How farmers benefit from ag equipment co-ops

A CUMA is an agricultural equipment co-op that provides farmers the use of large, expensive machinery, and decreases the cost to access up-to-date equipment. 

As an organization, a CUMA is group of farmers involved in the same sector (grain farming, dairy, etc.), who pool equity based on the type of equipment they need. Shareholders in the co-op sign a contract committing to using a piece of machinery for a certain amount of time in a given year.

Shareholders also pay a membership fee, and generally each branch of a CUMA has a manager that oversees the scheduling of the equipment. This manager makes sure members are adhering to their contracts and that equipment is being utilized as efficiently as possible between members.


Though the amount of money saved by CUMA shareholder members varies on a case-by-case basis, the savings can be substantial. According to the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, members of a dairy CUMA saved over $14,000 annually. Harris and Fulton claim savings could be as high as 70% in some cases. Plus, as an incorporated entity, liability rests with the co-op and not individual farmers. So, more individual farmer equity is free to grow their business or invest in other things.

Read the rest at Co-operatives First


Go to the GEO front page