Purchase price is just the first piece of the equation to determine the true cost of machinery ownership.

You also must determine use-related cost like fuel, lubrication, labor, repairs and so on. Only then can you accurately evaluate the total ownership cost of equipment, and estimate the operating cost for crop planning budgets, make replacement machinery purchase decisions or determine whether a custom operator can harvest your crops more economically than you can.

To help you estimate the true cost of owning and operating various types of machinery, check out the evaluation tools created by specialists at the University of Minnesota and the University of Nebraska. The Web site is: www.apec.umn.edu/faculty/wlazarus/machinery.html