Keeping Farm Records – A Beginners Guide

Keeping Farm Records for Better Farm Management:

Today, we talk about keeping farm records.

Types of farm record every farmer should keep

Keeping farm records is a very important part of farming. The records have to be accurate and up to date, reflecting on all activities that happen on the farm.

It’s always important to have farm records as a farm manager because;

Loan Applications: When you want to expand your farming business, you will want to have good records to present to the bank. These records will be needed to verify if your business has been performing as required.

Management Purposes: If you have good farm records this will enable to plan and manage your farm efficiently. It will show you where you have been wrong and what you require to do to make it right. It will also act as a guideline in managing your farm budget.

Farmers must also keep records of their farm activities such as;

  • Breeding
  • Feeding
  • Harvesting
  • Planting Records

There are two things a farmer needs to have for accurate farm management, farm records, and farm accounts, especially for commercial farmers. Keeping both farm records and farm accounts is vital if you are going to be successful in the farming business. What is a farm record? A farm record is a document (in most cases a book) that is used to maintain accountability of different activities, events, materials, etc. regarding the farm operations. Farm records are different from farm accounts in the sense that farm accounts deal with the financial aspects of all farm operations. Farm accounts deal majorly with the farm expenditures and income and help the farmer to evaluate how his business is doing.

Main reasons for keeping farm records:

Livestock Record Keeping.
Livestock Record Keeping.
  1. The requirement of maintaining with lenders, agencies, etc.

Lenders, government agencies, insurance companies, and several other bodies demand good records before providing help to farmers. Extension Agents of Agriculture Agencies sometimes want good records kept by farmers to be able to give them good technical advice on their farms. Financial institution and other lenders would want good records on the farm’s income and expenditure before giving out loan facilities to farmers. 

  1. Better farm planning and forecasting

Farming is a business and excellent farm records keeping helps the farmer to plan and do realistic forecasting. A record keeping provides valuable information on the techniques that work and why others did not. In budgeting, the farmer can better predict price changes of inputs and make from expenditure and sales records kept from previous seasons. The farmer can determine how much is necessary for farm expansion from good farm records.

  1. Better prediction of rainfall and weather patterns

A record 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 take out other activities on the farm. More so, farmers who depend solely on rainfall, use these records as a guide during the farming season. Besides, temperature changes have significant effects on plants, especially at tender stages. It is, therefore, important for farmers to have a fair thought on temperature changes at certain times in the season. We advise farmers to keep an easy rain gauge and thermometer for the measurements of rainfall amount and temperature respectively.

  1. Track income and expenditure

A farmer most of the time is not able to give proper accounts on their cash inflows and outflows. This is mainly because they overlook and do not record “petty” expenses and incomes (like feeding and costs of phone calls). Keeping accurate records will at any time of reconciliation, give the farmer the accurate amount of money spent or gained from the farm. Moreover, this helps in accurate planning and budgeting.

  1. Better management of the farm

A farmer who keeps records on seed germination rates of the seeds bought is in a better position to choose better seeds for seasons. Besides, records keeping help to decide 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 farm records of the bloodlines, pest, and diseases, feed types and consumption, etc. These records help to stop inbreeding, control pests and diseases, supply the best feed for optimum performance and a whole lot.

Farmers cannot continue to avoid this activity for the cause of time consumption or any other. So we advise that spending an average of ten minutes each day on the farm to keep farm records is very much worth it. It will save the farmer time and money.

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The importance of keeping farm records:

Why should a farmer keep farm records?

  1. Farm records help a farmer to keep stock and manage each feature of the farm properly.
  2. They are very important for planning and budgeting. They provide a farmer with enough information needed for good planning and budgeting at every point in time.
  3. It helps the farmer to get loans and subsidies from the government.
  4. They help farmers recognize the progress and contributions of each aspect of the farm to its overall success.
  5. They are important for accurate farm management.
  6. It helps the farmers to create budgets and plan his business.
  7. They can be helpful when a farmer needs to access financial aids from banks or other financial institutions.
  8. It enables farmers to create better management and decision.

Different types of farm records:

What are the types of farm record? There are different types of farm records a farmer must keep to running a successful farm business. They are;

Daily farm records:

These are the records of all important daily activities and events that occur on the farm. These records help the farmer maintain track of past farming activities and plan for future activities.

Records of farm implements and equipment:

This is used to maintain an inventory of all the equipment on the farm and their quantity. It can also contain the date of purchase of the equipment and their description.

The cash book and payment receipt:

This is one of the types of farm records a good farmer must take note, cash book, and payment receipt is a farm record book of all financial transactions, both income and expenditure, of the farm. With it, a farm manager can access loans, detect fraudulent practices and identify the state of the business. It is a farm record accounting book. In addition, the farm manager can create productive decisions based on the figures present in the record.

Record of agricultural inputs:

This record is used to keep track of all agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, and etc. The record often contains the amount of that was bought, the amount that has been used, and what is left.

Records of livestock and livestock products:

Farmers keep different records of livestock for every type of livestock on the farm. Also, for livestock that have products, for example, eggs from chickens, the farmer keeps a record that accounts for the number of eggs laid every day. If a farmer has cows for milk production, he keeps records of the cows gave how much amount of liters of milk produced per day.

Annual valuation record:

It is imperative that at the end of every production year, a farmer should evaluate his or her venture to know the current state of the business. The farm strength and weakness have to be found; this is possible when the farmer has the annual valuation record. This farm record keeping book shows the value of stocks presents on the farm from the beginning of the year to the end. It will aid decision making to prepare the farm arrangement for the next production year.

Records of animal feeds:

This record is used for maintaining an inventory of the types of animal feed and the quantity purchased, used, and quantity in stock on a daily basis.

Production records:

Production records are used to document everything that is formed on the farm. These production records are prepared every week. And then summed up at the end of the month and at the end of the year. Thus, there is a weekly record, a monthly record, and an annual record of everything formed on the farm.

Records for farm use:

Used for recording the date the land was arranged for farming, the number of plots or hectares used in planting, the plants planted on the farm and where they are planted.

Workers records:

Workers record is used to keep the record of staffs, their salaries, and payment. It is also known as labor record.

Sales record:

Sale records are used to keep a record of all sales completed from the farm produce.

Yield and production record:

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This is one of the necessary farm records to be kept on a farm; it is the farm record that explains the yield or the output of the farm. For both animal and crop production; the daily or seasonal production rate records in this record. It explains the success rate of the farm during the production year.

Farm input utilization record:

This farm record shows all the input acquired and utilized during the production year, it shows the relevance of a particular input in the production. It shows the level of input application and it is used in combination with output record to determine resource productivity.

Profit and loss record:

This is the principal record; it shows the economic stage of the business. This farm accounting record is the record most farmers tend to keep; however, the aforementioned records are prerequisite to this record. This farm record book is generally prepared at the end of every production period, usually at the end of the year to verify whether the business is making a profit or otherwise.

These are the different types of farm records an aspiring successful farmer must prepare and keep; they are computer-aided farm records. The importance of farm records are copious and cannot be overruled; the uses of farm record:

  • Procurement of a bank loan.
  • Aids productive decision making.
  • Help to detect fraudulent practices.
  • It helps to know the economic status of the farm.
  • It shows the strength and weakness of a farm.

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