FarmLink announced its introduction of a new online farm equipment sharing community—MachineryLink Sharing—leveraging a new economy business model to manage the cost of farm equipment and help generate incremental revenues. The online platform allows equipment owners and users, starting with co-ops, ag retailers and equipment dealers, to better utilize equipment more cost effectively. The platform was recently introduced with first adopters joining the community because they see potential in the concept; the program is now being announced nationally.
The online sharing is actually pretty simple:
- Equipment owners can use their equipment when they need it, and earn money from it when they don’t.
- Lessees have on-demand access to an inventory of equipment at varying costs.
According to USDA’s 2012 Ag Census, farmers own approximately $244 billion in machinery and farm equipment. Because of the seasonal nature of farming, much of the heavy equipment residing with farmers and ag retailers is underutilized most of the year. MachineryLink Sharing will connect farm equipment owners with those who need additional machinery capacity, thereby providing enhanced flexibility, cash flow and revenue.
“Agriculture is in the midst of its next big transformation, where new thinking and business models that have revolutionized other industries are being embraced within ag,” said Jeff Dema, FarmLink’s president of grower services. “In this dynamic ag economy, retailers and growers are rethinking one of their biggest capital expenditures: farm equipment.”
Initial adoption among co-ops, agriculture retailers and equipment dealers has been strong, due in large part to the financial pressure being felt by much of the agricultural industry. The desire for additional sources of revenue is paramount, and the possibility of using an existing asset to generate extra cash is appealing. In addition, the need for flexible application capacity and access to limited-use equipment is driving the adoption of the sharing model. The MachineryLink Sharing online platform will include farm equipment such as: sprayers, floaters, tender trucks and tractors for both long- and short-term rental periods by users seeking to avoid long-term lease or purchase commitments.
“The average sprayer runs less than 60 days a year, yet represents one of the costliest investments for a retailer or farmer,” said Dema. “Through the introduction of an innovative ‘sharing economy’ model, FarmLink is driving more profitable use of critical equipment assets to improve cash flow and increase other investment opportunities on the farm, at the dealership and in rural communities across the country.”
Since the use of farm equipment varies throughout the year by crop and location, participating retailers and co-ops can now use their equipment when they need it and earn income on it when they don’t, helping to more quickly offset equipment costs and accelerate business growth. In turn, lessees have on-demand access to an extensive inventory of equipment at varying costs for on-schedule completion of field work.
The initial program is available on a limited basis to co-ops, ag retailers and equipment dealers.
“Early adoption in Midwest row crop states has been strong – with more than 16 ag retailers signed up out of the gate, and we expect to expand the program for national availability,” said Dema.
With FarmLink’s 15 years of experience in providing combine equipment for their customers’ harvest solutions, MachineryLink Sharing provides the online platform that enables access to a variety of well-maintained equipment when it’s needed on the farm. MachineryLink Sharing connects owners and users so they can easily communicate about the equipment, and track shipment and delivery.
More information on MachineryLink Sharing is available at www.machinerylink.com.