•Manage the farm; records are the history, the present and the future of the farm. Keep them as a must.
•Monitor progress; there is no way you will know the growth of the farm unless you keep records of the farm activities. They for example show you whether you are making losses or profits.
•Records also help when the taxman comes knocking. Without proper records, paying the correct taxes may be difficult, since the taxman will assess you as he wishes. Records also ease the process of obtaining loans and grants.
•Decision making; records help in deciding whether to continue with an enterprise or stop it given the success or failure-according to records.
•You can observe trends in weather, pests, production
etc. So make sure that details such as the usage of pesticides and application systems are clearly recorded.
•Records help identify dead stock including the causes of death and sick animals including those that should be culled. Culling means killing livestock to stop diseases from spreading.
Examples of records
These include asset register, drugs, pesticides, fertilizers, no. of
animals, dead ones, sickly ones etc
These track income and expenses and capture every penny spent and earned. These should include a balance sheet, farm assets like machinery, farm debts, farm incomes and farm expenses. You can get a professional accountant to help you draw the sheets for each record so that this information is easily fed into it.
Records can be in a handwritten notebook, a computer spreadsheet, a specialized bookkeeping program, or a combination.
You can for example draw a table and list; Total No. of animals, birthing rates, vet visits, drugs and treatment, milk production etc.
For crops, you can list a variety of crops, agronomy, seeding rates per acre, planting time, costs of pesticides and usage etc.
-Make sure that every money earned at the farm is properly receipted. Receipts help you follow up on products sold.
-Do not spend money as it comes in. For example, when you sell a goat, and then before the money reaches your pocket, you give it to a worker as a salary. This is a bad spending habit because it leads to improper spending. First bank or record this money before it is spent.
-Separate your personal money from the farm money and if you use it, indicate it as an investment.
-Rather than picking out money from the farm for your personal usage as you wish, give yourself a salary just like any other farm worker. Anything beyond your salary can be recorded as a loan to you from the farm.
There are bad days on the farm and these include; Price fluctuations; Death, Accidents, Drought, Storage, theft, malice by neighbours who may not like your project near them etc.
• You need to have a plan B. This is an alternative for action if expected results fail to materialize.