Farmer to Farmer program offers additional profitability path
Waiting for harvest to roll around in a shop or shed, combines sit idle—yet, they’re often the most
expensive machinery on farms. A new opportunity allows farmers to share their idle combines while making a few thousand extra dollars.
MachineryLink, a division of FarmLink, recently launched the Farmer to Farmer program and is actively seeking qualified combines for the 2015 harvest. The program partners MachineryLink with farmers in states that have spring/early summer harvests—primarily Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas—to pick up their combines after harvest and deliver to other farmers for late summer/fall harvests and vice versa. In addition, farmers in row crop states, such as Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska` and Missouri, with combine capacity beyond what they use to harvest their crops can participate in the program.
Farmers can earn up to $40,000 per combine, per year by participating in the program. “Earning potential is based on separator hours, the type of combine and other factors,” says Meredith Powell, FarmLink spokesperson. “It’s a customized agreement with each producer.”
After the combine owner’s harvest is complete, he handles any necessary repairs to bring the combine up to the Farmer to Farmer program standards. MachineryLink then facilitates all the activity by picking up the combine and transporting it to the leasing grower. Afterward, MachineryLink again picks up the combine, performs maintenance and returns it to the original owner. The combine is returned to the combine owner fully serviced and ready for their next harvest.
Interest in the combine sharing program is picking up, and producers are asking questions.
“Farmers are excited about the potential of $40,000 because once they’re through with a combine, it sits idle in the shop until the next year’s harvest,” Powell says.
Similar to the popular car sharing and vacation housing programs, Farmerto Farmer maximizes the usage of a valuable asset—the combine—so the owner and the additional user benefit, says Dan Alcazar, vice president of sales and marketing, FarmLink.
When it comes to machinery and maintenance concerns, Powell says MachineryLink will work directly with farmers. As spelled out in the lease agreement, all necessary maintenance and repair costs are met by the company while combines are in MachineryLink’s possession.
“We’ve got a strong maintenance program and a robust transportation system across our business and the country,” Powell explains.
Which combines are eligible for the sharing program? FarmLink allows late-model 2012 or newer John Deere S670 combines and Case IH 7230 or 8230 combines to participate.
Producer benefits from the combine sharing program will be realized on multiple fronts, Powell adds.
- Additional path to profitability
- Helps offset the cost of owning a combine
- Guaranteed payments
- MachineryLink facilitation of all transport and maintenance
“Combines typically represent one of the most costly, yet least utilized pieces of equipment on the farm,” says Jeff Dema, president of grower services, FarmLink. “The Farmer to Farmer program offers a unique way for growers to generate cash from what would otherwise be an idle asset sitting in the shed. It is another way to generate cash flow and improve financial performance.”