Citation
Socio-economic and operational variables of Jordan Highlands custom equipment operators

Material Information

Title:
Socio-economic and operational variables of Jordan Highlands custom equipment operators
Creator:
Ministry of Agriculture, National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
Al-Kadi, A. F.
Galt, D. L.
Aldworth, W. R.
Ghraibeh, E.
El-Hadi, M. A.
Masarwa, M.
Hbahbeh, H.
Al-Kayed, O.
Place of Publication:
Amman, Jordan
Publisher:
Ministry of Agriculture, National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
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Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- Jordan

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Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.

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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services (UFDC@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
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64067452 ( OCLC )

Full Text
-9 o 5
MOA/NCARTT/Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Research Report No. 0189
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND OPERATIONAL VARIABLES
OF JORDAN HIGHLANDS CUSTOM EQUIPMENT OPERATORS October 29, 1989 by
A. F. Al-Kadi D. L. Galt W. R. Aldworth E. Ghraibeh M. A. El-Hadi M. Masarwa H. Hbahbeh 0. Al-Kayed
Published by The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Agriculture National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Supported by The United States Agency for International Development Through Contract with The Consortium for International Development via Washington State University Implementing The Jordan National Agricultural Development Project (JNADP)
Amman, Jordan




MOA/NCARTT/Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Research Report No. 0189
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND OPERATIONAL VARIABLES
OF JORDAN HIGHLANDS CUSTOM EQUIPMENT OPERATORS October 29, 1989 by
A. F. Al-Kadi D. L. Galt W. R. Aldworth E. Ghraibeh M. A. El-Hadi M. Masarwa H. Hbahbeh 0. Al-Kayed
Published by The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Agriculture National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Supported by The United States Agency for International Development Through Contract with The Consortium for International Development via Washington State University Implementing The Jordan National Agricultural Development Project (JNADP)
Amman, Jordan




MOA/NCARTT Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Research Report No. 0189
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND OPERATIONAL VARIABLES
OF JORDAN HIGHLANDS CUSTOM EQUIPMENT OPERATORS
October 29, 1989
by
A. F. Al-Kadi D. L. Galt W. R. Aldworth E. Ghraibeh M. A. El-Hadi M. Masarwa H. Hbahbeh O. Al-Kayed
i/
The authors are, respectively, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (MEU), NCARTT/MOA; NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist; former NCARTT/JNADP/ACDI agribusiness specialist; Ramtha RASC socio-economist; Mushaqar RASC socio-economist; Rabba RASC socio-economist; Shoubak RASC socio-economist; and MEU headquarters socio-economist.




TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES................... . ... .. .. ..
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.....................................V
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY........................3
INTRODUCTION..........................................6
PURPOSE.................................6
METHODS.............................................6
ANALYSIS................................7
RESULTS.............................................7
INFORMATION ABOUT CUSTOM OPERATORS.................7
Personal Characteristics...............7
Farms of Custom Operators.....................8
Profitability of Custom Operations............8
INFORMATION ABOUT FARMERS SERVED BY CUSTOM OPERATORS . 9 AGE OF EQUIPMENT OPERATED AND CONDITION WHEN PURCHASED 11 WHICH EQUIPMENT EARNS THE MOST MONEY FOR OPERATORS? . 11 EQUIPMENT OPERATORS PREFER TO PURCHASE NEXT........13 INFORMATION ABOUT FARMING HABITS....................16
SPECIFICS AND COSTS OF TRACTOR OPERATION. .............19
Some specifics of Custom operator Tractor
operation................................19
PARAMETERS OF TRACTORS ................................20
Cost Estimates of Owning Various Combinations of
Implements..............................21
Cost Estimates of Custom Operator Tractor
operation................................24
Cost of operation based on reported (declared)
value ....................................23
cost of operation based on machinery
replacement cost.................23
Cost of operation based on the theoretical
method...................................24
Break-even point analysis............24
Estimate of Farm Implement Profitability ..25
Estimate on Return on Investment for Selected
Farm Implement Combinations. ...............26
(1) Return on Investment: tractor + disc plow.....................26
(2) Return on Investment: tractor +
chisel plow + grain drill + f ield sprayer........................27
SUMMARY OF' CUSTOM OPERATOR TRAINING NEEDS...........27
CONCLUSION...............................................28
REFERENCES .. .. .. .. ... .. ... ... ... .....30
ARABIC SUMMARY OF REPORT....................32
ii




LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
TABLE 1: Information About Custom Operators TABLE 2: Information About Farmers Served by Custom Operators TABLE 3: Age Of Equipment Operated TABLE 4: Equipment Earning The Most Money For Operators TABLE 5: Which Equipment Operators Prefer To Purchase Next TABLT*E 6: Information About Moisture Conservation And Plowing TABLE 7: Information About Planting And Grain Drills TABLE 8: Information About Farmers' Fertilizer Use TABLE 9: Information About Weed Control And Timing Of Sprays TABLE 10: Specifics Of Tractor Operation TABLE 11: Selected Parameters Of Tractors TABLE 12: Implement Widths And Costs TABLE 13: Frequencies And Costs Of Farm Implement Combinations TABLE 14: Cost Of Selected Farm Machinery Operation (Using Reported [Declared] Value)
TABLE 15: Cost Of Selected Farm Machinery Operation (using Replacement Cost)
TABLE 16: Cost Of Selected Farm Machinery Operation (Using The Theoretical Method)
TABLE 17: Cost Of Selected Farm Machinery operation (Summary Of All Methods Used)
TABLE 18: Estimated Profit To Jordanian Custom Operators From Using Selected Types of Farm Implements TABLE 19: Information About Training Needs Of Custom Operators FIGURE 1: Dunums To Cover Annually To Break Even FIGURE 2a: Profit Per Dunum, Selected Farm Implements FIGURE 2b: Profit Per Day, Selected Farm Implements iii




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of many individuals to this report.
Firstly, those 102 farmers and farmer-custom operators in the four RASC areas of Ramtha, Mushaqar, Rabba and Shoubak who were so patient in allowing interviews of their operations to take place. Without their information, this whole activity would have been meaningless.
Secondly, the Jordan Cooperative Organization (JCO) and Dr. Grenzebach, for providing both excellent initial advice and sets of cost estimates for different pieces of farm equipment. These contacts were very important for allowing the survey to be carried out and for verifying that data collected supported cost and profit estimates which were not far out of line with other independent estimates.
Thirdly, individuals who provided input and reaction to either the study or earlier drafts of this report. From this group of individuals, Mr. Naji Haddadin, Head, Soils and Irrigation Section, NCARTT, Dr. Sulieman Arabiat, Dean, College of Agriculture, University of Jordan, and Mr. Tell, Director General, JCO, deserve to be singled out for special thanks.
Finally, for their roles in facilitating logistics and travel, from NCARTT headquarters, Dr. Y. Rushdi (on behalf of NCARTT), Dr. J. Maguire (on behalf of the JNADP), and, from the four RASCs of Ramtha, Mushaqar, Rabba and Shoubak, Dr. Nouriddin Al-Shbool, Mr. Khaled Zakaria, Mr. Khaled Nawaiseh, and Mr. Omar Abu-Karaki.
iv




EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This summary presents (1) some of the more important findings of the Custom Operator Survey, and (2) major recommendations from the analysis of the data. The survey was carried out by regional
staf f of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of NCARTT during December, 1988, and January, 1989.
(1) IMPORTANT FINDINGS:
(A) The average Jordanian Highlands tractor owner is 47
years old, has been operating a custom agricultural equipment operation for 14 years, and has completed five years of formal education. He is a farmer as well: 82% of operators surveyed also farm holdings which average about 45 ha each. He spends between
55% and two-thirds of his operating time working on farms of others, serves about 65 other farmers per year, while covering about 4,500 dm (450 ha) Only about 1% of registered tractor owners serve only their own needs.
(B) The average tractor is 11.6 years old, was purchased for JID 3,700, is of 64 Hp capacity, and has been owned for 6.7 years by its present owner. It is operated an average of eight hours per day for five months a year.
(C) The two most commonly-owned farm implements are the
disc plow (owned by 87% of the operators) and the water tank (owned by 65% of the operators). operators report owning a total of 33 different combinations of farm implements. The four most common combinations are: (1) Disc plow only, (2) Disc plow + Water tank,
(3) Disc plow + Moldboard plow + Water tank, and (tied for fourth)
(4) Disc plow + Moldboard plow and (4) Disc plow + Thresher. Very
few grain drills or chisel plows are owned in the Jordan Highlands. These are the implements NCARTT recommends in the cultivation of
Highlands cereal crops, both to increase operational efficiency and to conserve soil moisture.
(D) The water tank is reported to be the biggest moneymaker by the most custom operators. However, 100% of the owners of the grain combine and the grain drill state that these implements are the top money-making farm implements.
(E) A cost of operation analysis using three methods (reported value, replacement cost, and the theoretical model) revealed total operating costs respectively for an average tractor pulling the following farm implements to be:
3




TOTAL COSTS, JD/DUNUM
OPERATING COST -- IN JDs -OF TRACTOR AND: REPORTED VALUE REPLACEMENT THEORETICAL
Moldboard Plow 0.436 0.609 0.646
chisel Plow 0.226 0.304 0.323
Grain Drill 0.363 0.379 0.426
Field Sprayer 0.136 0.177 0.066
(F) The moldboard plow is eight to 13 times less profitable than' the chisel plow, the grain drill or the field sprayer. The field sprayer is estimated to be the most profitable of these non-traditional implements, returning an average profit of JD 51 per day (compared to JD 4 for the moldboard plow.)
(G) More custom operators prefer to buy a grain drill next than any other piece of farm equipment. The following table summarizes farmer priorities for purchasing new farm equipment:
GROUP 1: HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Grain drill
GROUP 2: HIGH PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Moldboard plow
combine
Field sprayer
Thresher
GROUP 3: INTERMEDIATE PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Water tank
GROUP 4: LOW PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Cultivator
Disc plow
Chisel plow
GROUP 5: LOWEST PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Rototiller
Tractor
(H) Where the Jordan Cooperative Organization (JCO) operates equipment stations, farmers generally know about new cereals technology and the field equipment used in its practice.
When questionnaires are compared between Highland regions, however, Shoubak stands out as the region least informed about the purpose
of the chisel plow, grain drill and field sprayer. This may partly explain why Shoubak farmers have been the slowest to adopt new NCARTT/MOA cereals technology.
(I) The survey revealed two important general
4




misconceptions which are common among custom operators: (1) the
chisel plow is often confused with the cultivator, and (2) the majority of operators report that their farmers believe soil moisture can be conserved by deep plowing. Farmer's understanding in regard to soil moisture may be just the opposite of the truth: judicious use of a chisel plow, minimizing surface disturbance of the soil while providing for good water and plantlet root penetration, may be much mcre efficient in conserving moisture in crro-;Arincr cereals in the Jordan Highlands.
(J) Only 13% of the custom operators keep business
records, yet 63% of those surveyed report that their businesses are profitable. How they determine such profit without keeping records is a mystery, especially given the recent devaluation of the Jordanian Dinar.
(2) MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
(A) This group of custom operators/farmers is a natural
group for research and technology transfer ideas which focus on farm equipment (the grain drill, cultivator and chisel plow, as well as the field sprayer, combine and thresher). We recommend training this group in the following prioritized areas:
1. Maintenance of their equipment.
2. Improved agronomic techniques.
(B) These interviewed custom operators feel little need for training in farm record keeping to quantify their costs and to
allow prof it calculations to be made. Given the recent devaluation of the Jordanian Dinar, this attitude will probably change. We recommend a follow-up survey to determine (a) how custom operators determine that they are making a profit without keeping records, and (b) if more of them see the value of keeping farm record books since the devaluation of the dinar.
(C) Since tractors are idle seven months of the year, the availability of more appropriate farm equipment -- especially
the chisel plow, grain drill and field sprayer -- will allow custom operators to operate their tractors longer, raising efficiency of use. Thus, we recommend introducing, providing training for, and innovative financing the purchase of, such implements in the Highlands.
5




