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Using a Custom Harvester - Factors to Consider January 30, 2005. Brian Holmes Extension Agricultural Engineer Biological Systems Engineering Department University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Using a custom harvester factors to consider january 30 2005
Using a Custom Harvester - Factors to ConsiderJanuary 30, 2005

Brian Holmes

Extension Agricultural Engineer

Biological Systems Engineering Department

University of Wisconsin - Madison


Why do dairymen hire Custom Operators ?Milk production suffers during harvest time.Crops suffer due to lack of time to manage them.Current equipment line is not up-to-date. Want to spend more time with cows.Want to spend more time with family.Willing to give up control of cropping.

Compliments of Chuck Grimes


Benefits of a Custom Operator

Rapid Harvest

-Fill storage quickly

-Might beat the weather

-Keeps hay at same stage of maturity

-More uniformity of forage quality

-More uniformity of forage moisture

(continued)


(continued)

Benefits of a Custom Operator

Reduced Capital Investment, Borrowing,

Leasing

Lower Cost of Production

No Hired Labor

Custom Operator’s Labor Is Well

Trained and Works Hard

Less Oversight and Scheduling

Variety of Services Available

Higher Milk Production per Ton or Acre


Limitations of a Custom Operator

Some Existing Equipment Will Not Be Used

- ”If it doesn’t fit you must acquit”

- Cutting in 4 days and chopping

in 1 day doesn’t work

Rapid Harvest

- Need to be prepared to fill/pack storage

- Need to be prepared to cover storage

(continued)


(continued)

Limitations of a Custom Operator

Producer Must Give up Some Control

- Scheduling start date

- Plans for harvest decided early

- Producer’s equipment and labor

comes under the control of

custom operator

- Independence can be a handicap

to the system


(continued)

Limitations of a Custom Operator

Communications Must Increase

- Specify feeding needs

- Specify feed preservation

- Status of crop maturity

- Services required

Quality Control Determination

- Moisture content

- Particle size determination

- Corn processing

- Inventory identification

- etc.


Degree of Trust vs Time Together

Distrust

Custom Operator

Full Trust

Time

Customer

Distrust

Communications not established

Unreliable/unpredictable performance

Parties behave more independently

Issues can be external forces or

because of internal behaviors

No loyalty established

Good Communications

Consistent performance

Teamwork to resolve issue

Most Issues caused by

external forces

Loyalty to each other

Mutual benefits


Building Confidence

Producer Custom Operator

Letter of credit References

Personal References Insurance certificate

Pay on time Perform service adequately

and in timely manner

Communicate needs How break downs/employee

no shows are handled

Deliver on promises Obtain help from competitors

- don’t jump the gun or lease equipment to get the

job done

(continued)

(continued)


(continued)

Building Confidence

Producer Custom Operator

Be flexible Be flexible

Have labor and Equipment Reliability

equipment ready to go - New Equipment

- Parts Inventory/access

Commit to agreement - Preventive maintenance

early (winter)

Seriously consider advice Give good advice

Plant different maturity corn

to open harvest window

Avoid surprises – Avoid surprises –

communicate early communicate early


Contract = meeting of the minds

= mutual agreement

1. Offer

2. Acceptance

3. Consideration

Written vs Verbal

- Written is more defensible in court

- “People remember things differently”

Protects all parties


Written Contract

Identifies the parties

What each party will do

What each party will not do

Service cost rates

Penalties

Conflict resolution

Warranties

Limitations on damages

Have attorney read

Signed by all parties


Communications

Producer Custom Operator

Talk Not Listening

Talk Not Listening

Talk Not Listening

. .

. .

. .


Communications

Producer Custom Operator

Not Listening Talk

Not Listening Talk

Not Listening Talk

. .

. .

. .


Communications

Producer Custom Operator

Listening Talk

Talk Listening

Read Written Materials

Written Materials Read


Its all about TEAM WORK!

Compliments of Chuck Grimes


Feed Production Team

Dairyman

Crop Producer

Harvester

Storage Filler

Agronomist

Nutritionist

Feeder

Lender

Others?


Goal

Produce high quality and high quantity

feed with minimal losses in quantity and

quality at a reasonable cost

Objectives:

Select correct varieties

Plant on time

Fertilize properly

Harvest at correct time

Avoid harvest losses

Store properly – avoid storage losses

Feed properly

- Proper feed-out

- Feeding frequency


Communications

Coach

- Communicates Goals and Objectives

to the Team Members

- Assures Team Members Are Listening

- Assures Team Members Are

Communicating with Each Other

- Assures Team Members Are

Performing Up to Capabilities


Teamwork

Team has overall Goals and Objectives

- Tasks directed toward meeting

Goals and Objectives

Each team member has Goals,Objectives

and Tasks

Coach focuses team members on

overall Goals and Objectives

Who is your coach?


Communications

On-Farm Visit

- View feed storage

- View traffic routes

Provide field maps

- Acreage per field

- Access

- Landmarks

- Field names

- Special features


Communications

Record keeping

- Forms to use

- Crop yield information

- Equipment hour meter readings

- Equipment settings

Complaints

- Directly to custom operator not others

- Explain what you want to make it right

- Complain early

- Complain calmly


Producer Can Reduce Harvest Time and Cost

Fields close together

Fields close to farmstead

Large fields of regular shape

Smooth fields

Remove stones and other obstructions

- Mark obstructions

Wide gates and drives

Farm roads are smooth

Maneuvering room at storage

Maintain communications

- Work through custom operator

- Don’t micro-manage custom

operator’s employees


Comparing Custom Operators’ Services

What services are available

Charge rates – per hour, per acre, per ton etc.

Reliability

- References

- Past performance for you

- How breakdowns are handled

- How much reserve capacity

*extra equipment

* extra labor

* how tightly scheduled

(continued)


(continued)

Comparing Custom Operators’ Services

Insurance

- Liability (on/off farm) – certificate

- Workers compensation

Written vs Verbal Contract

Payment Schedule

- Pre-Pay

- Before leaving the farm

- Soon after work is done

- Monthly payment plan

- Discounts for early/prompt payment

- Late payment penalties



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