lbl_rice_harvesting

Harvesting costs

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Costs for harvesting paddy can make up a significant portion of the production costs of rice, therefore it is useful to evaluate harvesting costs.  Costs of harvesting rice are often (but not always) estimated in terms of percent of grain output, as in the following examples from 2004:

  • Vietnam: harvesting costs are 8% for manual collection by a crew and stationary thresher
  • Philippines: harvesting costs are 15% for cutting by sickle and use of trailer mounted thresher
  • China: harvesting costs are 6% by tractor-mounted combine harvester

The table below shows an example of costs of the three systems: manual harvesting (including cutting, threshing, cleaning); manual cutting + machine threshing/cleaning by own labor and machine, and manual cutting + machine threshing by contracted labor and machine. Please note that the table is a entirely fictitious (made up) example and that actual costs are location and time specific, meaning that they can vary  by region and per season. By using a spreadsheet you can estimate harvesting costs for your own situation.


 

Manual cutting, threshing, cleaning

Manual cutting and machine threshing by own labor + equipment

Manual cutting, machine threshing by contracted labor + equipment

1. LABOR

 

 

 

Labor for cutting and gathering

25 Man-days/ha

25 Man-days/ha

0

Labor for threshing

15 Man-days/ha

2  Man-days/ha

0

Labor for cleaning + bagging

8 Man-days/ha

1   Man-hours/ha

0

Labor rate

$ 3 /day/person

$3 /day/person

0

Total labor requirement

48 man-days

28  man-days

0

Total labor cost/ha

$144 /ha

$84/ha

0

2. EQUIPMENT

 

 

 

Purchase price thresher

0

$1,000.00

0

Life of thresher

0

2000 hr

0

Capacity thresher

0

1 ton/hr

0

Use per year (100 ha @ 4 ton/ha)

0

400 hr

0

Capital cost/yr (excl interest)

0

$200.--/yr

0

Fuel  (3 L/hr; 0.75 $/ltr)

0

$900/yr

0

Repair and Maintenance (15% of capital/yr)

0

$150.--/yr

0

Total equipment cost/ha

0

$12.50/ha

0

3. CONTRACTING

 

 

 

Cost per ha (% of grain)

0

0

12%

Value of grain (4 ton/ha)

0

0

$150 $/ton

Total contracting cost/ha

0

0

$72/ha

TOTAL

 

 

 

Labor+equip+contr

$144/ha

$96.50

$72/ha

Estimated threshing and handling loss (% grain)

5 %

2 %

3 %

Expected grain yield

4 ton/ha

4 ton/ha

4 ton/ha

Costs of lost grain ($/ha)

$30/ha

$12/ha

$18/ha

Total harvesting cost

$176/ha

$108.50

$90/ha

Total Harvesting costs-equivalent in grain

29 %

18 %

15 %

 

In general, costs of owning equipment are dependent on how often the machine is used. When comparing costs of ownership with contract hiring, there is a “break-even” point (expressed in terms of tons, ha’s or hours that the machine is used) above which ownership becomes more attractive than contract hiring.

Besides direct costs, there are a number of other factors the farmer/ station manager will have to consider when deciding whether to purchase or to contract hire machinery:

 

Ownership

Contract hiring

Timeliness of operation

Machine is ready when needed

Contractor may not be available when needed

Repair, maintenance

Own repair and maintenance needed to reduce downtime

No expertise needed for repair, maintenance

Quality of work

Quality of operation is under control of farmer

Quality of operation in control of contractor

Cost

Can be lower if there is sufficient work on the farm

Costs not dependent of amount of work

Skills required for operation

Operational skills required

No skills required at the farm

Finance requirements

Capital outlay + financing needed

No large capital outlay needed