Original scientific paper
The capacity of sugar beet farms’ machinery and equipment
2012, 13 (4) p. 769-781
The survey investigates into equipment of sugar beet farms of the Lublin region, Poland, with machinery – with reference to plantation size and yields. To assess the production potential of the farms, the authors determined the age structure of the machinery owned by the farmers and established the scale of investment in new equipment. The machinery most important for sugar beet production are pre-sowing and post-harvest tillage units, sprayers, seed drills, combine harvesters and self-unloading trailers. In most cases, the surveyed farmers own most of these machines, but they are often obsolete: 37% of them is in operation for more than 15 years. As for the machines dedicated solely to sugar beet growing (harvesters and seeders), their age structure is most unfavourable – 70% of them have been used for over 15 years. A trend towards increasing plantation sizes provides incentives for introducing innovation to cultivation methods. However, the scale of investment in new machinery is small, especially in the case of small and medium-sized farms that dominate in the region. The authors surveyed also the scale of using professional services in the field of tillage processes to determine changes in farming practices.