HAVING the right farm equipment and machinery is essential t o the successful running of their business but, unfortunately, with new machinery also comes a large financial investment.

Because investing in farm machinery is such a big financial commitment, it's always important to look at all your options and properly assess your needs before taking the financial plunge.

The first step when investing in farm machinery is to set yourself a budget, as there is no sense in investing in new machinery that you cannot afford and will lead to financial trouble down the line.

Also suss out what size equipment will serve your needs and what features you need and can do without.

Try to invest in something that can serve multiple purposes and can be adapted for further uses – a tip that will probably save you money in the long run.

With everyone anxious to save money in the current economic climate, deciding whether to use new or used equipment is an important choice for many. However, it's important to remember that purchasing used machinery has many disadvantages.

While it may be more expensive, new machinery and equipment comes with the comfort of greater reliability, while its new technologies result in increased efficiency and productivity.

Brand new machinery also comes with a warranty, should anything go wrong - which is not an option when buying a second hand product.

It's also worth remembering that buying used equipment means you are buying the unused service life of the machinery so consider how the equipment has been maintained and repaired as there are no guarantees.

When it comes to paying for your new purchase, farmers purchasing new machinery may also find it easier to secure a loan or finance, whereas used items usually require an one off payment up front.

When making up your mind about what machinery you intend to buy, be sure you are comfortable with the price. There's no point spending time on mechanical evaluations if the asking price is too high.

And always remember that the safest route for any buyer is to deal with a reputable, local farm machinery dealer. That way you can rest assured that you are getting the best value, service and reliability for your money.