INTRODUCTION
This report analyzes selected practices and socio-economic variables of a sample of 102 Jordanian highlands custom equipment operators. The survey instrument (questionnaire) was developed by researchers at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT) in the Machinery Unit and the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (MEU). The draft questionnaire was field-tested in Ramtha and Irbid by researchers from these two units on November 17, 1988. The questionnaire was revised to take into account the results of the field test, then it was duplicated at NCARTT and distributed to regional MEU field staff.
The custom operators were interviewed by the regional field staff of the MEU during the months of December, 1988, and January, 1989. Four Jordanian highlands Regional Agricultural Service Centers (RASCs) were selected for these interviews. They were:
(1) Ramtha, in the northern part of the Heshemite Kingdom of Jordan, bordering Syria to the North and East; (2) Mushaqar, in the central part of the Kingdom immediately South of Amman; (3) Rabba, in the South central part of the Kingdom; and (4) Shoubak, between Rabba and Aqaba.
PURPOSE
The purpose of the survey was to provide some initial quantitative data to NCARTT Sections and to the MOA regarding the group which provides custom tractor-based services to Jordan Highlands farmers. The survey was underway before "emphasis of the private sector in agriculture" became a national priority. For these reasons, the survey instrument was of limited scope and not all-inclusive. For the interested reader, both Arabic and English copies of the final version of the questionnaire are included as the appendix to this report.
METHODS
Working with selected extension subject matter specialists (SMSs), MEU regional field staff interviewed custom equipment operators selected from (1) current (1988) directorate lists of registered tractor owners, or (2) from those identified as custom operators. The sampled group consisted in turn of (1) those performing custom operations only, (2) those performing custom operations and farming their own holdings, and (3) those farming only, but owning a tractor. A total of 102 custom operators were interviewed: 30 in Ramtha, 23 in Mushaqar, 29 in Rabba and 20 in Shoubak.
The resulting data were entered into Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets, which had been developed for the analysis, during the months of February and March, 1989. Data entry was accomplished by a
combination of each regional MEU staff member and a MEU
6




headquarters staff member. Since most MEU staff members had little or no experience using Lotus, they received informal training in data entry and the basics of spreadsheets, with emphasis on handson data entry. They were then given the responsibility of entering data collected from their own RASC.
ANALYSIS
Analysis of the data was confined to the following basic statistical parameters: (1) means, (2) maximums, (3) minimums, and (4) percentages. Analysis was also confined to those variables of immediate interest to either the MEU or the Machinery Unit of the Cereals Section.
A list of these variables includes: (1) Age of operator; (2) Number of years as custom operator; (3) Years of formal education of operator; (4) Average age of custom equipment owned; (5) Equipment operators prefer to purchase next; (6) Distance travelled to zi farmer-customer; (7) Size of holding serviced; (8) Number of farter-customers served; (9) Which equipment earns the most dinars?;
(10) Average dunums per hour covered by (a) Grain drills, (b) Plows, and (c) Sprayers; (11) Number of hours to empty a full tank of fuel in the operator's tractor; (12) Liters of fuel held in a full tank in the operator's tractor; (13) Liters of fuel consumed in one hour of pulling a moldboard plow with the operator's tractor; (14)Price paid for fuel, in fils/liter; (15) Does the operator turn a profit in his custom business? (16) Number of tractors owned by those surveyed; (17) Age of tractors owned; (18) Number of years tractors have been owned by operators; (19) Average horsepower of tractors; (20) Average cost of tractors; (21) Number of drivers hired by operators; (22) Number of hours per day tractors are in use; (23) Number of months per year tractors are in use; (24) Tractor driver's average monthly salary; and (25) Training: (a) Is training a perceived need of operators? (b) If so, what types of training do they prefer?
RESULTS
Discussion of the results of the analysis are presented along with several tables. Each table contains the data for one (or more) of the selected variables for each of the four RASCs. The accompanying text highlights important findings and draws some research and policy conclusions.
INFORMATION ABOUT CUSTOM OPERATORS
Personal Characteristics
According to the custom operators interviewed during the survey, their average age is about 47 years. This ranges from a low of 41 (in Shoubak) to a high of 50 (in both Ramtha and Mushaqar) (TABLE 1). The average amount of time custom operators
7




TABLE 1:
INFORMATION ABOUT CUSTOM OPERATORS
...........................................................................................................................
RASC
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE ALL RASCs
VARIABLE AVG* MIN* MAX* AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG** MIN** MAX**
Age of Custom Operator 50 22 70 50 36 70 47 27 70 41 27 60 47 28 68
Number Years Custom Operator 12 1 29 16 1 33 18 2 50 10 1 20 14 1 34
Number Years School Attended 5 0 14 5 0 16 5 0 16 5 0 12 5 0 15
Size of Operator's Farm, dm 314 7 2000 900 119 5641 464 64 2000 137 21 870 454 51 2599
Percent Operators Who Farm 77% 87% 83% 80% 82%
Percent Operations Profitable 50% 42% 95% 61% 63%
Percent Operations Unprofitable 50% 58% 5% 39% 37%
Percent Custom Operators Who 17% 0% 10% 29% 13%
Keep Business Records
Percent Custom Operators Who 83% 100% 90% 71% 87%
Keep No Business Records
Percent Custom Operators Wanting 53% 5% 43% 59% 41%
to Keep (or Improve) Records
Percent Operators Who Do Not Want 47% 95% 57% 41% 59%
to Keep (or Improve) Records
...........................................................................................................................
* AVG = Average (mean) of values reported; MIN = The minimum value reported; MAX = The maximum value reported
** These averages, minimums and maximums are weighted by the number of custom operators interviewed in each RASC.




have spent in the custom operating business is 14 years, ranging from a low of 10 year (in Shoubak) to a high of 18 years (in Rabba). Likewise, the average custom operator has completed less than a primary school education. Custom operators average five years of schooling, and there is no difference in this parameter between RASCs (TABLE 1).
Farms of Custom Operators
There is tremendous variability in the size of holdings of the sampled custom operators. While the average size of holding for the group is 454 dm, this varies from a low of seven dunums (in Ramtha) to a high of 5,641 dm (in Mushaqar) (TABLE 1).
Regardless of this high variability between holding size, it can be seen that most custom operators farm as well as operate their custom equipment business. On the average, 82% of the custom operators surveyed also farm, ranging from a low of 77% (in Ramtha) to a high of 87% (in Mushaqar).
From data reported later in the report (Custom Operator Survey, Section III), the hypothesis that custom operators are major farmers as well, who often use their custom operation business to help pay for their farm implements, receives even greater validity. While these data must be interpreted with caution (as they are based on a one-time recall questionnaire), the custom operators in Ramtha estimate that they spend 31% of their tractor operating time annually (58 of 185 days) on their own farm. Estimates for custom operators in Rabba are even more striking: they estimate that they spend 46% of their tractor operating time annually (121 of 261 days) on their own farms. (Estimates from custom operators in Mushaqar and Shoubak were not forthcoming, as the interviewees were unwilling to provide daily tractor use estimates on a monthly basis from recall alone).
Profitability of Custom Operations
It is revealing that very few operators keep systematic records of their custom operating business. The percentage of those keeping records averages only 13%, ranging from a low of 0% (in Mushaqar) to a high of 29% (in Shoubak), but that more than 40% of those interviewed indicate a need to either start keeping records or to improve the records they do keep (TABLE 1).
How do the custom operators view their business with respect to profit? It is revealing that more than 60% of these operators consider their operations are profitable (63%), while 37% of them believe their operations are not profitable (TABLE 1). The
question must be asked: if only 13% of custom operators keep records, how do the rest determine whether their custom operations are profitable or not?
8




We would argue that the most positive statements which can be made in answer to this question are: (1) the vast majority of
custom operators keep no farm record books, and therefore do not
know if their businesses operate at a profit or loss, and (2) while about 40% of the custom operators interviewed indicated an interest in learning to keep farm records, it is surprising that more did not indicate such an interest. This is especially true given the recent and current instability of the Jordanian Dinar, an instability which introduces more uncertainty into pricing
operations and more need for a systematic set of records. Finally, it is also of interest to note that the region with the lowest percentage of record-keepers (Mushaqar) is also the region with the least interest (only 5% of the custom operators surveyed) in keeping formal business records (TABLE 1).
INFORMATION ABOUT FARMERS SERVED BY CUSTOM OPERATORS
The custom operators surveyed reported that they serve, on average, 65 farmers per year. As expected, there is great
variability in the average number of customers served, ranging from a low of three (in Mushaqar) to a high of 400 (also in Mushaqar)
(TABLE 2). Even the average number of farmers served varies a good deal, from a low of 30 (Rabba) to a high of 153 (Shoubak) ((TABLE 2).
It should be kept in mind that a given custom operator seldom serves all the needs of his customer farmers. Often, the custom operator hired for land preparation and planting is not the
operator who is hired to spray weeds. Finally, a third custom
operator may be hired to harvest the crop, or thresh it. We assume that it takes one custom operator to uniquely serve 30 Jordanian farmers in the Highlands. Assuming (1) there are 60,000 farmers in Jordan, (2) 30,000 of them operate in the Highlands, and (3) very few farmers own agricultural equipment which is not used on
other farms, it is calculated that a minimum of approximately 1,000 custom operators are needed to serve the cultivation needs of these Highland farmers (30,000/30 = 1,000).
The greatest distance traveled by an operator to a farm is quite variable around an average of 39 kin, ranging from a low of two km (in Ramtha) to a high of 300 km (in Mushaqar). Of course, the accuracy o'f a number such as 300 km should be questioned, as Jorc~an only measures about 400 km from the northern to the southern border. Even the "average" greatest distance traveled varies from a low of 15 km in Shoubak to a high of 82 km in Mushaqar (TABLE 2).
What are the smallest and largest parcels served by custom operators? The average-sized smallest parcel which would be served by custom operators is reported to be 17 dm (1.7 ha), ranging from a low of two dm (0.2 ha) in Shoubak to a high of 400 dm (40 ha) in Mushaqar. Similarly, the average-sized largest parcel a custom operator would serve is 432 din, ranging from a low of 15 din (1.5
9




TABLE 2:
INFORMATION ABOUT FARMERS SERVED BY CUSTOM OPERATORS
RASC
RAMTIIHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE ALL RASCs
VARIABLE AVG* MIN* MAX* AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG** MIN** MAX**
Number of Farmers Served Annually 47 10 150 58 3 400 30 5 200 153 10 200 65 7 230
by Custom Cperators
Greatest Distance Travelled to a 19 2 150 82 10 300 21 10 40 46 15 100 39 9 143
Field by Custom Operators, km
Smallest Size of Field Served 3 1 20 53 5 400 14 4 50 2 1 15 17 3 113
by Custom Operators, dm
Largest Size of Field Served 134 15 500 1224 200 6000 291 150 1000 174 40 800 432 100 1941
by Custom Operators, dm
...........................................................................................................................
* AVG = Average (mean) of values reported; MIN = The minimum value reported; MAX = The maximum value reported
** These averages, minimums and maximums are weighted by the number of custom operators interviewed in each RASC.




