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5th July 1921, Page 28
5th July 1921
Page 28
Page 29
Page 28, 5th July 1921 — AGRIMOTOR NOTES.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Cost of Farming Operations by Agrirnotor.

THE EXPENSE of carrying out the various operations on the farm is now one of the subjects of paramount importance to the agriculturist. The profits on the farm are not so high as 'they were, by a good deal. On the other hand, expenses of running a farm and of carrying out the various operations, particularly those relating to cultivations, have not appreciably decreased. Therefore, it should be a matter of the greatest importance to the farmer to obtain all the.labour-saving devices he possibly can, and also to possess some idea of what additional capital laid out in implements and machinery will save in the matter of running costs.

Information on this point in regard to the agrimotor is at this time especially valuable. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that really reliable figures are not available to any great extent. There are figures. Some •farmers know exactly what their agrimotor costs, not only in an annual sum which they are able to compare with the annual cost of keeping teams, but they know what it coats per acre to plough, cultivate, and sow their land by motor power and to gather in the crops.

At the bast, however, agrimotor costs must be fairly general, as there are so many variations, both in connection with the actual tractors and implements employed and also in the situation of the farm, the field, and the condition of the soil. Expenses of cultivation on very heavy land farms are high, at the best, and whatever may be the method adopted for cultivation, or power. Even in. the case of steam tackle employed on the cable system the cost is very high on heavy land and, of course, the capital required to equip a farrt1 with a double engine cable set is enormous. And, if one depends upon the hiring contractor, then, again, the working expenses go up by leaps alict bounds.

The following table gives the figures of the cost of ploughing by agrimotor. The figures are actual, and refer, to costs taken by a farmer quite recently. The table shows that on this particular farm the cost of ploughing was 25s. per acre, and it included everything except repairs.

In regard to the last-named item, a fairly high depreciation was allowed. and this was intended to cover the repair bill, which it actually did. The depreciation allowed was 23i per cent., and as a matter of fact a tractor does not wear out in three years, and if it is disposed of and 33i :has_ been allowed for depreciation, it will be found that this, together with the price realized by the agrimotor at the end of three years, will more than cover depreciation and the east for repairs when the machine

is properly and efficiently handled. • The cost per acre, a.s• we have already said, worked out at about 21 5s., actual figures being as follow :— The interest was calculated at the rate of C per cent., and on 800 acres was said to work out at la. lad, per acre, whilst depreciation at 10s. an acre was arrived at because, in the three years, the tractor worked 800 acres of land.

• The agrimotor, of course, does other work besides. ploughing, but in this case most of the work done was that of ploughing, the other operations being worked out on the basis of acres in ploughing. But eight hundred acres is a very small amount of work on the life of a tractor, and actually this particular machine was in almost perfect order at the end of its task of 800 acres. Thus, it will be seen that, though the farmer in question took all the pains he could to arrive at the proper cost, he did not succeed in working out everything exactly, particularly in regard to interest and deprkiation. But still, the figure, even though over-estimated, is well on the side of the agrimotor. No account here has been taken of implement costs, because implements have to be used with horses, although in the case of the agrimotor the implements are larger, more expensive, and perhaps, on the whole, there are more breakages.

I have. not the actual figures of the implement costs, but I am sure that they do not work out appreciably more than horse implements except in the matter of capital outlay, interest, and depreciation; 2s. 6d. an acre would cover the lot.

The following is another recently compiled table, giving merely the cost per acre of fuel and labour. It. relates to the ploughing of five. acres of land,.

The five acres were ploughed in one day for the above cost.

On another farm adjoining, a team of. three horses ploughed the same kind of land, and it took them nearly a week and a half to plough about 5",, acres of land. The cost of keeping the team was A comparison of the last two sets of figures shows a difference of 210 17s. Sd. in favour of the tractor on the ploughing of about five acres of land.

Two very interesting sets of figures in regard to the cost of tractor work were obtained by the judges at the last Lincoln tractor trials. One was from Mr. John Evens, who farms in the district where

the triata were carried out. _ Mr. Evens gives the 1920 cost of ploughing the three different, kinds of land there with horses as follows:—

1. Cliff land, 22s. fid. per acre.

2. Medium heavy land, 30s. to 35s. per acre.

3. Very strong land, 40s. to 4Os. per acre.

The other estimate, from Mr. B. Howkins, of Bedford, gives, comparative figures based on his own practical experience, and is as follows:—

It will he seen, in the first set of figures contained in this article, that it includes depreciation and interest and almost every item in calculating the costs. Mr. Howkins's table gives the cost-per -acre of tractor wear and tear, but the two other sets of figures, giving: comparative agrimotor and horse costs for ploughing the five acres, only include actual working expenses, and not depreciation-or interest.

Altogether, it is calculated by practical farmers that; Where theagrimotor is properly used, the cost of land -cultivation is reduced by about 50 per cent., and, considering all things and judging by experience, it would appear that this is somewhere well within the correct figure. We know that. onseine 'farms where the machine is not. properly managed the cost is nearly as great. as ,horses, while on others it is amazingly low. The average farmer user of agrimotors, however, generally manages to effect a saving of anything from -30 to 40 per cent.

In calculating costs of agrimotor work, a good deal depends upon whether it refers to the actual ploughing or cultivating, and excluding general running about, going to and from the fields, and so on, or whether 'everything is included.

It must necessarily follow, if proper accounts are kept, that. where the tractor has a good deal of travelling about from one field to another, or much general empty running, the cost per acre w4i1 bea ppreci ably incren sed,


Locations: Lincoln

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