Choosing the right sprayer and justifying its cost can be a challenging task, according to ORM senior business consultant Brett Symes.
Mr Symes was speaking at a Grains Research and Development Corporation Farm Business Update at Mulwala last month and explained what he would do when talking with clients who were in the market for a new sprayer.
‘‘The first question I ask is, ‘What type of machine are you looking at?’’’ he said.
‘‘I will go through an agenda that includes making sure the machine is fit for purpose, considering the available sprayers and justifying the investment with both financial and non-financial considerations.’’
Mr Symes said it was important to go through these steps because each farm was different.
‘‘What variations there are in overall efficiencies of using sprayers is horses for courses, as what might be right for one farm might not be right for another,’’ he said.
Because of this, Mr Symes said it was important to have a sound understanding of what would work best for each farm enterprise.
‘‘Choosing and justifying the right sprayer doesn’t have to be a difficult process,’’ he said.
‘‘Having a sound understanding of what capability you need, and the options and costings associated with achieving that capability, will enable you to make the right decision for your business.’’
Of the alternative sprayers that are on offer, which include tow-behinds, truck-mounts or self-propels, the latter is the most efficient.
‘‘Depending on factors, SPs are 10 per cent more efficient,’’ Mr Symes said.
When it comes to justifying the investment, he said financial and non-financial considerations needed to be taken into account.
‘‘The primary financial consideration is cost of ownership which will be influenced by capital cost, engine hours on trade, age of trade, new technology, no-trade discount, factory incentives and exchange rates.
‘‘When assessing the cost of ownership it is advisable to compare it to the cost of using a contractor. The final decision will however also be impacted by non-financial considerations, such as job satisfaction, and the timing of the planned upgrade.’’