ha) in Ramtha to a high of 6000 dm (600 ha) in Mushaqar (TABLE 2).
The questionnaire did not ask operators to estimate the average farm size of the farmers they served, nor did it ask for the total dunums served. However, previous studies (El-Hurani, 1984; Oglah and Jaradat, 1988) do provide estimates for the average size of cultivated holding devoted to cereals in parts of the Jordan Highlands. These holdings are given as 61 dm barley and 33 dm wheat for the Mafraq area (Oglah and Jaradat, 1988) and as 65 dm of cereals for the Irbid (Ramtha) area and 94 dm of cereals for the Kerak (Rabba) area (El-Hurani, 1984). The latter source also provides an estimate for the average cereals holding across the Jordan Highlands as being about 80 dm. Using these figures and those provided in TABLE 2, it is assumed that the average cereals holding in the four RASC areas are:
1. Ramtha: 65 dm (6.5 ha), 2. Mushaqar: 120 dm (12 ha),
3. Rabba: 94 dm (9.4 ha), and
4. Shoubak: 40 dm (4 ha).
We can use these assumed average holding sizes to estimate how many dunums the "average" custom operator can serve on an annual basis in any of the regions surveyed. For the four RASC areas, the average custom operator serves 3,055 dm in the Ramtha area (65 dm x 47 farmers), 6,960 dm in the Mushaqar area (120 dm x 58 farmers), 2,820 in the Rabba area (94 dm x 30 farmers), and 6,120 dm in the Shoubak area (40 dm x 153 farmers). Again assuming the custom operators surveyed are representative of their areas and the Jordan Highlands, the average area served by a given custom operator in the Highlands is about 4500 dm (450 ha) across the four regions.
Since we have already determined that very few of the farmers in the Jordan Highlands who own tractors are only farmers (1% among the custom operators surveyed), we can conclude that custom operators form a natural and large focal group for targeting agricultural research and technology transfer ideas based on the current or potential use of farm implements. Some of these
technologies may include cereal crop technologies (early planting, proper seed placement and fertilization attributable to the use of grain drills, for example), spraying of weeds in cereals and pests in fruit trees and vegetables, and threshing grain crops.
While it is true that working to strengthen this area of the private sector is a non-traditional role for the MOA, it is easier if we remember that just as Jordanian farmers are all private entrepreneurs, so are custom operators. Finally, it must be remembered that most custom operators -- 82% of those surveyed (TABLE 1) -- are also farmers themselves.
10




AGE OF EQUIPMENT OPERATED AND CONDITION WHEN PURCHASED
The data on average age of equipment is incomplete. For each type of implement, the custom operators were asked how long they had owned each piece. However, only in the case of tractors were
the custom operators asked both the date of manufacture and how long they had owned the equipment. These dates may be quite
different. For example, the average tractor is 11.6 years old, while the average time it has been owned by the interviewed custom operator is only 6.7 years (TABLE 3). However, most of the farm
implements owned by those operators surveyed are less than 10 years of age. The average amount of time these operators have owned their equipment is about five years (TABLE 3).
As all surveyed custom operators owned at least one licensed tractor in 1988, it is not surprising that slightly more tractors are owned (108) than operators surveyed (102) (TABLE 3). In terms of the frequency of farm implements owned in addition to tractors, the two most common are the disc plow (90 operators, about 87% of
them have one) and the water tank (66 operators, about 65% of them have one) followed by the moldboard plow, which is owned by 58 (56%) of the custom operators interviewed (TABLE 3). Very few
grain drills (five in all four regions), cultivators (one in all four regions), or rototillers (none in all four regions) are owned by thie surveyed custom operators (TABLE 3). Yet the grain drill
is one of the very implements that NCARTT scientists believe should be used by farmers to plant and cultivate their cereal crops. There is obviously room for a campaign to train owners in the use of these implements, accompanied by increasing their availability
(through imports or construction here in Jordan) and increasing their purchase (through innovative loans to custom operators).
There are important regional differences among farm equipment owned. For example, custom operators in Rabba own eight field sprayers, or more than 60% of all sprayers owned in the four regions. This may be an indication of the importance of cereals in the Ramtha area. Similarly, while 25 of the custom operators
surveyed in Ramtha own moldboard plows (83% of operators), only two in Shoubak own this implement (10% of operators) (TABLE 3). This
may be because the Shoubak area is characterized more by fruit trees than cereals, and the disc plow (100% of Shoubak custom operators own them) is the more appropriate tool for cultivation in fruit orchards (TABLE 3).
WHICH EQUIPMENT EARNS THE MOST MONEY FOR OPERATORS?
Farm records would be necessary to demonstrate the profitability of any piece of agricultural equipment. While we
have already seen that less than 20% of the custom operators interviewed keep farm records, they all offer opinions as to whether or not their businesses are profitable. In designing the questionnaire, it was hypothesized that most custom operators did
11




TABLE 3:
AGE OF EQUIPMENT OPERATED
RASC
............................................................
TOTAL,
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs
YEARS OPERATOR HAS OWNED THE ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------TRACTOR OR PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AVG* NUM* AVG NUM AVG NUM AVG NUM AVG** NUM
Tractor 5 30 10 24 7 34 5 20 6.7 108
(Age of Tractor) 12 30 13 24 10 34 12 20 11.6 108
Grain Drittll 0 2 3 1 2 0 1.6 5
Moldboard Plow 5 25 7 18 7 14 2 1 6.1 58
Disc Plow 6 25 9 18 7 27 13 20 8.5 90
Chisel Plow 3 6 5 6 4 14 5 2 4.1 28
Cultivator 0 0 0 7 1 7.0 1
Water Tank 5 19 7 14 4 30 6 3 5.0 66
Field Sprayer 2 2 2 2 6 8 2 1 4.5 13
Thresher 4 9 4 2 7 6 13 12 8.3 29
Rototitler 0 0 0 0 0
Other (Trolley) 0 0 0 0 0
* AVG = Average (mean) of values reported; NUM = The number of operators owning the tractor or piece of equipment
** These averages are weighted by the number of pieces of equipment owned in each RASC.




not keep records. Because of this, it was decided to ask custom
operators which piece of equipment earned the most money, not which piece was most profitable.
We have seen that most custom operators do not keep business records. Therefore, since most of these responses are based on recall and not balance sheets, the data presented in the remainder of this section must be interpreted with special caution.
In terms of numbers, the piece of farm machinery which the surveyed custom operators believe earns the most money for them is the water tank. This farm implement is selected as earning the most money by 21 custom operators (TABLE 4), representing 29% of all implements believed to earn the most money for custom operators. Overall, 43% of operators who owned water tanks responded that it earned them the most money, ranging from a low of 21% (in Mushaqar) to a high of 74% (in Ramtha) Perhaps the value of a water tank should not be underestimated in a country where water is often the most scarce natural resource.
other farm implements which were perceived as earning the most money for their owners were the disc plow, in second place with 22% of operators proclaiming it the biggest money-maker; the moldboard plow, in third place with 15% of operators proclaiming it the biggest money-maker; and the thresher, in fourth place with 14% of operators proclaiming it the biggest money-maker (TABLE 4).
There is another way to analyze which farm implements earn the most money for their owners. This is to look at the percentage of owners of a given implement who think it is the biggest moneymaker. This method of analysis tends to even out those pieces of
equipment owned be a large proportion of operators with those owned by only a few operators. The final column of TABLE 4 shows that such an analysis provides a much different interpretation of the data. Using this method, the two pieces of equipment selected as earning the most money for their custom operator owners were the grain combine (100% of those owning combines selected them as the
biggest money-maker) and the grain drill (also selected by 100% of those owning them as the biggest money-maker) (TABLE 4).
This type of analysis gives us yet another indicator that providing incentives to custom operators to purchase one of these
pieces of equipment -- grain drills in this case -- may lead to greatly increased earnings for their businesses. Providing
incentives for the purchase of more grain drills would also result in an increase in the efficiency of cereal production in the Jordan Highlands and a reduction in erosion and water run-off.
There was regional variability between those farm implements perceived to be the biggest money-makers. For example, in Ramtha, the water tank is seen to make an extraordinarily high proportion of its owners the most money (selected as representing 48% of all
12




TABLE 4:
EQUIPMENT EARNING THE MOST MONEY FOR OPERATORS
.........................................................................................................................
RASC
RAMTHA* MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE ALL RASCs
NO. RE- NO. RE- NO. RE- NO. RE- NO. REPORTING PORTING PORTING PORTING PORTING
"EARNS "EARNS "EARNS "EARNS "EARNS
NO. MOST NO. MOST NO. MOST NO. MOST NO. MOST
PIECE OF FARM EQUIPMENT OWNED MONEY" % OWNED MONEY" % OWNED MONEY" % OWNED MONEY" % OWNED MONEY" %
Combine 0 0 0 0 1 1100% 0 0 1 1100%
Grain Drill 0 0 3 3 100% 2 2 100% 0 0 5 5 100%
Moldboard Plow 25 9 36% 18 1 6% 14 1 7% 1 0 0% 58 11 19%
Disc Plow 25 3 12% 18 1 6% 27 2 7% 20 10 50% 90 16 18%
Chisel PLow 6 2 33% 6 0 0% 14 3 21% 2 0 0% 28 5 18%
Cuttivator 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0% 1 0 0%
Water Tank 19 14 74% 14 3 21% 13 3 23% 3 1 33% 49 21 43%
Field Sprayer 0 0 2 0 0% 8 3 38% 1 0 0% 11 3 27%
Thresher 9 1 11% 2 1 50% 6 2 33% 12 6 50% 29 10 34%
Rototiler 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
* NO. OWNED = The number of implements of this type owned in each RASC; NO. REPORTING "EARNS MOST MONEY" = The number of custom operators who reported that this impetement was the one which earned him the most money among all of the implements that he owned; % = The percentage of "earned most money" to "number owned", by implement. For example, each entry in the third Column divided by each corresponding entry in the second Column for Ramtha RASC. The process of determining this percentage is the same for each RASC.
Interpretation: in general, the higher the percentage, the more money (dinars) is perceived by the custom operators interviewed to be brought into his business by each specific piece of equipment.




"most money-earners" in that region, and by 74% of water tank owners as being the biggest money-maker), while in the other three regions, this latter figure decreases to 21%, 23% and 33%, respectively (TABLE 4). only in Shoubak is the water tank not one of the biggest money-makers. Here, 50% of those owning disc plows (or 59% of all "most money-makers") report this implement to earn them the most money on average.
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS PREFER TO PURCHASE NEXT
one interesting question which was asked was, "which piece of equipment would you like to buy next?" When asking this question, the survey placed no limits on the operators. They were free to
list any piece of agricultural equipment for next purchase -including a new tractor -- regardless of price. After the
operators had responded with a list of equipment (limited to the f irst f ive items they named) they were asked to rank the equipment as to which piece they would buy first, which second, etc., ending up with which they would buy fifth.
In analyzing this question, the column labeled "WEIGHTED OPERATOR SCORE" (TABLE 5 for each RASO) provides the weighted mean of preference scores given by those custom operators select inj each piece of equipment as the one they wished to purchase next. /In
interpreting the weighted scores in TABLE 5, remember that the lower the weighted score, the more preferred for "next purchase" is that piece of farm equipment.
Very few custom operators -- only 2% overall -- indicate they would buy a tractor as one of their next purchases (TABLE 5). Since the average age of tractors in the Jordan Highlands is about
12 years, but only 2% of operators wish to buy a new one, the average useful life of a tractor -- or salvage value time may be as high as 15 or 20 years, not 10 years as assumed as standard for tractors (Castle et al., 1987).
The weighted mean score is derived by dividing the average preference score for each implement by the number of operators who placed that implement on his "preference to purchase" list. For example, in the Ramtha RASC area, select "tractor" as the next piece of farm equipment to purchase. From column 2, TABLE 5, it is seen that three operators selected tractor as one of their next purchases. The 11% OF TOTAL" column (column 3) presents the percentage of operators selecting each piece of equipment, compared to the total number of implements placed on their "prefer to purchase" list. In addition, the weighted operator score of "10.90"1 (column 4) represents the weighted average of their three preferences. In this example, the average score is 2.7 ([3+3+2]/3 = 2.7), and the weighted average score is
0.90 (2.7/3 = 0.90).
13




