. Variable costs include repairs, fuel and oil, and labour; these costs will fluctuate according to use of the machine.
For more information on custom rates stop by the Swift Current Regional Office or contact Kari Burnett at 306-778-8216 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; call the Swift Current regional office at 306-778-8285 or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.