STUDY FINDS CASE IH MODULE EXPRESS™ 625 HAS LOWEST HARVESTING COSTS
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RACINE, Wis., - (February 29, 2008) - The Case IH Module Express™ 625 had the lowest per-acre cost from harvest through gin delivery in a recent economic study presented at the National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
The study compared a standard six-row basket picker, Case IH Module Express™ 625, a competitive round bale system and associated support equipment. Both of the on-board module builders (OBMB) systems had a lower cost over the standard six-row basket picker.
"This is because on-board module builders eliminate the need for boll buggies, module builders, tractors and labor needed to operate this machinery," says study co-author Thomas Valco of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Stoneville, Miss. "The Case IH system is the most cost effective primarily due to the lower investment, lower expenses for tarps and module handling, as well as no gin modifications being needed when compared to the Green System."
Field efficiency with the OBMB systems may also be increased due to less stopping for unloading and waiting to unload, according to Steve Martin, co-author and agricultural economist at Mississippi State University in Stoneville, Miss.
Study results show that the total cost per acre from harvest through gin delivery is the most economical for the Case IH Module Express™ 625 at $72.57, compared to $98.46 for the standard six-row basket picker and $91.20 for the competitive round bale system.
Harvesting costs were calculated as costs per acre with the assumption of 1,000-pound-per-acre lint yield. Expenses for a standard six-row basket cotton picker and support equipment were taken from the Mississippi State Budget Generator (MSBG). Harvesting costs for the two OBMB pickers were adapted from the standard picker information in the MSBG.
The study authors concluded that under the assumed costs and performances, the Case IH system appears to be advantageous to the competitive round bale system largely due to module cover expense. Wrap for the competitive system is about $25 per round bale and is discarded after use. With the Case IH system, one person "on the ground" per two machines can place reusable tarps on modules at a substantially lower cost.
"On a per-acre basis, cost for tarps and associated labor for the standard six-row basket cotton picker was $1.50 and cost for the Case IH system was $2.34," reports Martin. "Labor and wrapper cost was $15.15 per acre for the Green System, which included wrap, a tractor and module handler per two machines."
The complete study, which is entitled "Economic Comparison of On-Board Module Builder Harvest Methods," can be obtained from the National Cotton Council.
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