Machinery and Equipment Guide

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Machinery and equipment required for winter canola production will vary depending on the operator’s production system preferences. The following discussion describes basic machinery and equipment needs for producing winter canola, and it approximates costs incurred from operating machinery involved in the production process.

Winter canola producers have several machinery and equipment options. Their choices will depend on the production practices that they select. Generally, producers may opt for growing winter canola in a conventional system or a no-till system. The following table outlines basic machinery and equipment requirements in these two models. The equipment needed for raising winter canola is similar to winter wheat production equipment needs.

Conventional winter canola production requires seedbed preparation and cultivation. A no-till model saves cultivation equipment expenses and time and can be successfully implemented, though residue management will be key. Regardless of the production system, producers will apply fertilizer and may need to spray herbicides, fungicides or dessicants to maintain the crop.

Winter canola will most likely be direct harvested by Missouri producers, though swathing is an option. Swathing may minimize shattering losses, but investment in proper equipment is required. Canola is a small-seeded crop. To minimize waste during harvest and handling, harvesting, transportation and drying equipment should have the proper seals. Producers may use duct tape or caulking to protect the integrity of bins and trucks.

Equipment and Machinery Needs for Winter Canola Production

Conventional Production No-Till Production
Tractor X X
Field cultivator X
Drill X
No-till drill X
Fertilizer spreader X X
Sprayer X X
Combine X X
Grain cart X X
Grain truck X X
Owned and Operated Equipment or Custom Hire Services

When considering crop production machinery and equipment needs, producers have the option to used owned equipment or hire a custom service provider. The decision will depend on an operation’s current machinery and equipment inventory, time available for conducting machinery operations and the difference in cost. The following table compares projected costs for the two scenarios. In the first, a grower owns and operates equipment. In the second, a grower hires a custom service provider to carry out equipment-related work. The machinery costs are meant to represent total costs incurred for operating equipment used in winter canola production.

Estimated Machinery Costs and Custom Rates, Per Acre Per Year

Machinery Cost Custom Rate
Field cultivator $9.80 $15.20
Drill $12.80 $14.07
No-till drill $16.40 $16.53
Fertilizer spreader $7.62 $6.08
Chemical sprayer $3.70 $5.98
Combine $31.00 $27.89
Grain cart $9.65 $9.00
Grain truck* $22.00 $17.60
* Grain hauling costs and custom rates will vary based on farm proximity to the final market.

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