TABLE 5:
WHICH EQUIPMENT OPERATORS PREFER TO PURCHASE NEXT
..........................................................................................................................
RASC
RAMTHA* MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE ALL RASCs
NO. WEIGH- NO. WEIGH- NO. WEIGH- NO. WEIGH- NO. WEIGHSELEC- TED SELEC- TED SELEC- TED SELEC- TED SELEC- TED
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT TING % OPERA- TING % OPERA- TING % OPERA- TING % OPERA- TING % OPERA(FARM IMPLEMENTS) IMPLE- OF TOR IMPLE- OF TOR IMPLE- OF TOR IMPLE- OF TOR IMPLE- OF TOR
FOR OPERATOR PURCHASE MENT TOTAL SCORE MENT TOTAL SCORE MENT TOTAL SCORE MENT TOTAL SCORE MENT TOTAL SCORE
Grain Dritll 19 21% 0.09 14 24% 0.10 25 29% 0.06 2 3% 0.75 60 20% 0.10
Moldboard Plow 9 10% 0.20 1 2% 1.00 7 8% 0.21 13 22% 0.14 30 10% 0.20
Combine 11 12% 0.23 4 7% 0.25 19 22% 0.08 5 9% 0.64 39 13% 0.21
Field Sprayer 18 20% 0.11 9 16% 0.31 11 13% 0.25 5 9% 0.40 43 15% 0.22
Thresher 13 14% 0.21 8 14% 0.30 8 9% 0.29 10 17% 0.14 39 13% 0.23
Water Tank 5 5% 0.60 6 10% 0.33 4 5% 0.50 12 21% 0.19 27 9% 0.34
Cultivator 3 3% 0.67 6 10% 0.30 2 2% 2.00 7 12% 0.43 18 6% 0.60
Disc Plow 9 10% 0.24 1 2% 2.00 2 2% 1.50 2 3% 0.75 14 5% 0.62
Chisel Plow 1 1% 5.00 8 14% 0.26 6 7% 0.40 1 2% 3.00 16 5% 0.78
Rototitter 1 1% 1.00 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 0% 1.00
Tractor 3 3% 0.90 1 2% 3.00 2 2% 0.50 1 2% 2.00 7 2% 1.24
TOTALS: ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR ERR
* NO. SELECTING IMPLEMENT = The number of custom operators choosing the implement as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th implement they would buy next; % OF TOTAL = The percent of operators preferring the given implement (compared to atll preferences); WEIGHTED OPERATOR SCORE = The weighted mean of preference scores per implement, obtained by dividing the average score by the number of operators selecting the implement for their preference list (i.e., for Ramtha RASC, the tractor" was given a 2.7 average score on the list of 3 operators, so the weighted operator score is 2.7/3 = 0.90)
Interpretation of WEIGHTED OPERATOR SCORES: the LOWER the number (the closer to zero), the HIGHER is the overall operator preference for the piece of equipment. Likewise, the HIGHER this score, the LESS preference operators place on purchasing this piece of equipment.




The greatest percentage given to an implement for next purchase -- 20% of the total -- was for a grain drill (column 16, TABLE 5). This high response came in spite of the fact that less
than 25% of those interviewed knew anything about a grain drill (data summarized later from Section III of the questionnaire) .2 / Across the four RASCs, the piece of farm equipment which received the best weighted score from the operators -- meaning that this is the piece they would most like to purchase -- was also the grain drill with an overall score of 0.10 (column 16, TABLE 5.)
it is difficult to distinguish between the next four pieces
of equipment preferred. for purchase, as their weighted scores (respectively 0.20, 0.21, 0.22 and 0.23) are nearly identical. Therefore, these four pieces of equipment -- the moldboard plow, the combine, the field sprayer and the thresher'-- can be grouped
together as the types of equipment operators would prefer to purchase after the grain drill (column 16, TABLE 5). Of
intermediate need among all farm equipment is the water tank, with a weighted average score of 0.34. Finally, at the bottomlof the
priority purchase lists of operators come three implements and the tractor (lowest of all with an weighted average score of 1.24). These implements are the cultivator (0.60), the disc plow (0.62), the chisel plow (0.78) (column 16, TABLE 5).
In summarizing these weighted scores of preference for the next piece of farm equipment to be purchased by custom operators
in the Jordan Highlands, the implements arrange themselves into f ive groups. Each successive group of implements is of lower priority f or purchase. These five groups contain the following pieces of farm equipment:
GROUP 1: HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Grain drill
GROUP 2: HIGH PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Moldboard plow
combine
Field sprayer
Thresher
GROUP 3: INTERMEDIATE PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Water tank
2 /
Next to the grain drill, the piece of farm equipment
selected by the most custom operators on their shopping list is the field sprayer, selected by 15% of the total. Following the field sprayer, the combine and the thresher were next, selected by 13%, followed by the moldboard plow (selected by 10%), the water tank (selected by 9%) and the cultivator (selected by 6%) (column 16, TABLE 5).
14




GROUP 4: LOW PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Cultivator
Disc plow
Chisel plow
GROUP 5: LOWEST PRIORITY FOR PURCHASE
Rototiller
Tractor
These rankings should be interpreted with some caution. In
the f irst place, they are based on a weighted averaging process which makes the best of a situation which is less than ideal mathematically.3! In the second place, there is considerable variability in responses from region to region. This would argue against using a highlands total (or average) at the level of the equipment dealer. The rankings of operator purchase needs which
are important for this group are those provided separately for each RASC (Columns 4, 7, 10 and 13, TABLE 5) The average overall
preferences for the Jordan Highlands are important at the level of decision-makers in the GOJ responsible for formulating import
policy and affecting import incentives and disincentives. Finally, the survey size (102 interviews) is just too small to allow small apparent differences between preference rankings to be statistically significant.
In addition, the questions about the chisel plow and the cultivator caused a difficulty during the survey process. Using current Jordanian Arabic, it is impossible to distinguish between these two farm implements. It is of further interest to note that these two implements, which are also among the least recognizable
to custom operators, rank very near the bottom of the list of implements operators prefer to purchase (TABLE 5). There was some additional confusion on the part of some of the field enumerators in distinguishing between the disc plow (a heavier piece of
equipment with normally three large discs) and the disc harrow (a
lighter-framed implement with between 8-10 smaller discs) during the interview process.
As before, regional differences occur in equipment preferred by farmers for next purchase. For example, in Shoubak, the region where the smallest percentage of custom operators own water tanks, this implement was selected second (behind the moldboard plow and the thresher) (column 13, TABLE 5). Likewise of all the RASCs, only in Shoubak, an area more dominated by fruit than others, was
This mathematical difficulty is based on the fact that
preferences are given inversely to the natural assumption that "bigger is better": that is, the larger the number, the better the score.
15




the grain drill toward the bottom of the operator's shopping lists. At each of the other three RASCs, the grain drill was the most preferred implement for next purchase, scoring 0.09, 0.10 and 0.06, respectively, in Ramtha, Mushaqar and Rabba (columns 4, 7 and 10, TABLE 5) .4/
INFORMATION ABOUT FARMING HABITS
The purpose of this section is twofold: (1) to determine some selected cultural practices in rainfed cereal production in the Jordan Highlands, and (2) to determine custom operator opinions about why certain cereal cultural practices should be performed. A large variation in cereals practices exists in the surveyed regions. Besides the variability in climate and soils, probably the most valid reason for this variation is the local influence of the Jordan Cooperative Organization (JCO).
The JCO offers proper farm equipment to growers so that new cereal technologies can be practiced easier and more efficiently. In areas where the JCO has equipment stations, farmers know about the new technology and the field equipment used in its practice. When questionnaires are compared between Highland regions, Shoubak stands out as the least informed area about the purpose of the chisel plow, grain drill and field sprayer. This may be a partial explanation as to why Shoubak area farmers have been the slowest to adopt new cereals technology.
Across all regions, much confusion exists about the chisel plow. Before the enumerators went into the field, they were shown the difference between a chisel plow and a cultivator (or duckfoot) used for weed control and told that, because of its lightweight construction, the cultivator cannot be used for deep plowing as can a chisel plow.
When the enumerators went to the field, however, confusion arose between the two types of equipment. As a result of this confusion, the pieces of equipment recorded as "chisel plows" in
4/
It is of interest that 14 of the 16 operators who included the chisel plow on their shopping lists work in either the Mushaqar or Rabba RASC areas (TABLE 5). So, while this implement overall receives low priority with operators for purchase (an average weighted score of only 0.78), the chisel plow is near the top or the middle of the lists of operators in Mushaqar and Rabba, with scores of 0.26 and 0.40 respectively (Columns 7 and 10, TABLE 5). The policy implications of this be that a loan incentive program to encourage the purchase of chisel plows is most likely to succeed in the regions of Mushaqar and Rabba.
16




the farm equipment inventories sections of the questionnaire may not have chisel points and may not be heavy enough to plow to a depth of 15 cm. TABLES 3 and 12 show that 28 custom operators reported owning chisel plows, while only one reported owning a cultivator. From simple field observations, however, the actual ratio between these two pieces of equipment is probably just the reverse: approximately one chisel plow is owned for ever 28 cultivators! This means that information based on the numbers of
cultivators and chisel plows from this survey cannot be used to make conclusions or recommendations.
For this reason, we recommend that future groups dealing with
such farm equipment depend on a set of unambiguous pictures to assist in the interview process. /
The custom operators surveyed reported that 85% of the farmers they serve feel that moisture can be conserved by tillage. At the same time, 85% of those surveyed in Ramtha and Rabba, who believe
plowing results in the retention of moisture, also believe this moisture retention is due to deep plowing (TABLE 6). Observation indicates, however, that many of these fields are in fact plowed only shallowly (to a depth of no more than 6 cm) Apparently, deep plowing has given better cereal yields, but no satisfactory explanation for such higher yields has been put forward.
In terms of the original question, "can moisture be conserved in the soil?", deep plowing actually hastens moisture loss from soil. Nevertheless, deep plowing does a good job of fracturing the soil, resulting in less water run-off, better water penetration,
and easier root penetration. Further research is necessary to determine whether these valid reasons for deep plowing outweigh the more efficient and economical job done with a chisel plow. If soil moisture is the most critical factor determining yield in the cereal part of the rotation, however, a chisel plow will do a better job of conserving it than either a moldboard or a disc plow.
Thirty-nine per cent of the custom operators interviewed said that they knew about the chisel plow, but there was great variation among the regions. Rabba was the highest with 86% reporting that they had knowledge of the chisel plow, while only 15% of those at
Shoubak said they knew about it (TABLE 6). Only 28% of those
surveyed responded that there were advantages to a chisel plow. Of these respondents, an almost equal percentage -- ranging between 5-8% -- stated that the chisel plow's advantages were that it (1) was wider (and could cover more dunums/hour) ; (2) could be used for
A set of implement pictures was used to assist the
enumerators during farmer interviews at some, but not all, RASCs during this survey process.
17




