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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Machine cooperation - a case study in Sweden

de, Toro; Hansson, Per-Anders


The mechanisation systems of six arable farms, their joint machinery pool at present and some alternative machinery options were analysed in economic terms, field operation times and in some social aspects. A discrete event simulation model for field operations was run for 20 years in order to quantify timeliness costs and their annual variations. The main findings were: (1) machinery sharing enabled farms to reduce total costs (labour + specific machinery costs + timeliness costs) by about 15% and investment requirements by 50%, both items could be reduced still further by fewer but larger machines; (2) average timeliness cost estimates were of some consideration and their annual range was large (€10–120 ha−1), even for those machinery systems with good capacity; (3) the gains in reducing field operation time by sharing were limited since most of the machines available were acquired prior to sharing; (4) all the farmers interviewed were very satisfied with the results of the cooperation. Considering the conditions of the farms comprising the machinery pool studied, which are rather common for many Swedish farms in terms of soil type, farm size, crops and part-time farmers, the study concluded that more integrated machinery co-operative systems would be very interesting options to consider for small- and medium-scale farms

Published in

Biosystems Engineering
2004, Volume: 87, number: 1, pages: 13-25