Conserve Fuel: Buy the SUV of Tractors???
I guess we were surprised by all these facts more then we thought. As everyone knows, dairy farming is being as impacted by the high fuel prices as anyone else. In talking with my Uncle today, I found he made a few purchases over the winter to beat the fuel costs.
The first and biggest purchase was a combination 400 horsepower tractor coupled to a 33 foot disc harrow. In putting 300 acres of corn this year (with another 120 to go) it has consumed just 300 gallons of fuel. We all figured it would burn more and those over the long run ended up costing more in fuel. Instead its dramatically cut down on fuel consumption by getting so much more done, so much quicker.
The third purchase was for a haybine. The old one was only 10 feet wide while this new one is 16 feet wide. For every two rounds we make now, the old one would have required three passes. Considering the acreage we knock down (both for ourselves) and for custom chopping, this is a HUGE reduction in fuel.
With the FSA Loans being dwindled down to nothing this year, it means a sizable chunk in capital investment (debt) but milk prices are rising and the milking cows are over 400 head now, so it should pan out.
I got a chance to drive the new tractor today, and while it was just pushing haylage, it was sweet!!
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"