Machinery mismanagement is a major cause of failed farms, says Herb Hinman, extension farm management economist with Washington State University.

His advice: buy what you need until you can afford what you want.

“My current philosophy of acquiring machinery services has been 1) determine what is needed, 2) determine what is available (new and used), and then 3) purchase what you want as long as you can afford it,” Hinman says.

To find out how much your machinery costs to operate under specific operations, Hinman suggests growers use the University of Idaho Machcost program (download at: www.ag.uidaho.edu/aers/...).