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Why do most farms fail? There are so many reasons why this happens but one of the common mistakes and reasons most farms fail is that they don’t have a farm record book.
There are so many reasons as to why farms fail in their dealings but in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the importance of farm record keeping.
No matter the type of agriculture business you are into, having a record book won’t hurt you or your farming business but rather will be the best thing to happen to you.
As a 21st century farmer, there are things you need to put in place to take your farm to the next level, one of such is a farm record book.
In this article, we will be going through some things like the meaning of farm record keeping, why it is important, and so on.
What is Farm Record Keeping?
Farm record keeping is the art of keeping track of different activities on the farm. It is a daily task that must be done by either the farm owner (if it is a small farm) or the farm manager (in the case of a big farm).
Having a farm record book saves you a lot of overthinking and also allows taking your farm business to the next level shortly.
A farm record book contains things like purchases and sales records, feeding schedules, mortality, and so on.
Importance Of Farm Record Keeping
Now that you know the meaning of farm record keeping, let’s take a look at the reason why record-keeping is important.
Knowing this will help see the other side of the divide of things you are not seeing.
- Helps to determine Income And Expenses
The first reason why record keeping is important on the farm is to better determine and understand income and expenses.
Looking at it, if you are doing any business without a record, you will just be like the traditional farmers without any plan. Having a farm record book will make see between the lines of the income and expenses of the farm.
If you look into your books and you see that the expenses are way more than the income, then you know there is an issue that needs to be fixed.
Without a record book, you won’t know what is happening on the farm.
- Farm Planning
The next reason why record keeping is important is for better farm planning. How do you want to move forward if you don’t have a plan? After going through your books, it will be a good guide to how you plan the activities on your farm.
On one of my visits to a farm for consultation in the eastern part of Nigeria, when I asked for their record book which was not available, I noticed that they are just doing things off-head. With the introduction of a record book before I left, we were able to plan very well on things that need to be scrapped, what should be introduced, and so on.
So if you are looking at taking your farm to the next step through planning, having a farm record book is the way to go.
- Payment of tax
Another reason why record keeping is important is for tax purposes.
How do I mean? If you are a commercial farmer with a registered farm, having a farm record book will help you a lot during tax seasons.
Without a record book, it is very possible to pay more when you are supposed to pay less and vice versa, but having a farm record book will save you the headache of running around with your tax consultant with assumed figures when it is time for paying tax.
To save yourself the stress and headache, you should have a farm record book possibly two (one with the manager and the second with you as the owner of the farm).
- Easy Access to loan
If you are serious about business in the agricultural space and you are doing everything right in the business, then a day will come where you will need to expand your business.
When the time comes and the amount you have isn’t enough for expansion, you will need help from a third party like banks or the government in form of loans or grants.
With a farm record book insight, it will be easy for you to access this loan without stress because the creditor will see that if they lend you the money, it will not be difficult to pay back the loan.
Come to think of it, someone sees the good work you are doing on your farm and wants to invest in your farm which you are also interested in, having a record book will give you something to show for your works over the years.
- Better Productivity
The fifth reason why you need a record book on your farm is to better understand the productivity on the farm.
Having a record book will help you as a farmer to know how productive your farm is doing. If you are doing things right, you will be able to determine if your workers are doing what they are supposed to do, whether or not the agricultural products are being profitable or not.
What Is in a Record Book?
If you are a newbie in this agricultural business and you are wondering what is in the farm record book? Well depending on the type of agriculture business you are into, the content defers from each other but most time they follow the same pattern of information contained in the book.
For most people that are into livestock farming, the content in the farm record book are but is not limited to:
- Date: This is a record column of the date of each day of the year.
- Livestock record: If you are raising any type of livestock like goat, fish, poultry, and so on, This part of the record book shows the information of the livestock. It contains information like the type of livestock, quantity, weight, amount, and so on.
- Farm Income: This is simply information about how much is being made on the farm for a particular period.
- Farm Expenses: It is a record of the amount spent daily, weekly or monthly on the farm.
- Equipment Inventory: This record shows the information on every piece of equipment available on the farm. It is important to have a record of all your equipment so that if anyone gets missing, you will know which is it and what to do when that happens.
- Equipment Repair log: As the name implies, the equipment repair log shows the repair information and schedule of all the equipment on the farm
- Farm Visit log: Most farmers don’t see the need to have a visitor log book but it is important to note that having a record of whoever comes in or out of the farm will save you a lot of trouble when there is a case of theft or any mishap.
- Ledger book: It is like a balance book of your accounting information for a particular period.
You can buy a copy of this book by clicking the button below.
Methods of Farm Record Keeping
If you are thinking of what method is best for recording my farm information, then I will say depending on your workers and the system you put in place, you can choose one of the two methods below.
- Digital Method: This method takes advantage of technology. If you have workers that are tech-savvy and can use a computer, then you can impose that they record daily farm activity on a system application/software or phone software.
Examples of software that can be used are Google sheet, Microsoft Excel, or an application called Poultry Manager. They are other software that can be used, you just have to do your research and choose the one that will be best for you.
- Traditional/ Manual method: This method of recording farm activities is making use of a book. Just like I have mentioned above, you can use a traditional book and it will be fine.
An advice I will give to you is to at least two of this book, one for you and the other one for your farm manager/ worker.
Whichever method of record-keeping you choose, it will be great to have this in place.
No matter the size of your farm, having a record book will make people take you seriously whenever they need information from you.
If you are someone that will not be available on the farm always, a record book will keep you up-to-date on whatever is happening on your farm.
Depending on the type of livestock you are raising, if you want a record book specifically for poultry birds (chicken), you can buy this instead. Thinking of starting a poultry or catfish business, then read this article next where I compared the pros and cons of each business.