TABLE 6:
INFORMATION ABOUT MOISTURE CONSERVATION AND PLOWING
RASC
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs
CUSTOM OPERATOR RESPONSES --------------------------------------------ABOUT PLOWS AND PLOWING % # % # % # % # % #
Custom operators sampled 29% 30 23% 23 28% 29 20% 20 100% 102
Moisture can be conserved 97% 29 83% 19 69% 20 95% 19 85% 87
Best way to conserve is:
By deep plowing 100% 30 69% 20 85% 50 *
Using moldboard plow 57% 13 57% 13 *
Using disc plow 30% 7 30% 7 *
You know the chisel plow 17% 5 39% 9 86% 25 15% 3 39% 40
The advantages of a
chisel plow are:
Performing last plow 3% 1 4% 1 3% 1 4% 3 *
It gives wider swath 10% 3 9% 2 7% 2 5% 1 8% 8
It is "better" 7% 2 9% 2 7% 2 7% 6 *
For deep plowing 13% 3 7% 2 10% 2 10% 7 *
To conserve moisture 22% 5 22% 5 *
The number of days farmers
plow in the month of:
October 27 26 22 25
November 27 33 ** 47 ** 23
December 18 30 40 ** 15
January 23 30
* The percentage in the "ALL RASCs" column is calculated for
those RASCs reporting, not for the whole sample of 102 custom operators.
** As there are 30 days in November and 31 in December, these custom operator estimates are obviously high.




deep plowing; (3) is "better" to use (more economical or f aster or deeper); and (4) conserved moisture (TABLE 6).
The plowing operation is performed throughout the year in all regions except Shoubak, where plowing is done from October through
December (TABLE 6) There are very f ew summer crops grown in Shoubak, which might account for this difference. In other parts of the Highlands, the heaviest use of the plow occurs during the fall, with a considerable amount again in the early spring (TABLE 6).
The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit has been pointing out some of the dangers of using a one-time survey instrument to quantify annual costs. one of the largest components of farmer's costs is labor. To assign a value to labor, an estimate of the number of days worked by task and laborer is necessary. However, if farmers or custom operators do not keep records, estimating labor use is
virtually impossible with a one-time recall survey instrument. This fact is confirmed by the data contained in the last section of TABLE 6. Here, all of the average figures reported for "number
of days farmers plow during the month" appear to be high. However, in the case of three of these averages -- those for November in Mushaqar and Rabba and that for December in Rabba -- the figures reported exceed the total number of days in the month. In the case of November in Rabba, custom operators report that they plow an average of 17 more days than exist in that entire month.6 /
Seventy-nine per cent of cereal seeding was reported to be done in November (TABLE 7). If this is in fact true, then why do the custom operators report doing so much plowing in December and January? It would be interesting to know if December-January plowing is related to the seeding of lentils and chick peas, not cereals. Further research is needed to answer this question.
Of the custom operators surveyed, 24% of them know about grain drills (TABLE 7). But 29% of these operators stated that one advantage of the grain drill was "even seed distribution", so apparently more than 24% know something about this piece of
6 /
Because of systematic over-estimation of labor use, the
reader must use figures which include either labor estimates (or costs derived from such estimates) obtained from one-time surveys with a great deal of caution in support of official research. Such figures should only be used to show possible 'trends. They cannot be relied on for absolute estimates. These data remain in this report to demonstrate one of the real dangers of collecting certain types of socio-economic data using the wrong professional tool (in this case, the one-time survey).
18




TABLE 7:
INFORMATION ABOUT PLANTING AND GRAIN DRILLS
RASC
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs CUSTOM OPERATOR RESPONSES --------------------------------------------ABOUT PLANTING AND DRILLS % # % # % # % # % #
Custom operators sampled 30 23 29 20 102
Cereals are planted in
the month of:
November 100% 92% 49% 75% 79%
December 8% 51% 15% 19%
January 10% 2%
You know the grain drill 10% 3 43% 10 31% 9 15% 3 24% 24
The advantages of a
grain drill are:
Even seed distribution 7% 2 39% 9 59% 17 10% 2 29% 30
Proper planting depth 9% 2 14% 4 15% 3 13% 9 *
The disadvantages of a
grain drill are:
It needs level ground 7% 2 13% 3 7% 2 10% 7 *
It costs a lot 9% 2 3% 1 15% 3 8% 6 *
* The percentage is of those RASCs reporting, not of the total sample (102 custom operators).




equipment. In addition, 13% gave "proper planting depth" as an advantage of the grain drill (TABLE 7). On the negative side, 10% indicated that one disadvantage of the grain drill is that "it needs level ground", while 8% mentioned that "it costs a lot" (TABLE 7). Of the five grain drill owners surveyed, one gave no advantages, four listed even distribution as an advantage, two listed depth, and one said that a disadvantage was that the drill needed level ground.
Eighty-five per cent of the custom operators in Ramtha, Mushaqar, and Rabba reported that their farmers used fertilizer (TABLE 8). In Shoubak, no fertilizer was reported as being used. The kinds of fertilizer use reported is equally split between three products: (1) Mekafos, (2) Urea, and (3) DAP (diammonium phosphate). With Jordan producing large amounts of DAP (18% nitrogen and 46% phosphorus), one might ask policy makers whether more emphasis should be placed on encouraging Jordanian farmers to use it instead of Mekafos, especially if the latter must be imported.
Eighty-eight per cent of the custom operators in the three northern directorates said their farmers sprayed their cereal crops with 2,4-D for weed control (TABLE 9). In contrast, Shoubak custom operators reported no spraying of 2,4-D. In Ramtha, spraying is all done in February; in Mushaqar, 67% of the fields are sprayed in February and the rest in March; in Rabba, all fields are sprayed in March (TABLE 9). In terms of crop size at time of spraying, most fields are sprayed when the crop is between 7 and 30 cm in height (TABLE 9).
SPECIFICS AND COSTS OF TRACTOR OPERATION
Some specifics of Custom Operator Tractor Operation
This sub-section presents a summary of some of the specifics of custom operator tractor operation. Topics covered include the amount of area covered and variables surrounding fuel capacity, consumption and price.
In overall terms, the average tractor and moldboard plow cover 6.9 dunums, or slightly more than one-half hectare, every hour. This ranges from a low of 4.7 dm/hr in Shoubak to a high of 10.2 dm/hr in Rabba (TABLE 10).
Tractors operate about one work day on a tank of fuel. The average number of hours of tractor use before emptying a full tank of fuel is 11.1. Again, this ranges from a low of 10 hr in Ramtha to a high of 12.6 hr in Shoubak. The average tractor fuel tank holds 72.6 liters (TABLE 10). The custom operators estimate that an average of seven liters of fuel are consumed per hour of field operation, ranging from a low of 6.4 in Rabba to a high of 7.4 in
19




TABLE 8:
INFORMATION ABOUT FARMERS' FERTILIZER USE RASC
CUSTOM OPERATOR RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs
RESPONSES ABOUT --------------------------------------------FERTILIZER USE % # % # % # % # % #
Custom Operators Sampled 29% 30 23% 23 28% 29 20% 20 100% 102 Farmers using fertilizer 80% 24 78% 18 97% 28 n.a. 0 85% 70 *
Type of fertilizer used
Mekafos ** 20% 6 43% 10 55% 16 n.a. n.a. 39% 32 *
Urea ** 50% 15 48% 11 24% 7 n.a. n.a. 40% 33 *
DAP ** 23% 7 30% 7 52% 15 n.a. n.a. 35% 29 *
* The percentage in the "ALL RASCs" column is calculated for those RASCs reporting, not for the total sample of 102 custom operators.
** The composition of these three fertilizers is, respectively,
Mekafos: 18% N, 18% P, 5% K, and 1.5% Mg;
Urea: 46% N; and
DAP (Diammonium phosphate): 18% N and 46% P.
n.a. = does not apply.




TABLE 9:
INFORMATION ABOUT WEED CONTROL AND TIMING OF SPRAYS
RASC
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs CUSTOM OPERATOR RESPONSES --------------------------------------------ABOUT WEED CONTROL % # % # % # % # % #
Custom operators sampled 29% 30 23% 23 28% 29 20% 20 100% 102
Farmers spray for weeds 80% 24 83% 19 100% 29 88% 72 *
Farmers spray for weeds
during the months of:
February 100% 24 68% 13 51% 37 *
March 32% 6 100% 29 49% 35 *
Crop size when sprayed is:
< 7 cm 7% 2 4% 1 7% 2 9% 5 *
7 10 cm 30% 9 17% 5 25% 14 *
10 30 cm 40% 12 13% 3 66% 19 62% 34 *
> 30 cm 7% 2 4% 2 *
Weed size when sprayed is:
Small 7% 2 4% 1 90% 26 55% 29 *
Medium 73% 22 9% 2 45% 24 *
* The percentage in the "ALL RASCs" column is calculated for
those RASCs reporting, not for the total sample of 102 custom operators.




TABLE 10:
SPECIFICS OF TRACTOR OPERATION
.........................................................................................................................
RASC
.........................................................................................
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE ALL RASCs
TRACTOR AND IMPLEMENT VARIABLE AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX AVG MIN MAX Average Dunums/Hour Covered by:
Tractors and Grain Drills 17.5 15 20 10 10 10 15.0 13.3 16.7
Tractors and Moldboard Plows 5.7 3 20 6.1 2.5 10 10.2 6 20 4.7 2 6 6.9 3.6 14.7
Tractors and Field Sprayers 21.5 18 25 18 5 30 10 10 10 17.9 7.6 27.5
Number Hours to Empty a Tank of 10 6 18 12 6 24 10.8 6.5 16 12.6 8 16 11.1 6.5 18.2
Fuel in Operator's Tractor
Liters Fuel Held in Tractor Tank 73.3 30 100 76.5 60 120 67.1 50 130 75 60 80 72.6 48.5 109.2
Liters Fuel Used, One Hour of 7.4 3 10 7.4 3.5 15 6.4 4 12 6.6 4 8.8 7.0 3.6 11.5
Putting a Moldboard Plow
Fuel Price, Fits/Liter Paid ** 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70
* AVG = Average (mean) of values reported; MIN = The minimum value reported; MAX = The maximum value reported.
** 70 fits per liter is the price of diesel after April, 1989. This figure was used instead of the 65 fits per liter during the survey to make the subsequent cost of operation calculations more realistic.




