Subtle differences affect the long-term running costs of your farm business

Richard Orr's machinery review

Richard Orr at our Downpatrick Monitor Farm recently did a review of all his machinery. We'll be talking about this in detail at the next Monitor Farm meeting (19 February 2019) – come along to find out more.

Posted by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds on Monday, 28 January 2019

In doing the process of the [machinery] review, I learnt as much as I did coming out of the far end, which was very interesting.

We’ve got to narrow down the variety of running costs of the various machines now. It makes me think a bit more about what I’m going to do with them and how we progress. Although, in the period of time we’ve been doing the review we’ve also changed policy slightly, heading towards reduced tillage – trying to cut out some of those running costs.

There were no major surprises, other than the recommendation that we need to get rid of our sprayer because we’re over-capacity. But I’d counteract that with conditions in the country. Sometimes we have to be over-mechanised – we don’t have the weather windows that other farmers in the rest of the UK can work with.

I think a lot of farmers would question the figures, because in many ways, all farmers love machinery and they love to justify machinery. And as part of that – there’s justifying it for your business and your farm needs and but also how it affects your bottom line and whether it’s sensible investment or extortionate for buying a new tractor.

There’s a lot of farmers who wouldn’t have any idea what it costs to run some of their machines. They’d just say, “My diesel costs me,” or, “My parts cost me.” But they don’t take into consideration what it costs to do each job on the farm and how some subtle differences can long-term affect the running costs of the business.


Richard Orr

Richard Orr