Written by: Logan Staheli
Covid-19 Supply Issues? Dew More with Less with the DewPoint Hay Steamer
The Covid-19 pandemic is making an impact on farmers and manufacturers. Lead times are increasing across the board on about everything it takes to build farm equipment, and with these supply issues, farmers are having a hard time getting the necessary equipment to run their hay operations. Not only that, but the cost of machinery is also increasing at levels never seen before. In addition to all of these issues, labor is harder and harder to come by! Luckily, the Dewpoint 6210 and 331 hay steamers can allow farmers to DEW more acreage with fewer tractors, balers, and operators.
Farm Machinery Supply Shortage
One thing we are hearing from our dealers and customers is that they can’t get tractors. Many have had tractors on order for nearly a year, and many manufacturers are already taking orders now for the machinery they hope to deliver next year. We know the effects of the Covid-19 shutdowns and labor issues aren’t going away overnight. The ripple effects of these supply-chain problems could be felt for several years to come.
Because of increased baling windows, the DewPoint hay steamers can reduce the number of tractors and balers needed to bale each cutting. Not only that, but you will be able to put up high-quality hay all the time rather than only in periods of good natural dew. So if you find yourself short on tractors, or are concerned with the rising costs of tractors, consider reducing your fleet size by investing in the DewPoint machine. It will streamline your operation, and since your tractor fleet will be smaller, it can reduce maintenance costs as well.
Labor Supply Shortage
The other thing that we have been hearing this year from customers, dealers, and suppliers is that they are having a hard time finding good, competent workers. We’ve noticed these trends in some areas more than others. Solving the labor issues for some of our farmers is a huge deal and one of the biggest reasons they like the steamer so much. The steamer reduces the number of employees needed each day to bale the required acreage, and it increases the labor efficiency of an operation because no time is wasted checking and waiting on the dew. In many areas where it is hot and dry, operations will bale 8-12 hours each night while producing the optimal amount of steam to make high-quality hay. In some cases, operations may bale 24 hours a day to beat rainstorms.
For many, the steamer not only reduces the number of baler operators needed, but it also increases their job satisfaction. We’ve heard countless stories of how the DewPoint machines have improved the lives of the operators. They can have a set schedule each day when they prep the balers and start baling. Many can even eat dinner at night with their families and see their kids off to school in the morning.
How Many Tractors and Balers Can I Replace with 1 Steamer?
So, you may be wondering how many balers 1 steamer setup can replace. Because the steamer opens up the baling window to 12-24 hours/day, 1 steamer setup can typically replace up to 4 conventional baler setups and maintain current production levels. However, many operations choose to replace only 2 baler setups with 1 steamer setup and speed up their harvest cycle. This allows operations to cut, rake, bale, and haul their hay quicker and get the water back on their fields sooner. This adds valuable growing days to the crop and increases yields. For more on this topic, check out a previous blog.
These are unprecedented times we live in, and becoming more efficient with equipment and labor is going to be paramount going forward – especially in these trying times. If you are needing to make a change with your current operation, we hope you will consider Staheli West as a viable option to help you overcome the supply and labor problems you may be dealing with.
We aren’t immune to the supply issues either, but we are doing everything we can to secure the necessary parts we need to manufacture the DewPoint hay steamers. So, if you are seriously considering purchasing a steamer, get on the list today!