Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Fuel costs for farmers have been increasing all year. In the past 18 months, the average cost per gallon of diesel has risen by an average of $1.30. With diesel prices continuing to surge, and experts predicting that the increases will continue into 2022, farmers across the country are feeling the pinch.
The $2.40 a gallon diesel prices from early 2020 seem to be a distant memory. Farmers, such as long time STEINBAUER customer Clive have battled all year to keep more cash in their hip pocket. "...it's been a tough one, we've had issues finding people to work and run the machines and then diesel just keep going up." said Clive. "We normally get a couple operators in from New Zealand to help out with harvest, but with the COVID we had to look local for help. When we run, we run hard from daylight to after dark."
Talking with Clive, his experience was echoed and repeated farm after farm that I visited this harvest season. Farmers are a resilient lot, and traveling to meet up with our customers remains a highlight for me. But this year, I have to admit was a little tougher than most.
Small towns have been hit hard by the pandemic, every town we drove through had numerous 'Help Wanted' signs in the windows and each farm was experiencing difficulties getting operators for harvest and rising diesel costs. Clive has been a customer of ours for over 10 years, his experience is like so many others that we work with. He went onto say "We run STEINBAUER on all our machines and have done for years, they save us money all round. On average we save about ½ gallon of diesel an acre per machine, depending on the ground and the crop, and we cover the ground quicker too."
So how much can you save?
The below is actual savings calculated by a STEINBAUER customer over a two year period, using a S680 JD combine. The cost of diesel at the time was $2.78 gallon.
Gains of 1 mile an hour ground speed in tough crops. With 40 ft header = 32 more acres in 8 hours.
Fuel consumption gains of 1/2 gallon an acre.
1/2 gal fuel = $1.40
Combine payment per acre with Steinbauer = $5.88
Combine payment per acre without Steinbauer = $8.25
Figures based on a $100 hour lease.
$3.77 per acre savings with Steinbauer
$7540.00 savings on 2000 acres