A self-propelled beet harvester may seem like an overly-specified piece of equipment to own, but for beet farmers, there is often a short window to get the crop in, and few hands to help.
“It’s just the efficiency and maneuverability — one man is operating a defoliator and a harvester and a cart,” says ROPA’s John Noorloos, adding the fuel consumption is less on one machine than the alternative three.
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So just how many acres is enough to warrant owning a self-propelled beet harvester?
“Typically if I would have around 1,300-1,400 acres myself, I’d say it’s worthwhile to have my own machine. If I only have 900 to 1000, I’d be looking at a good used machine, just to keep the capital down to spread the cost around those acres.”