CSBE-SCGAB

Economic implications of substituting labor for machinery in mechanized field operations

Authors: Russell, D.G.
Description: Labor and machinery are two resource inputs to mechanized farm tasks that can, within limits, be substituted for one another. The economic implications of this substitution are of interest to a farm operator who wishes to minimize the cost of mechanized operations. In this paper, the mathematical inter relationships among these two inputs and other associated variables are discussed, particularly as they relate to two parameters which can be controlled by the farm operator. These two parameters are length of workday and length of work season. Other associated parameters include task size, wage rate, timeliness penalties, and the effect of cultural practice on the cost of the machinery input. The theoretical significance of the identified interactions is then related to Western Canadian farm conditions by attaching estimates to each variable. Although the principles discussed may be applied to mechanized farm operations in general, the discussion is restricted to field work and concentrates on tillage and seeding operations.
Keywords: economic implications of substituting labor for machinery in mechanized field operations
Citation: Russell, D.G. 1975. ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF SUBSTITUTING LABOR FOR MACHINERY IN MECHANIZED FIELD OPERATIONS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 17(1):18-24.
Volume: 17
Issue: 1
Start page number: 18
End page number: 24
Date: 1975
Coverage: Canada
Located in: Volume 17 (1975)