Time is money, and nowhere is that more true than in agriculture. A little wasted combine movement per acre or a slowdown in offloading a harvest can quickly grow into a major impact on your bottom line. Keep an eye on these five common sources of wasted time to save money on your farm.
There are more high-tech tools available in agriculture today than our ancestors would have ever thought possible. Continuing to operate using their methods will cost you money and time. Soil sampling, fertilization, and irrigation used to be managed with our best guesses. Today, GPS equipment drives powerful precision agriculture products that help us pinpoint exactly which locations in a field need extra fertilizer or water, reducing waste and cutting our environmental impact.
Gathering Weather Information
The comfortable cab of a tractor or combine is a great place to forget about the weather, but you still need to monitor it as much as possible. The availability of all kinds of weather apps makes it easy to prop your phone on the dash and keep an eye out for approaching precipitation, keeping you in the field as long as possible. Long-term weather data can help you plan cultivation, planting, pest control, and harvest.
Organizing Farm Layout
One wasted step doesn’t use much time on your walk from the house to the mailbox, but over the course of a year it adds up. The same is true of your daily movement on the farm. If your fields are set up inefficiently, you’ll create a lot of extra driving. You also need to plan your transport and storage capabilities carefully so that you don’t run out or spend money on unneeded capacity.
Performing Good Preventive Maintenance
Checking fuel levels before you start work is an obvious way to avoid unnecessary trips back to the pump, but maintenance encompasses much more than that. Some time spent on lubrication and inspection each day will reduce the odds that something needs attention in the middle of an afternoon’s work, forcing a trip back to the shop and giving bad weather a chance to catch up with you.
Efficiency is at the heart of profitable agriculture. Whether it’s good utilization of feed by livestock or making sure that your cultivation passes don’t overlap, you have a great deal of control over the minutes and hours that make up your cropping season. Using those scarce minutes wisely will boost your efficiency and profitability.