Some believe they can profit by making investments in machinery before the end of this calendar year. That's because how taxes are figured on machinery purchases and other items are likely to change to a less favorable status after this year.
Items we've heard farmers talking about so far include updating planters, especially soybean planters. If someone still has a drill or an older, twin-row planter, they may want to consider updating to a newer and larger, twin-row planter. One factor driving that line of reasoning is that early-planted soybeans held a yield advantage in many cases this year over soybeans planted later.
Another place farmers may consider spending money is on grain systems. Many invested in new dryers and bins a year ago, but not everyone did all of the work they feel they need to do. Weather was kind this fall, but many still realized that they can have bottlenecks, based on the volume of grain that they handle, especially in corn.
One farm family is trying to decide whether to trade two medium-sized combines for one larger machine for a 2,500 acre operation. The problem, one farmer notes, is that they would give up capacity on soybean harvest, where having the second combine means they can move along much faster in soybean harvest, assuming they have a qualified driver. If heads are interchangeable, having a second machine is also a plus in corn if the primary machine breaks down. The tradeoff would be getting more modern features and more capacity that would allow them to move through the crop faster.
Matt Hays, CEO of Equipment technologies, Mooresville, hopes some farmers consider putting part of their investment money into a new sprayer or a good used sprayer purchase. His company has 2011 models ready for purchase. There has been a trend toward buying more sprayers as more farmers decide to do their own spraying rather than rely on a fertilizer and chemical dealer to do it for them.
So far, sales are brisk compared to last year, Hays notes. He expects sales to continue to pick up as the calendar moves closer to January 1, and farmers evaluate their options for how to spend extra money and invest it in equipment that will produce a return.