MACHINERY DOWN TIME
Farmers expect weather to be challenging. They count on their machinery to perform when conditions are right to be in the field. For Kevin Matthews in North Carolina, equipment has been the source of many headaches through the 2020 growing season. “Our John Deere in the spring, we lost several days planting due to software glitches. They did software upgrades that weren’t compatible with our mobile RTK and it was extremely costly to our operation,” he says. Fall brought more equipment issues. Between emissions issues, his Mack trucks, and John Deere combines, Matthews said he had more harvest downtime than he’s had every harvest combined since he started raising crops at 16 years old. “You get a pretty day, and you’ve got a half million dollar machine broke down due to a sensor or emissions issue and everything’s running properly, that’s a tremendous challenge,” he adds.