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TO THE EDITOR. Sib,,—lt was, I believe, stated during the public examination of a bankrupt m. Ashburton lately that the entire cost of running a threshing plant during the ordinary threshing season m this district would not exceed £6 per thousand bushels. Now, as the actual cost of putting every thousand bushels through the machine is nearly £8, I think it unfair to the owners of machines m the district to allow such a statement to pass unchallenged, inasmuch as it would lead farmers to suppose that the profits made by them are much m excess of what they really are, instead of being, as is actually the case, so little as barely to cover interest, insurance, and depreciation m value, without leaving anything whatever for the owner to pay him for his trouble and risk m managing his business. If you will allow me space I will endeavor to give an estimate of the cost of running a threshing plant, that is to say, the actual working expenses, Isaving out interest, insurance, and depreciation m value. This is as follows :—

Next we have the Year and tear caused by each 1000 bushels, and which, from an experience extending over sixteen years, I estimate as follows :—- Driving belts, new every 250,000, cost £9, or per 1000 Is 6d ; other belting 3d ; beater plates, new every 40,000, cost £2, or per 1000 Is ; screen, new every 400,000, cost £15, or per 1000 9d ; shoe shafts, new every 650,000, cost £8, or per 1000 3d; shaker shafts, new every 550,000 cost £16, or per 1000 7d j concaves, new every 320,000, cost£ll, or per 1000 Is Id ; concaves dressed up every 80,000 at 30s each time, or per 1000 Is Id; brasses, 2d ; new zinc for riddles, Id; elevater cups, Id ; straw elevator belts and battons, new every 40,000, cost £5, or per 1000 3d ; weighing machines, new every 480,000, cost £6, or per 1000 3d ; engine packing per 1000 Id ; water lifter hose per 1000 Id; piston rings per 1000 3d ; engine cog gear, new every 810,000, cost £70, or per 1000 Is 8d ; fire bars, new every 360,000, cost £3, or per 1000 2d ; paint and painting per 1000 Id ; man's time overhauling machine, say three weeks each year or season of 75,000, cost £7 10s, or per 1000 2s ; other small items not easily specified such as steam gauges, water gauge glasses, lubricators and worsted, forks, cloths, tally-books, repairs to water cart, &c, &0., say . Is. Total per 1000, £7 17s 7d. To this will always have to be added a charge per 1000 for accidental breakages which may amount to Is per 1000, or sometimes as high as 4s. This estimate is, as I have said, based on my own experience, but I will be pleased if any one who is m a position from personal experience to do so will correct; me if I have either over or underestimated any of the items given. I am inclined to think that on the whole I have kept within the mark, and indeed I am certain that it will require careful management and good handling to keep the wear and tear down to my estimate. I am aware that drivers and feeders might be obtained who would work for lower wages than those quoted, but I think that the wear and tear account would be likely to more than make up for the saving m wages. The same applies to boy watermen, whose muddy water used by cheap and careless drivers are accountable probably for a good many of the cracked fire boxes. Depreciation iv value, although it would perhaps more properly count m working expenses, and amounts to 10s per 1000, I have left to be classed with interest and insurance, as lam not going into the question of the profit and loss of the thseshing business, but simply to show that the working cost is a long way over £6 per 1000. Apologising for taking up so much of your space on a subject which probably will interest but few of your readers. —I am, etc., James W. Oliver, Greenstreet, July 2nd, 1890.

Driver's wages ... per 1000 Feeder's wages or bandcutter, if a selffeeder is used ... „ Eight men at 10s each „ Coal „ Oil ... Driver and feeder's "tucker" ... 1 5 0 15 4 0 0 19 0 2 0 4 d 0 0 0 0 6 0

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Bibliographic details

THRESHING PRICES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2457, 3 July 1890

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THRESHING PRICES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2457, 3 July 1890

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