Rapidly rising machinery costs and a shortage of skilled labor are affecting some farming operations in the Midwest. Some farmers are sharing their equipment and labor resources to reduce costs and increase efficiency. "However, a number of factors need to be considered before entering these sharing arrangements," says William Edwards, Iowa State University Extension economist.
To help producers evaluate such arrangements, ISU Extension and University of Missouri Extension economists have developed the Machinery and Labor Sharing Arrangements Workshop. It will be offered in Algona, Iowa on Nov. 27.
Edwards coordinates the annual Farm Machinery Custom Rate survey for Iowa which is conducted every year. "Feedback from our custom rate survey indicates that many producers are concerned about the significant rise in machinery costs and are looking for strategies to deal with this ever-increasing challenge," says Edwards. "Producers who want to use their resources more efficiently can gain a greater understanding of the benefits and challenges of co-owning equipment and sharing labor by participating in these workshops."
The Nov. 27 workshop will address:
• Benefits and drawbacks of sharing equipment and labor
• Organizational issues associated with equipment and labor sharing
• Planning for sharing resources
• Available resources for implementing sharing arrangements
More information about the program can be found online at www.machinerysharing.info. The workshop will be held at the Farm Bureau office, 418 Highway 18 W, Algona, Iowa. To register, contact Bob Behnkendorf, ISU Extension, at 515-295-2469, or [email protected] This program is sponsored by ISU Extension, the North Central Risk Management Education Center and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Grundy National Bank are program collaborators.