Most new year’s resolutions involve saving money or making money, especially on the farm. 2017 can be the year that you save money on fuel and time, as well as with hay and grain, if you do it right. Below is a list of ways you can save money with forward thinking technology on the farm.
1. Wrap your hay. By wrapping your hay, you can save that 25% of the bale that would otherwise be spoiled if not wrapped. That’s right, for every bale that isn’t wrapped you can expect to lose 25% of it to spoilage and sorting from your livestock. If you have 100 bales, for example, and you don’t wrap them, you would need an extra 33 bales to account for spoilage (100 bales / 75%= 133bales) . If you put silage film on your bales you will save 33 bales at approximately $40 each. So 33 bales x $40.00 = $1320 in cost savings. And that’s just for 100 bales, if you are a larger producer, you can save even more.
2. Bag your grain. Next season it would be worth it to consider bagging all or some of your grain in order to save time, labor and fuel. If you bag directly in the field, you save all the fuel driving back and forth to the grain bins, as well as the labor you pay to have trucks sitting around waiting for grain. With a grain bagger, you can keep your combines running at all times, and one individual can run the grain bagger: saving again on labor costs. You do not need to run fans in grain bags, so you save on electricity too. And since you can wait to sell your grain until the price is right, you will increase your profit when you do sell. Also, if the next year you don’t need the grain bagger, there is a great used sales market- whereas if you don’t need the grain bin, you aren’t going to be able to resell it (and you pay property taxes on it).
3. Use machines that are faster to save fuel and time. If it’s a tillage machine, consider a one pass tillage tool so you only have to pass once through the field to get your desired till. If it’s a baler, consider a faster baler so you can save time overall in your baling operation. If a baler runs even 15 seconds faster than the competition, overall that’s 25% of your day you could save just by having a faster machine.
4. Recycle. One way to save a little money is to recycle the plastic you use for bagging grain or wrapping hay. You can use this plastic to cover gardens from weeds, or to cover machinery from the weather.
5. Increase production. Perhaps you want to consider a TMR Mixer for feeding cows, since it has shown to increase your herds milk production and weight gain by creating a homogenous mix and not allowing for sorting by livestock.
6. Consider machines that do multiple things. Save money on bale processors for feeding and bedding or bale slicers that cut the bale and also retain the plastic wrap for easy recycling or disposal. Also machines that bale and wrap in one process can save money and time, and get two jobs done at once.
We hope you have a successful new year on your farm!