The View from Teagasc: Machinery costs are approximately 30 per cent of total costs on the average tillage farm and when you exclude land rental, machinery costs are closer to 40 per cent of tillage costs.

While machinery accounts for such a large cost on tillage farms, there is a disproportionately small amount of time spent analysing this cost and understanding how it can be optimised.

Teagasc Machinery Cost Calculator

Teagasc has recently developed a comprehensive but farmer-friendly machinery cost calculator. Its purpose is to allow tillage farmers to use basic information for each machine on their farms and derive the cash and medium-term cost associated with the machine.

Key questions answered by completing a machinery cost calculator are:

1. What is my exposure based on my machinery policy and what are the annual machinery repayments for the farm? This is a sobering figure when written down and raises the most constructive debate about the machinery policy on the farm.

2. Where am I relative to other tillage farmers of a similar size or cropping/farming system? This allows more informed decisions to be made with the confidence that many other farmers are operating that system.

3. Do I need to adjust my machinery policy and are there changes I can make to optimise my investment?

Teagasc advisers can complete this very valuable exercise for farmers over the next few weeks. Some offices will be holding special courses – contact your local tillage adviser
for details.