IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Return of the Threshing Ring? Motivations, Benefits and Challenges of Machinery and Labor Sharing Arrangements


  • Artz, Georgeanne M.
  • Colson, Gregory J.
  • Ginder, Roger


Cooperative approaches provide an alternative for small- and medium-sized producers to obtain the efficiencies of large farming operations and remain competitive in an increasingly concentrated agricultural industry. This article examines the motivation and effectiveness of equipment and labor sharing arrangements in the Midwestern US. Case study evidence shows that in addition to cost savings, access to skilled, seasonal labor is an important motivation for farm-level cooperation. Key factors identified for successful cooperative agreements include compatibility of operations and members' willingness to communicate and adapt. Sharing resources is found to improve farm profitability, efficiency and farmers' quality of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Artz, Georgeanne M. & Colson, Gregory J. & Ginder, Roger, 2009. "A Return of the Threshing Ring? Motivations, Benefits and Challenges of Machinery and Labor Sharing Arrangements," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13065

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harris, Andrea & Fulton, Murray E., 2000. "Farm Machinery Co-Operatives: An Idea Worth Sharing," Miscellaneous Publications 31762, University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.
    2. Foreman, Linda F., 2006. "Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Corn Farms, 2001," Economic Information Bulletin 7205, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Roe, Joshua D., 2005. "Value Added What??...Horizontal versus Vertical Expansion in Iowa Production Agriculture," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19570, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2001. "The agricultural innovation process: Research and technology adoption in a changing agricultural sector," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 207-261, Elsevier.
    5. Sexton, Richard J. & Iskow, Julie, 1988. "Factors Critical to the Success or Failure of Emerging Agricultural Cooperatives," Information Series 11921, University of California, Davis, Giannini Foundation.
    6. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Edwards, William & Olson, Frayne, 2009. "Farm Machinery & Labor Sharing Manual," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34482, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Khan, Beethika, 2003. "Adoption of New Technology," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3wg4p528, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    8. Colson, Greg, 2008. "Alternative approaches for sharing machinery, labor, and other resources among small- and medium-sized agricultural producers," ISU General Staff Papers 2008010108000016325, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Edwards, William M., 2001. "Joint Machinery Ownership," Staff General Research Papers Archive 2045, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Fulton, Murray E. & Harris, Andrea, 2000. "The Cuma Farm Machinery Co-Operatives," Miscellaneous Publications 31774, University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.
    11. McBride, William D., 2012. "Production Costs Critical to Farming Decisions," Amber Waves:The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, pages 1-8, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Feil, J.-H. & Anastassiadis, F. & Mußhoff, O. & Kasten, P., 2016. "Analysing Farmers’ Preferences fo Collaborative Arrangements: An Experimental Approach," Proceedings “Schriften der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V.”, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA), vol. 51, March.
    2. Simon Cornée & Madeg Le Guernic & Damien Rousselière, 2020. "Governing Common-Property Assets: Theory and Evidence from Agriculture," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 691-710, November.
    3. Min‐Han Tsai & Yir‐Hueih Luh, 2023. "Group heterogeneity and the economic effect of farmer organisation participation: Empirical evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(2), pages 473-491, June.
    4. Leppälä, Jarkko & Rautiainen, Risto & Kauranen, Ilkka, 2015. "Analysis of risk management tools applicable in managing farm risks: A literature review," International Journal of Agricultural Management, Institute of Agricultural Management, vol. 4(3), April.
    5. Yiorgos Gadanakis & Jorge Campos-González & Philip Jones, 2024. "Linking Entrepreneurship to Productivity: Using a Composite Indicator for Farm-Level Innovation in UK Agriculture with Secondary Data," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 14(3), pages 1-23, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Colson, Greg, 2008. "Alternative approaches for sharing machinery, labor, and other resources among small- and medium-sized agricultural producers," ISU General Staff Papers 2008010108000016325, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Djiby Racine Thiam & Ariel Dinar & Hebert Ntuli, 2021. "Promotion of residential water conservation measures in South Africa: the role of water-saving equipment," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 23(1), pages 173-210, January.
    3. Christian Arnold & Kai-Ingo Voigt, 2019. "Determinants of Industrial Internet of Things Adoption in German Manufacturing Companies," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(06), pages 1-21, October.
    4. Awudu Abdulai, 2023. "Information acquisition and the adoption of improved crop varieties," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 105(4), pages 1049-1062, August.
    5. Salifu, Adam & Francesconi, Gian Nicola & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2010. "A review of collective action in rural Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 998, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. B Kelsey Jack, "undated". "Market Inefficiencies and the Adoption of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries," CID Working Papers 50, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    7. Sauer, Johannes & Zilberman, David, 2009. "Innovation Behaviour At Farm Level – Selection And Identification," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30 - April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 51073, Agricultural Economics Society.
    8. Ghadir Asadi & Mohammad H. Mostafavi-Dehzooei, 2022. "The Role of Learning in Adaptation to Technology: The Case of Groundwater Extraction," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-37, June.
    9. Çağatay Bircan & Ralph De Haas, 2020. "The Limits of Lending? Banks and Technology Adoption across Russia," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 33(2), pages 536-609.
    10. Millock, Katrin & Xabadia, Angels & Zilberman, David, 2012. "Policy for the adoption of new environmental monitoring technologies to manage stock externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 102-116.
    11. Tatiana Kiseleva & Ali Palali & Bas Straathof, 2016. "Do national borders slow down knowledge diffusion within new technological fields? The case of big data in Europe," CPB Discussion Paper 330, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    12. Kataria, Karin & Curtiss, Jarmila & Balmann, Alfons, 2012. "Drivers of Agricultural Physical Capital Development: Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses," Factor Markets Working Papers 122, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    13. Cook, Michael L. & Burress, Molly J. & Iliopoulos, Constantine, 2008. "New Producer Strategies: The Emergence of Patron-Driven Entrepreneurship," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44397, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Johansson, Robert C. & Kara, Erdal & Ribaudo, Marc, 2006. "On how environmental stringency influences BMP adoption," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21207, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Cirillo, Valeria & Fanti, Lucrezia & Mina, Andrea & Ricci, Andrea, 2023. "The adoption of digital technologies: Investment, skills, work organisation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 89-105.
    16. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2010. "Access, adoption, and diffusion," IFPRI discussion papers 995, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    17. Caroline Roussy & Aude Ridier & Karim Chaïb, 2014. "Adoption d’innovations par les agriculteurs : rôle des perceptions et des préférences," Post-Print hal-01123427, HAL.
    18. Thembi Xaba & Nyankomo Marwa & Babita Mathur-Helm, 2018. "Efficiency and Profitability Analysis of Agricultural Cooperatives in Mpumalanga, South Africa," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 10(6), pages 1-10.
    19. Fang, Di & Richards, Timothy, 2016. "New Maize Variety Adoption in Mozambique: A Spatial Approach," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235388, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Delera, Michele & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Calza, Elisa & Lavopa, Alejandro, 2022. "Does value chain participation facilitate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).

    More about this item


    machinery sharing; skilled farm labor; productivity; farm-level cooperations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13065. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Curtis Balmer (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.