Grain Cart Tracks With A Two Year Payback
Recent Study Shows the Value Added of Grain Cart Tracks Compared to Flotation Tires
We all realize that equipping your grain cart with tracks helps reduce compaction, which will result in greater yields. But it has been somewhat difficult to quantify the added benefit grain cart tracks can offer and determine if the increased price for tracks makes economic sense. A recent study conducted by a prominent U.S. agricultural college* may help quantify the return on investment grain cart tracks can provide. From their research, we’ve determined that a grain cart equipped with large tracks increased corn yield by approximately 17 bushels per acre over the trafficked area compared to flotation tires.
Therefore, if we assume the trafficked area of the grain cart when harvesting is approximately ⅓ of the overall area, then a net increase in bushels would be realized for 333 acres of every 1,000 acres of corn harvested. And if we assume an average price of corn at $3.50 per bushel, the net increase in revenue for every 1,000 acres of corn harvested with a large track undercarriage would equate to $19,813.50 (333 acres × 17 bushels/acre increase × $3.50 bushels).
With a typical added cost of tracks over flotation tires of $40,000, the payback period to recover the cost of the tracks is approximately 2 years when harvesting 1,000 acres of corn per year.
*Klopfenstein, A.A. (2016). "Soil Compaction: Tracks vs. Tires 1000+ Grain Carts" Research Presentation: The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Target Ground Pressure
Manage Compaction to Preserve Your Yield
Since soil compaction can reduce yields, researchers have recently been able to pinpoint the optimal ground pressure to keep soil compaction to a minimum. Several studies conclude ground pressure of 15 psi or greater can lead to yield loss of up to 20%. J&M engineers designed the Stabilizer Trax2 and V4 Tracks so that ground pressure remains under 15 psi for grain carts on tracks up to 2,000 bushel capacity.