Records keeping in farming is an activity most farmers try to avoid. They say it is time-consuming and that they do not have the time for it. So they ignore the activity of records keeping. However, record keeping is a very important task in farming. If you plan to be a prominent farmer with productive farms, you cannot avoid record keeping in your daily farming endeavours. Knowledge acquired from keeping good farm records in priceless.
In this post, we give farmers reasons to be very particular about records keeping.
A requirement for support by lenders, agencies, etc.
Lenders, government agencies, insurance companies and many other bodies demand good records before providing help to farmers. Extension Agents of Agricultural Agencies sometimes require good records kept by farmers to be able to give them good technical advice on their farms. Financial institution and other lenders would require good records on the farm’s income and expenditure before giving out loan facilities to farmers.
Better farm planning and forecasting
Farming is a business and keeping good records helps the farm to plan and do a realistic forecasting. Records keeping provides valuable information on the methods that work and why others did not. In budgeting, the farmer can better predict price changes of inputs and produce from expenditure and sales records kept from previous seasons. The farmer can determine how much is required for farm expansion from good farm records.
Better prediction of rainfall and weather patterns
Records on rainfall incidence and amount over a period of time is very relevant. A farmer, from the records, decides when to plant and when to carry out other activities on the farm. More so, farmers who depend solely on rainfall, use these records as a guide throughout the farming season. Besides, temperature changes also have significant effects on plants, especially at tender stages. It is, therefore, important for farmers to have a fair idea on temperature changes at certain times in the season. We advise farmers keep a simple rain gauge and thermometer for the measurements of rainfall amount and temperature respectively.
Track income and expenditure
Farmers most of the time are not able to give proper accounts on their cash inflows and outflows. This is basically because they overlook and do not record “petty” expenses and incomes (like feeding and costs of phone calls). Keeping proper records, will at any time of reconciliation, give the farmer the correct amount of money spent or gained from the farm. Moreover, this helps in proper planning and budgeting.
Better management of farm
A farmer who keeps records on seed germination rates of the seeds bought is in a better position to select better seeds for seasons. Besides, records keeping helps to determine the right type of crop to grow on a particular type of soil, at a particular time of the season for best yield and better pest and disease management. In the case of livestock, the farm keeps records of the bloodlines, pest, and diseases, feed types and consumption, etc. These records help to prevent inbreeding, control pest and diseases, provide the best feed for optimum performance and a whole lot.
Farmers cannot continue to avoid this activity for the reason of time consumption or any other. So we advise, that spending an average of 10mins each day on the farm to keep farm records is very much worth it. It will save the farmer lots of time and money.
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Post inspiration: The Importance of Record Keeping (http://extension.psu.edu)
Featured image source: http://www.hobbyfarms.com