TABLE 11:
SELECTED PARAMETERS OF TRACTORS
RASC TOTAL, ALL RASCs
VARIABLE RAMTHAMUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE* NUMBER
Number Of Tractors 30 24 34 20 27.0 108
Age Of Tractors 12 13 10 12 11.6 --# Years Owned 5 10 7 5 6.7 --Horsepower (HP) Of 60 64 63 72 64 --Cost Of, In Dinars 2808 3828 4160 4110 3701 --# Of Drivers Hired 2 9 15 6 9 35
# Hours Used/Day 8.8 8.3 9.6 8.3 8.2 --# Months Used/Yr 5 7.6 3.9 6.7 5.1 --Driver's Salary/Mo 42 83.3 88.1 106.7 80 --*Averages based on number of tractors (Age Of Tractors; # Years Owned; Horsepower (HP) Of; Cost Of, In Dinars) are weighted by the number of tractors owned by the operators interviewed in each RASC.
Averages which depend on the number of hired drivers (# Hours Used/Day; # Months Used/Yr; Driver's Salary/Mo) are weighted by the number of drivers hired by the operators interviewed in each RASC.




both Ramtha and Mushaqar. / Farm-level fuel cost 70 fils (JD
0.070) per liter (TABLE 10) as of April, 1989.
PARAMETERS OF TRACTORS
Before estimating the costs associated with operating various combinations of farm machines in the Jordan Highlands, certain parameters of the tractors owned by the custom operators are considered. The 102 surveyed tractor owners owned a total of 108 tractors (six operators own two [TABLE 11]). These operators hire a total of 35 drivers, ranging from a low of only two in Ramtha to a high of 15 in Rabba. This indicates that most custom operators drive their own tractors to do work for themselves and others (TABLE 11).
Each tractor is used about eight hours per day and, across the four RASCs, an average of about five months per year (TABLE 11). However, the estimates of months used varies widely, from a low of 3.9 in Rabba to a high of 7.6 in Mushaqar.
Difficulties in asking such questions in a one-shot questionnaire become obvious when these figures are compared to those which can be derived from another part of the survey. Section III of the survey form allowed custom operators to indicate on a monthly basis how many days they spent plowing, spraying, threshing, hauling water, etc. An analysis of some of the
parameters of this section reveals the following:
(1) In Shoubak and Mushaqar, custom operators were unable to
provide interviewers with estimates of the time they
spent on tractors using different farm implements.
(2) In Ramtha and Rabba, custom operators estimated that they
spend between 7.3 and 9 months per year (Ramtha) and between 10.5 and 13 months per year (Rabba) operating
their tractors with farm implements. 8/
Note that these figures are much greater than the internal check estimates provided for these two regions by TABLE 11, which are 5
7/
As an internal check on data reliability, this average of seven liters compares well with the number of liters held in the average tank, divided by the number of hours required to empty the average fuel tank (72.6/11.1, or 6.5) (TABLE 10).
8 /
The first figure above was derived assuming a 20-day work month; the second figure assumes a 25-day work month.
20




months per year for Ramtha and 3.9 months per year for Rabba. Indeed, in Rabba, the upper range of 13 months per year is greater than any year is long!9/
Cost Estimates of Owning Various Combinations of Implements
Which combinations of farm implements do the operators surveyed tend to own most often? What has the average operator spent on his particular combination of implements? Are there
differences between combinations of implements owned by region?
In answering these questions, it is important first to provide some of the basic physical and financial parameters of the farm implements which are owned by the interviewed operators. These physical and financial parameters of equipment are provided in TABLE 12. Here, widths and numbers of bottoms for the plows, drills and cultivators encountered in the survey have been averaged.
This table also presents the average costs of implements by region and for the Jordan Highlands. It can be seen, for example, that the most costly implement is the grain drill, averaging slightly less than JD 1800 apiece (TABLE 12). At the other end of the cost spectrum, four implements -- the moldboard plow, the disc plow, the cultivator and the water tank -- cost an average of less than JD 400 (TABLE 12).
Among the 102 operators surveyed, a total of 33 different farm implement combinations are owned (TABLE 13). Of these
combinations, the four which are most commonly owned are:
(I) Disc plow only (owned by 15 operators in all 4 RASCs);
(2) Disc plow + Water tank (owned by 12 operators in 3
RASCs);
(3) Disc plow + Moldboard plow + Water tank (owned by 10
operators in 3 RASCs); and (tied for fourth)
(4) Disc plow + Moldboard plow (owned by 8 operators in 3
RASCs);
(4) Disc plow + Thresher (owned by 8 operators in 1 RASC).
9/
Only cautious use of such estimates from this study can be made. This type of detailed information provides another good example of the kinds of socio-economic data better obtained thrc:ugh-a systematic series of representative farm record books. Comparing these same two questions from our Custom Operator Survey yields variability of over 100% in the same group of interviewees for the exactly the same information.
21




TABLE 12:
IMPLEMENT WIDTHS AND COSTS
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK AVERAGE, ALL RASCs
# OF # OF # OF # OF # OF # OF # OF # OF # OF # OF
IM- BOT- IM- BOT- IM- BOT- IN- BOT- IN- BOTIMP- PLE- TOMS AVER- PLE- TOMS AVER- PLE- TOMS AVER- PLE- TOMS AVER- PLE- TOMS AVERLE- MENTS OR UIDTH AGE MENTS OR WIDTH AGE MENTS OR WIDTH AGE HENTS OR MIDTH AGE MENTS OR WIDTH AGE MENT* OWNED DISCS m. COST OWNED DISCS m. COST OWNED DISCS m. COST OWNED DISCS m. COST OWNED DISCS m. COST
GD 0 3 2.8 2050 2 2.3 1400 0 5 0 3 1790
MP 25 3 263 18 7 429 14 3 298 1 7 250 58 4 0 323
DP 25 4 291 18 3 309 27 5 443 20 3 428 90 4 0 371
CP 6 7 3.0 321 6 6 2.2 1116 14 9 1.8 301 2 5 1.3 350 28 8 2 483
C 0 0 0 1 10 300 1 10 0 300
WT 19 272 14 477 13 329 3 400 49 354
FS 2 13.0 225 2 800 8 571 1 1.5 500 13 548
T 9 1300 2 1450 6 625 12 675 29 912
* GD = Grain Dritt; NP = Moldboard Plow; DP = Disc Plow; CP = Chiset Plow; C = Cultivator; WT = Water Tank; FS = Field Sprayer; T = Thresher.




TABLE 13:
FREQUENCIES AND COSTS OF FARM IMPLEMENT COMBINATIONS
NUMBER OF OPERATORS OWNING REPORTED
GIVEN IMPLEMENT COMBINATION IN: COST OF
COMBIN- COMBINATION OF --------------------------------------------- IMPLEMENT
ATION IMPLEMENTS ALL FOUR COMBINATION,
NUMBER OWNED:* RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK RASCS IN JDs
1 C+CU+D+T+U 1 1 2 2420
2 C+D 1 1 854
3 C+D+G 1 1 2 2644
4 C+D+G+M 1 1 2967
5 C+D+G+M+S+T+W 2 1 3 4781
6 C+D+M 1 1 1177
7 C+D+M+S 1 1 2 1725
8 C+D+M+S+T 1 1 2637
9 C+D+M+T 1 1 2 2089
10 C+D+M+T+W 1 1 2 2443
11 C+D+M+W 1 1 2 1531
12 C+D+S 1 1 1402
13 C+D+S+T 1 1 2314
14 C+D+S+W 1 1 1756
15 C+D+W 1 2 3 1208
16 C+M 1 1 806
17 C+S+W 1 1 2 1385
18 D 1 3 10 14 371
19 D+G 3 1 4 2161
20 D+M 2 2 3 7 694
21 D+M+T 3 3 1606
22 D+M+T+W 8 8 1960
23 D+M+W 1 1 2 1048
24 D+S 1 2 3 919
25 D+T 2 8 10 1283
26 D+W 6 4 10 725
27 M 1 1 2 323
28 M+S+W 1 1 1225
29 M+T 1 1 1235
30 M+T+W 2 1. 3 1589
31 M+W 1 1 677
32 T+W 1 1 1266
33 W 2 2 354
TOTALS: 30 21 29 20 100 n.a.
AVERAGE: n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1110
*C=Chiset plow (JD 483); CU=Cuttivator (JD 300); D=Disc plow (JD 371); G=Grain drill (JD 1790); M=Motdboard plow (JD 323); S=Field sprayer (JD 548); T=Thresher (JD 912); W=Water tank (JD 354).




All of the most commonly-owned implement combinations include as one component the disc plow. It is remarkable that after these top four combinations of implements, there is no other combination which is owned by more than three operators (TABLE 13).
In terms of cost, the weighted average cost across all operators of the combinations of implements owned is about JD 1150 (TABLE 13). This means that the average operator interviewed has equipment -- in addition to his tractor which is worth an average of JD 3,700 -- worth JD 1150. Thus, the total amount invested by an average operator is about JD 4,850.
The four most common implement combinations cost, respectively, JD 371 (disc plow only), JD 725 (disc plow + water tank), JD 1048 (disc plow + moldboard plow + water tank), and JD 694 (disc plow + moldboard plow) and JD 1283 (disc plow + thresher) (TABLE 13). The least costly implement combination is JD 323 (for moldboard plow only), while the most expensive combination
(consisting of chisel, disc and moldboard plows, grain drill, field sprayer, thresher and water tank) was JD 4781 (TABLE 13).
Of the 33 implement combinations owned, 24 of them include the disc plow, 17 each the chisel plow or moldboard plow, 15 the
water tank, 12 the thresher, eight the field sprayer, four the grain drill, and one the cultivator (TABLE 13).
Finally, the Shoubak RASC area contains combinations of implements different from the other RASCs. This may be because there is a higher proportion of fruit trees in this region. Ten of the 15 solely-owned disc plows are in Shoubak. In the other
RASCs, other differences in equipment owned occur, but these
differences appear to be less significant than the differences between Shoubak and the other three regions.
The other three RASCs are characterized more by the diversity
of farm implements owned. The 30 operators surveyed in Ramtha owned 15 different combinations; the 23 operators surveyed in Mushaqar owned 14 different combinations; the 29 operators surveyed in Rabba owned 20 different combinations; the 20 operators surveyed in Shoubak owned only four different combinations (TABLE 13).
Cost Estimates of Custom operator Tractor Operation
This sub-section presents cost estimates of operating tractors. Standard cost-of -operation formulas were used to make the cost estimates (Boehlje and Eidman, 1984; Castle et al., 1987; Herbst, 1970). The three different analyses include those based
on (1) reported (declared) value of farm equipment (calculated from survey data), (2) machinery replacement cost (calculated from the cost of replacing the equipment based on prices in Amman in early
1989), and (3) the theoretical method (Castle et al.., 1987). Each analysis is considered in turn. First, it is necessary to define
22




some farm management terms.
1. Total costs, abbreviated TC, for operating selected farm
equipment in the Jordan Highlands are obtained by adding total fixed costs to total variable costs, using the formula
(1) TC = FC + VC.
2. Fixed costs, abbreviated FC,, consist of depreciation, interest and insurance. Of these three traditional costs, operators consider only insurance to be a cost. In these analyses, insurance-'includes the cost of licensing a tractor (JD 5).
3. Variable costs, abbreviated VC, consist of the costs of
fuel, lubrication, repairs and labor, or, in other words, what custom operators normally consider as their normal costs.
Cost of operation based on reported (declared) value
Using survey data, fixed cost and variable cost calculations
were made fdr tractors, moldboard plows, chisel plows, grain drills and field sprayers (TABLE 14). Total costs can be derived from formula (1) on an hourly basis or on a per dunum. basis for each of
these pieces of farm machinery. The costs calculated in this first sub-section are those based on the costs of tractors and farm implements reported by the surveyed custom operators.
The hourly total costs range from approximately JD 3.60 for the grain drill through JD 1.84 for the tractor and JD 0.61 for the sprayer to JD 0.41 for the chisel plow and JD 0.34 for the moldboard plow (TABLE 14). On a per dunum basis, it makes no sense to calculate the total cost for the tractor alone, as it only operates across land when pulling an implement or water tank. Per dunum total costs, range from approximately JD 0.44 for the moldboard plow through JD 0.36 for the grain drill and JD 0.23 for the chisel plow to JD 0.14 for the sprayer (TABLE 14).
Cost of operation based on machinery replacement cost
How are total cost of operation calculations affected by substituting current estimates of the replacement price of each of these pieces of farm machinery? To answer this question, we
substitute estimates of current replacement costs (as of March, 1989) for the value of each farm implement, then re-calculate the fixed cost, variable cost and total cost of each. These
replacement cost calculations are contained in TABLE 15.
First, the current price of a 65 hp tractor, JD 6,550 in Amman, is nearly double the average price reported by operators for their tractors in current use. Only the field sprayer does not show a price increase of nearly 100% (JD 548 compared to JD 600) (compare Row 2 of TABLE 15 with Row 2 of TABLE 14).
23




TABLE 14:
COST OF SELECTED FARM MACHINERY OPERATION (USING REPORTED [DECLARED] VALUE)
FARM MACHINE TYPE:
MOLDBOARD CHISEL GRAIN FIELD VARIABLE: TRACTOR PLOW PLOW DRILL SPRAYER
Machine Size, HP or m 64 1 2.5 2.5 10
Reported Machine Value, JD 3701 323 483 1790 548
Useful Life, Yrs 10 10 10 10 10
Salvage Value*, JD 1110 55 82 304 93
Hours Used, lifetime 10660 2500 4000 1200 2000
Area Covered, dunums/hr n.a. 5 10 15 18
Repairs, % of cost when new 120 120 120 100 80
Driver's Salary, JD/month 80 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Fuel Consumed, Liters/hr 7 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Fuel Price, JD/liter 0.070 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Fixed Costs
----------Depreciation, JD/yr 259 27 40 149 46
Interest, 10% 241 19 28 105 32
Insurance + license, JD/yr 25 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Fixed Cost, JD/yr: 525 46 68 253 78
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.492 0.183 0.171 2.111 0.388
Variable Costs
Fuel, JD/hr 0.490 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Lubrication, JD/hr 0.070 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Repairs, JD/hr 0.417 0.155 0.240 1.492 0.219
Labor, JD/hr 0.375 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Variable Cost, JD/hr 1.352 0.155 0.240 1.492 0.219
Total Cost, JD/hr 1.844 0.338 0.411 3.603 0.607
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.436 0.226 0.363 0.136
*Salvage value for tractors is assumed to be 30%; salvage value for all other farm machines is assumed to be 17%.
n.a. = not applicable.




