It's year end. You're probably rushing to close some last deal, some final purchase to take advantage of the super depreciation that's available - who can laugh at $250,000 write-off on income. Of course, you may be doing that with an eye toward a reduced-income 2009, but nonetheless you may be in that camp.
Once the dust settles and it's officially 1/1/09 - consider a deep breath. It appears the ag market is going to continue it's "every man for himself" roller coaster ride that can rip your risk management plan to shreds. From an iron standpoint, the new year will give you time to look at farm needs and consider ways to become even more efficient.
For the past three years, farmers have been making up for lost buying time, replacing a wide range of equipment on the farm. Sales of equipment above 100 horsepower remain ahead of year-ago levels. But I don't anticipate this continuing into 2009. Instead, I expect you'll step back, and look at what you own. Then move ahead with purchases as part of a new productivity plan.
Not a bad idea. Now, more than ever, you have plenty of equipment from which to choose and the quality and productivity offered by all the major - and minor - players is better than ever. From enhanced engine designs, to improved ergonomics, these new machines are easier on the operator and more productive.
Enhancing your equipment into 2009 may be a smart move too. If you've been considering some form of auto guidance - from lightbar to full-on RTK auto-steering - 2009 may be the year to put it to work on your farm. If you've already started down that road, chances are you'll want to push ahead on upgrades when possible.
But what do you see as the bigger equipment challenges for 2009? If you're a registered user of the site, you can share your ideas below. I'm always interested in connecting with readers. This blog is one way for you to share those ideas.
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