Harvest season is well under way in most states, but harvest time is an occurrence that happens pretty much full-time in Florida. Whether you’re in the middle of your harvest season, just finished it or you’re expecting it in a few weeks, nothing strikes dread in the hearts of farmers like a breakdown during harvest season. If such a misfortune befalls your ag operation, what’s the best choice?

A SoutheastFarmPress.com article looks at the three choices faced by any farmer when the harvesting equipment goes down with a time-consuming fix: hire a third party to assist with finishing the harvest using their equipment, lease equipment to finish the season or buy new equipment to use to finish this harvest and those of future years. Don’t make a hasty decision just to get harvesting back on track.

Biggest Factor to Consider: Where You Are in the Harvest Season

When the cost for each of the above options is broken down to a cost per acre, it reveals that the biggest factor to consider is how much harvesting you have done so far, and how much you have yet to do. According to the cost analysis breakdown, buying new equipment is by far the most expensive option. With forecasters predicting a drop in the ag economy, many growers won’t like the burden the expense of new equipment will put on cash flow.

In terms of leasing versus contracting out the rest of harvest season, this is where a cost-per-acre analysis will need to be done for each option. Get quotes from a few different sources for each option, and do the math for each option, breaking it down per acre to finish the harvest season. Don’t forget to factor in costs like fuel and insurance, and know who’s paying for what and what’s covered under warranty, no matter which option you choose. Also, check with your current insurer to find out if your policy can cover a rented piece of equipment, and for how much.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.