TABLE 15:
COST OF SELECTED FARM MACHINERY OPERATION (USING REPLACEMENT COST)
FARM MACHINE TYPE:
MOLDBOARD CHISEL GRAIN FIELD VARIABLE: TRACTOR PLOW PLOW DRILL SPRAYER
Machine Size, Hp or m 64 1 2.5 2.5 10
ReplaceTent Cost, JD 6550 500 800 2500 600
Useful Life, Yrs 10 10 10 10 10
Salvage Value*, JD 1965 85 136 425 102
Hours Used, lifetime 10660 2500 4000 1200 2000
Area Covered, dunums/hr n.a. 5 10 15 18
Repairs, % of Cost when new 120 120 120 100 80
Driver's Salary, JD/month 80 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Fuel Consumed, Liters/hr 7 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Fuel Price, JD/liter 0.070 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
----------Fixed Costs
----------Depreciation, JD/yr 459 42 66 208 50
Interest, 10% 426 29 47 146 35
Insurance + license, JD/yr 25 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Fixed Cost, JD/yr 909 71 113 354 85
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.853 0.283 0.283 2.948 0.424
Variable Costs
-------------Fuel, JD/hr 0.490 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Lubrication, JD/hr 0.068 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Repairs, JD/hr p0.737 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Labor, JD/hr 0.373 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Variable Cost, JD/hr 1.668 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Total Cost, JD/hr 2.521 0.523 0.523 3.158 0.664
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.609 0.304 0.379 0.177
*Salvage value for tractors is assumed to be 30%; salvage value for all other farm machines is assumed to be 17%.
n.a. = not applicable.




Based on these replacement cost estimates, the hourly total costs range from approximately JD 3.16 for the grain drill through JD 0.66 for the field sprayer to about JD 0.52 for both the moldboard plow and the chisel plow (TABLE 15). Per dunum costs range from approximately JD 0.61 for the moldboard plow through JD 0.38 for the grain drill and JD 0.30 for the chisel plow to JD 0.18 for the sprayer (TABLE 15).
Cost of operation based on the theoretical method
How do these two total cost estimates relate to those provided by estimates of farm machinery operating costs based on use of the theoretical model? Substituting farm machinery operating parameters from traditional farm management sources, these operating costs are re-calculated (Boehlje and Eidman, 1984; Castle et al., 1987; Herbst, 1970). The calculations are presented in TABLE 16.
Using the parameters from calculations based on this theoretical model, the hourly total costs range from JD 3.16 for the grain drill through JD 0.66 for the field sprayer to JD 0.52 for both the moldboard and the chisel plow (TABLE 16). Per dunum costs range from approximately JD 0.65 for the moldboard plow through JD 0.43 for the grain drill and JD 0.32 for the chisel plow to JD 0.07 for the field sprayer (TABLE 16).
TABLE 17 provides a quick overview summary of fixed costs, variable costs, and total costs estimations of selected farm machinery operated under Jordan Highlands conditions. These cost summaries are listed by type of analysis: (1) reported (declared) value, (2) replacement cost, and (3) use of the theoretical model.
Break-even point analysis
A very practical economic concept for farmers and custom operators is that of the break-even point. The break-even point is defined as either (1) the amount of annual usage a piece of farm machinery must have to justify owning it (in hours/year), or (2) the land area such a machine must cover annually to justify owning it (in acres/year, hectares/year, or dunums/year). If the breakeven point is not reached for a piece of equipment, the interpretation is that farmers or custom operators would be better off financially if they were to rent the services it provides.
The break-even point is expressed mathematically as follows:
(2) BEP = FC/(CR-VC), where
BEP = break-even point,
FC = fixed cost,
CR = Custom rate = (l.2)(TC/dm), (where TC = total cost and dm =
dunum), and
24




TABLE 16:
COST OF SELECTED FARM MACHINERY OPERATION (USING THE THEORETICAL METHOD)
FARM MACHINE TYPE:
MOLDBOARD CHISEL GRAIN FIELD VARIABLE: TRACTOR PLOW PLOW DRILL SPRAYER
Machine Size, Hp or m 64 1 2.5 2.5 10
Cost, JD 6550 500 800 2500 600
Useful Life, Yfs 10 10 10 10 10
Salvage Value*, JD 1965 85 136 425 102
Hours Used, lifetime 12000 2500 4000 1200 2000
Area Covered, dunums/hr n.a. 5.1 10.2 13.9 52.2
Repairs, % of Cost when new 120 120 120 100 80
Fuel Consumed, Liters/hr 12.8 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
----------Fixed Costs
Depreciation, JD/yr 459 42 66 208 50
Interest, 10% 426 29 47 146 35
Insurance + license, JD/yr 25 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Fixed Cost, JD/yr 909 71 113 354 85
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.758 0.283 0.283 2.948 0.424
-------------Variable Costs
-------------Fuel, JD/hr 0.832 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Lubrication, JD/hr 0.125 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Repairs, JD/hr 0.655 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Labor, JD/hr 0.400 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Total Variable Cost, JD/hr 2.012 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Total Cost, JD/hr 2.770 0.523 0.523 3.158 0.664
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.646 0.323 0.426 0.066
*Salvage value for tractors is assumed to be 30%; salvage value for all other farm machines is assumed to be 17%.
n.a. = not applicable.




TABLE 17:
COST OF SELECTED FARM MACHINERY OPERATION* (SUMMARY OF ALL METHODS USED)
FARM MACHINE TYPE:
COST OF OPERATION VARIABLE MOLDBOARD CHISEL GRAIN FIELD
BY CALCULATION METHOD USED: TRACTOR PLOW PLOW DRILL SPRAYER
(1) Reported Value Method:
Fixed Cost, JD/yr 525.000 46.000 68.000 253.000 78.000
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.492 0.183 0.171 2.111 0.388
Variable Cost, JD/hr 1.352 0.155 0.240 1.492 0.219
Total Cost, JD/hr 1.844 0.338 0.411 3.603 0.607
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.436 0.226 0.363 0.136
(2) Replacement Cost Method:
Fixed Cost, JD/yr 909.000 71.000 113.000 354.000 85.000
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.853 0.283 0.283 2.948 0.424
Variable Cost, JD/hr 1.668 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Total Cost, JD/hr 2.521 0.523 0.523 3.158 0.664
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.609 0.304 0.379 0.177
(3) Theoretical Method:
Fixed Cost, JD/yr 909.000 71.000 113.000 354.000 85.000
Fixed Cost, JD/hr 0.758 0.283 0.283 2.948 0.424
Variable Cost, JD/hr 2.012 0.240 0.240 0.210 0.240
Total Cost, JD/hr 2.770 0.523 0.523 3.158 0.664
Total Cost, JD/dunum n.a. 0.646 0.323 0.426 0.066
*These summaries assume Jordanian costs and prices as of May, 1989.
n.a. = not applicable.




VC = variable cost.
Break-even points can be calculated for various combinations of equipment pulled by a tractor. Using equation (2) above, the equations for the break-even points of three equipment combinations in Jordan can be expressed as follows for a tractor and (3) a moldboard plow [BEP(m)], (4) a moldboard plow and a grain drill [BEP(m+g)], and (5) a moldboard plow, a grain drill, and a field sprayer [BEP(m+g+s)]:
(3) BEP(m) = 567/0.233 = 2,433 dunums;
(4) BEP(m+g) = 790/0.463 = 1,706 dunums; and
(5) BEP(m+g+s) = 844/0.488 = 1,729 dunums (FIGURE 1).
Thus, to break even under current conditions in the Jordan Highlands, each year a farmer or custom operator must cover more than 2,400 dm with his tractor and moldboard plow, and more than 1,700 dm with his tractor and plow plus grain drill or tractor plus
plow, grain drill and field prayer. If this amount of area cannot be covered annually, it is more profitable for the farmer or custom operator to rent these equipment combinations rather than owning
the.
Estimate of Farm Implement Profitability
Finally, what profit can operators or farmer owners of farm implements expect to make? By combining the results of this survey with informal data estimates provided by the GTZ and JCO, profit calculations have been carried out for four farm implements: (1) the moldboard plow, (2) the chisel plow, (3) the grain drill and
(4) the field sprayer (Grenzebach, 1989; Boehlje and Eidman, 1984.) The assumed parameters needed to carry out this analysis are (1) the expected charge per dunum per implement, (2) the cost of operating each piece of equipment per dunum, and (3) the average number of dunums covered by each piece of equipment in an hour. Estimates of these parameters for each farm implement are presented in TABLE 18.
Using these estimates, it is demonstrated that the largest profit per dunum in the Jordan Highlands can be obtained using the rain drill (JD 0.42). Profit per dunum decreases through use of the chisel plow (JD 0.40) and the field sprayer (JD 0.32) to the moldboard plow, which earns an estimated profit of only JD 0.09 (TABLE 18 and FIGURE 2A).
Hourly and daily expected profits are even more skewed away from the moldboard plow toward the other three implements. While the average operator can expect to earn less than one-half dinar per hour with his moldboard plow, he could earn about six dinars Per hour -- about 12 times as much -- with either the rain drill
25




FIGURE 1 Dunumns To Cover Annually To Break Even
3000
2 5 0 0 .. .. ..-.-.. ...........
2000 ... ... .......
1706 12
E 15001000 -OI
2500
M M+GD M+GD+FS
Combinations of Farm hnplements




TABLE 18:
ESTIMATED PROFIT TO JORDA!IAN CUSTOM OPERATORS FROM USING
SELECTED TYPES OF FARM IMPLEMENTS
(IN JORDANIAN DINAR)
FARM MACHINE TYPE:
MOLDBOARD CHISEL GRAIN FIELD VARIABLE: PLOW PLOW DRILL SPRAYER
Expected charge per dunum 0.700 0.700 0.800 0.500
Cost of operation per dunum 0.609 0.304 0.379 0.177 Dunums worked per hour 5 10 15 18
Estimated profit per dunum 0.091 0.396 0.421 0.323 Estimated profit per hour 0.455 3.960 6.315 5.814
Expected daily profit 3.640 31.680 50.520 46.512
* An average workday is assumed to be 8 hours long. No
allowance has been made for the time required to move equipment to and from farmers' fields.




