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Making your machinery investment pay

The grain markets are volatile and unstable. The general economy's on equally shaky footing. There may have never been a time to put your machinery and equipment dollars to work where they'll pay off the quickest.

So, what's the answer? Is a sprayer the best investment today, or is it a planter or combine? Much depends on your area, the crops grown and production systems employed, farmers say. Knowing how to best leverage your equipment dollar depends on your ability to identify these conditions.

Agriculture Online Machinery Talk member reyros is a young farmer looking to begin carving his swath in the farming business, and he's looking to start with a piece of equipment that can generate income on the 210-acre farm he rents. He says he's on a limited budget on his corn and soybean farm.

The grain markets are volatile and unstable. The general economy's on equally shaky footing. There may have never been a time to put your machinery and equipment dollars to work where they'll pay off the quickest.

He has several options, but many farmers say a planter is on top of their machinery wish list. Here, size is key. A smaller planter may meet his immediate needs, but it's also important to consider any work he may be able to do for neighboring farmers in the future.

Still, others say a sprayer is the best option for a first machinery investment. Machinery Talk member kraft-t says a sprayer can pay for itself quickly, making it a good first step.

Maybe the answer isn't just a single piece of equipment. There are other ways to get started, farmers say. Instead of an implement, Machinery Talk member matthewhn says bin space is near the top of his list. Especially for a beginning farmer with an off-farm job and the time constraints that entails, an investment in grain bins can provide income opportunities through storage and marketing flexibility.

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