[Market-farming] equipment sharing

Etienne Goyer etienne at lejardinduvillage.ca
Fri Jan 9 08:56:47 EST 2015

On 15-01-08 10:59 PM, Brian Luton via Market-farming wrote:
> As a grower I've thought about equipment sharing like you mention. It
> could in theory work well. The obvious logistical challenges being who
> actually purchases and depreciates the equipment, who's responsible for
> damage, maintenance, etc and how is hauling, usage, etc allocated. 

With a CUMA, farmers (five of them at a minimum) buy a share in the
coop.  This initial investment correspond to the principal (usually,
20%) of a loan to purchase the equipment new.  The equipment is then
bought on a loan, at credit.  The CUMA itself owns the equipment, the
farmers in turn own a share of the CUMA.

Each individual farmer pays the CUMA, on a yearly basis, prorated
according to his usage of the equipment.  This annuity covers loan
payment and any other expense the CUMA may incur, such as insurance.  If
your usage cover 10% of the total equipment usage for the year, you pay
10% of all the cost, and so on.  I believe (although I am not 100%
positive) that this annuity is expensed directly by the individual
farmer (kinda like it would if the equipment was rented).

Hauling the equipment is on the farmer.  You need the equipment, you go
get it yourself where it is being stored (typically, a member's farm).
CUMA members have to be geographically close for the system to work
well, I guess, within 20 or 30 miles of each others.

My understanding is that when the loan on the shared equipment is paid
off, it is usually being sold.  The 20% downpayment is paid back to the
farmer, if the proceeding from the sale allows it.  The CUMA would then
buy brand new equipment, again at credit.  That way, the CUMA members
always operate equipments that are relatively new and in good condition.
 That this kind of arrangement works best for costly equipment that are
used infrequently.  Seeders, primary tillage tool, manure spreader, that
kind of thing.

As I said, my understanding of the system is superficial, as I am not a
member of any CUMA.  I understand that there are, as it is, about 60
active CUMA in Québec.  In France, there are many thousands.  Here is a
good document that describe the working of a CUMA and the legal
framework around it:


Unfortunately, this document is entirely in French, and thus of very
limited use to most of you.  If you have specific questions, I would be
glad to look the pertinent part in the document and translate it as best
as I can.

Etienne Goyer  -  Le Jardin du Village

"Changer le monde, une betterave à la fois"

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