FIGURE 2A Profit/Dunum, Selected Farm Implements
0.5
0.4 . .............
0.3
0.1 .09--
0
Moldboard Plow Grain Dr]
Chisel Plow Field Sprayer Farm knplernent Used with Tractor




or the f ield sprayer (TABLE 18). Even the chisel plow is nine times as profitable as is the moldboard plow on an hourly basis (JD 4.00 compared to JD 0.46) (TABLE 18).
Daily expected profit combines profitability per dunum with that of hourly profit. comparing the grain drill with the
moldboard plow, the former can be expected to earn the average operator 14 times as much p~rof it per day -- JD 50.52 compared to JD 3.64 (TABLE 18 and FIGURE 1). Likewise on a daily basis, the
field sprayer is 13 times more profitable (and the chisel plow nine times more 'profitable) than the moldboard plow (TABLE 18 and FIGURE 2B).
Given that grain drills and chisel plows are also more efficient and technically better for use with recommended cereals practices than are regular moldboard or disc plows, and that these
preliminary analyses show them to be between nine and 14 times more profitable, there is excellent justification for pursuing an active policy which promotes the purchase and better use of these farm implements which are not traditionally owned and operated in the Jordan Highlands. 101
Estimate on Return on Investment for Selected
Farm Implement Combinations
Another way to look at the financial aspects of farm equipment is the return on investment for individual implements. What are some estimates for return on investment for selected combinations
of farm implements in the Jordan Highlands? Using replacement cost estimates for the types of :farm implements which have been considered above (chisel plow, grain drill, and field sprayer), an
estimated return on investment has been calculated. For this
example, comparisons of returns on investments are calculated for two sets of equipment: (1) tractor + disc plow (the most common implement combination in the Jordan Highlands), and (2) tractor + chisel plow + grain drill + field sprayer. As we have seen above, this second combination places all the most profitable implements together in what is hypothesized to be the most desirable economic unit from the standpoint of the custom operator.
(1.) Return on Investment: tractor + disc plow
101,
It has been observed by one of the authors that the
"traditional" plow pulled for centuries behind a donkey in the Middle East is much more similar to a single tine of a chisel plow than it is to either a moldboard or a disc plow. For this reason, the argument can be made that more use of the modern chisel' plow is actually a return to the traditional land cultivation practices of the Jordan Highlands.
26




FIGURE 2B Profit/Day, Selected Farm Implements
60
50 .... .. ..... ------------ ...... .......................
Q 40
-.30
~... ................. .. .
20
1 0 -.-.-.--.................
0
Moldboard Plow Grain Dril
Chisel Plow Field Sprayer
Farm Inplement Used with Tractor




The value of equipment needed for this calculation is JD 7050 (JD 6550 for the tractor and1 JD 500 for the disc plow). Assuming a typical custom operator should cover 4000 dm per year with this combination1!, charging farmers 700 fils (JD 0.700) per din, this results in an annual estimated income of JD 2800 (JD 0.700 x 4000 din). Likewise, using a total cost estimate of JD 0.609 for operating the disc plow per dm (TABLE 15, entry for Moldboard Plow), it would cost an operator an average of JD 2436 to cover this area (JD 0.609 x 4000 din), leaving him with a return on his investment of 5% (JD 364/JD 7050). 1 2/
(2) Return on Investment: tractor + chisel plow +
grain drill + field sprayer
The value of equipment needed for this calculation is JD 10450 (JD 6550 for the tractor, JD 800 for the chisel plow, JD 2500 for the grain drill and JD 600 for the field sprayer.) 13Assuming this
operator will cover 4000 dm with his chisel plow / and 2000 dm each with his grain drill and field sprayer, charging farmers 700 fils per dm for the chisel plow, 800 fils per dm for the grain drill, and 500 fils per dm for the field sprayer, this results in an annual estimated income of JD 5400 ([JD 0.700 x 4000 dm + JD 0. 800 x 2000 dm + JD 0. 500 x 2000 din). Likewise, his costs of operation per dm (from TABLE 15) are JD 0.304 for the chisel plow, JD 0.379 for the grain drill, and JD 0.177 for the field sprayer.
Using these per dunum cost estimates, the total cost to an operator using this combination of equipment would be JD 3072 annually ([(JD .700 x 4000 din) {JD 0.304 x 4000 dm)] + [(JD 0.800 x 2000 din) (JD 0.379 x 2000 din)] + [{JD 0.500 x 2000 din) (JD 0. 177 x 2000 dm)1]) This leaves the operator with an annual return on investment of 29% (JD 3072/JD 10450), or, in relative terms, si times the return on investment expected from using only a tractor and a disc plow.
SUMMARY OF CUSTOM OPERATOR TRAINING NEEDS
11 /
This assumes two passes over 2000 din with a disc plow.
Since detailed cost estimates for operating the disc plow were not carried out as part of the analysis for this report, this figure of JD 0.609 represents the cost of operating a moldboard plow per dm of area. The assumption is that the cost of operating the disc plow and the mnoldboard plow is the same in the Jordan Highlands.
This assumes two passes over 2000 dm with a chisel plow.
27




TABLE 19:
INFORMATION ABOUT TRAINING NEEDS OF CUSTOM OPERATORS
RASC
RAMTHA MUSHAQAR RABBA SHOUBAK ALL RASCs
CUSTOM OPERATOR RESPONSES --------------------------------------------ABOUT THEIR TRAINING NEEDS % # % # % # % # % #
Custom operators sampled 29% 30 23% 23 28% 29 20% 20 100% 102
Interested in training 87% 26 83% 19 100% 29 85% 17 89% 91
Training types operators
are interested in:
--Improved cereals 13% 4 52% 12 45% 13 85% 17 45% 46
technology
--Equipment maintenance 73% 22 70% 16 45% 13 60% 12 62% 63
and proper operation
--Improved record keeping 28% 8 25% 5 27% 13 *
* The percentage in the "ALL RASCs" column is calculated for
those RASCs reporting, not for the total sample of 102 custom operators.




The final section of the questionnaire consisted of three simple questions asking custom operators to indicate their interest or need in attending training seminars. The three topics proposed to the operators were (1) rainfed cereal production (including improved cereal technology), (2) farm equipment operation and maintenance, and (3) record keeping.
Eighty-nine per cent of the operators surveyed expressed interest in at least one of these trainings (TABLE 19). Specifically, 62% of the operators indicated that they would like training in equipment operation and maintenance, 45% indicated interest in crop production, while only 27% of the operators in Rabba and Shoubak wanted training in record keeping, and no operators in either Ramtha or Mushaqar expressed an interest in training to keep records on their custom operation business (TABLE 19).
An attempt was made to find a relationship between years of schooling completed, profitability of custom operation, and training requested. Also, the relationship between equipment owned, profitability of operation, and training requested was examined. No apparent relationship exists between any of these factors.
An explanation for this lack of relationship, statistical or otherwise, may be that some of the custom operators interviewed did not or could not answer the profitability questions honestly. / This is still another reason why there is no substitute for the use of a systematic set of farm record books to allow the empirical generation of profitability estimates.
CONCLUSION
This report presents a summary of selected variables from a one-time survey of 102 Jordan Highlands agricultural custom operators. These operators are defined as those owning licensed tractors in the regions of Ramtha (Irbid), Mushaqar (Madaba), Rabba (Kerak), and Shoubak. Contrary to the belief that the JCO and farmer equipment owners provide most of the farm implement services for Jordanian farmers, the findings of this study point to the extreme dependency of Jordan Highlands farmers on custom operators. Fortunately these findings come at a time when the private sector is receiving renewed interest within the Government of Jordan (GOJ) and by various donors to Jordan's agricultural sector.
14/
It is also possible that the sample size of 102 custom operators was not large enough to allow these relationships between variables to be expressed at a statistically significant level.
28




The average Jordanian Highlands tractor owner is 47 years old, has been operating a custom agricultural implement operation business for 14 years, and has completed five years of formal education. EiQhty-two percent of these custom operators are also farmers. In their role as farmers, the operators surveyed have holdings that average about 450 dunums. As custom operators, they spend between 55-67% of their annual tractor operating time working on farms of others. The average number of other farmers served by custom operators is large: 65 per year. The average area covered per operator is about 4,500 dunums. Only about 1% of licensed tractor owners serve only their own needs.
Recent inquiries have revealed that JCO plants at most 5% of Jordanian cereals (planting being the JCO activity which covers the greatest number of dunums annually) .15/ Given that few tractor owners operate only on their own lands, it is reasonable to hypothesize that at least 90% of cereal cultural practices could be performed by Jordanian custom operators. While this conclusion ignores cereals grown on lands which are inappropriate for mechanized equipment operation (those too steep or too rocky or both), there is ample reason to refocus agricultural research and technology transfer activities to explicitly include this group of farmer-custom operators in development activities.
Finally, this report has shown that expected profitability of non-traditional farm implements -- the grain drill, the chisel plow and the field sprayer -- are much higher than those of traditional implements such as the moldboard plow. This finding lends weight to the argument that more GOJ emphasis should be go toward innovative ways in which to make such implements more widely available to custom operators. Given that many operators,
particularly in the regions of Mushaqar and Rabba, expressed interest in purchasing grain drills, it seems that stimulating the import, purchase, and training of operators in the use of, these implements is logical from a financial standpoint and also fits in with the needs of Jordanian custom operators and expressed GOJ emphasis on the private sector.
15/
Personal communication, GTZ professional staff, 1989.
29




REFERENCES
Boehlje, M. D. and V. R. Eidman. 1984. Farm Management. John
Wiley & Sons, New York.
Castle, E. N., M. H. Becker, and A. G. Nelson. 1987. Farm
Business Management, The Decision-Making Process. 3rd
Edition, MacMillan Publishing Company, New York.
Duwayri, Mt 1985. Farm systems in rain-fed areas.
Duwayri, M., A. Baqueen, N. Fanek, and M. Sheqwara. 1988.
Constraints to the adoption of modern technologies in the
rain-fed (semi-arid) agriculture of Jordan.
Eastman, C., A. F. Al Kadi, M. L. Bibars, and W. Aldworth. 1988.
"Adoption of Grain Drills in the Jordan Highlands: Results of a Survey of Custom Operators." the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer Jordan National Agricultural Development Project (JNADP) Technical Report No.
1. JNADP Publication #7. 11 pp.
El-Hurani, M. H. 1984. Analysis of improving Jordan's rainfed
agriculture. Dept. of Economics, Iowa State University,
U.S.A. 39 pp.
El-Hurani, M. H. 1988. Report on the wheat baseline data survey
conducted in 1988. JNADP Publication #10. Amman, Jordan.
125 pp.
Grenzebach, E. 1989. Cost of operation calculations for Jordan
rain-fed agriculture (unpublished).
Henderson, H. D. and S. Fanash. 1984. "Tractor Costs and Use Data in Jordan." Transactions of the ASAE: 1003-1008.
Herbst, J. H. 1970. Farm Management Principles, Budgets, Plans. Stipes Publishing Company, Illinois.
"Nebraska Tractor Test Data." In National Farm Tractor and
Implement Blue Book. 1989. Maclean Hunter Market Reports,
Inc. Vol. 50, No. 1. 80-40 pp.
Oglah, M. A. 1984. "Infrastructural Constraints to Technological
Change in Wheat Production in Jordan." A collaborative project between the Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan, the University of Jordan, and ICARDA. Aleppo, Syria. 38 pp.
Oglah, M. and A. Jaradat. 1988. Main features of farming systems
in Mafraq area in Jordan. ICARDA/JUST, Ramtha, Jordan.
28 pp.
30




Snobar, B. A. and S. M. Arabiat. 1984. The mechanization of
agriculture and socio-economic development in Jordan. DIRASAT
XI:7, 159-196.
Winters, E. P. 1975. "Wheat Research and Extension Program in
Jordan." End of Tour Report prepared for USAID. Amman,
Jordan. 28 pp.
31




ARABIC SUMMARY OF REPORT
32




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