Farming is not majorly based about farming activities alone, there are other practices taking place in the farm every day. Apart from focusing only on farming there are some large scale farmers who venture in to agribusiness where they sell produces from their farms.
Keeping farm records is as important as owning a large business somewhere. From knowing and recording feed costs, how and when you vaccinate your names, the quantity of feeds each animal consumes in kilograms, the number of animals in the farm, milking and the quantity each animals produces in the morning, mid-morning and in the evening, the periods of spraying animals, sales from milk and other produces from the farm, the quantity of fertilizers and seeds each of your farms require and most importantly recordingthe produces from harvests in your farm.
What are these records a farmer should practice keeping on his farm? Well, below are some of the records a farmer should keep:
- Marketing records
If the farmer is doing large scale farming and processes his farm products, for example, when the farmer processes raw milk into fully processed yoghurt, cheese, cheddar and butter he should be able to advertise it so as people can know and be aware of the products.
The costs of advertising and how the advertisement impacted to your products should be noted down.
- Inventory records
Inventories are assets minus liabilities and they include raw materials, work in progress and finished goods. The farmer should be in a position to record his all assets which may include: all lorries, all the number of animals, tractors and other heavy machinery, land, shares in cooperatives with other farmers, all non-processed and processed products and the cash the farmer has in his bank accounts.
- Breeding records
This is the recording of how and when you take breeding practices in the farm, artificial breeding like artificial insemination and traditional breeding a bull mounting a cow. The farmer should note down the exact day this process is done so as to enable the farmer to know the exact day the animals will be giving birth to be around and help it giving birth in the case of a complication or poultry hatching.
- Production records
This includes the expenses the farmers incur while doing farm practices which may include: cost of feeds, buying of raw materials, other supplies to the processing firm to enable proper production process and the cost of running all the machinery in the factory. It may also include workers and the labor they provide to the production process.
- Health records
Health records should be mandatory records to keep in the farm. The farmer should keep these records because it is easier to know which animals were vaccinated and treated to avoid repeating the practices on the same animals.
It is also easier to remember when the animals were vaccinated and when to be vaccinated next, for example, growers should be vaccinated on 20th week in the brooder.
- Labor records
These are records to show the farmer how many workers work in his farm and their departments. This will help him in easy paying and distributing wages and salaries to the farm laborers.
- Field operation records
Field operations includes: land cultivation, weeding, plant operations and harvesting of the produces from the farm since all these require capital the farmer should be able to recordall the expenditure.
- Feeding records
Is the recording of feeds taken by an animal, the quantity and the ratio that the feeds should be mixed. The costs of these feeds should be also recorded and in any case their source for easier supplies.
- Financial records
The farmer should be able to account for all the expenditure and money moving in and out of the farm. These are some of the financial documents each farmer should have in his farm:
- Invoices – these is a financial document issued by the supplier to the end goods receiver.
- Financial statements – financial statements include balance sheets and profit and loss accounts.
- Receipts – receipts are issued to the buyer after a successful purchase.
- Delivery notes – a delivery note is issued by the farmer to the supplier after receiving the goods and the invoice.
- Purchase orders – these are order requests the farmer makes in case of any shortage of supplies in the farm to the supplier.
The advantages of keeping farm records
- Record keeping gives the farmer an opportunity to make decision in the farm.
- These records can also assist the farmer secure loans from individuals, cooperatives and banks.
- The farmer will also be knowledgeable and be able to determine whether his agribusiness is turning into a profit making venture or a loss one.
- It is easier to make farm planning by the farmer.
- The farmer can also be able to make budgets in his farming venture.
- Makes it easy to the farmer to evaluate all the assets and liabilities he has.
- Assists much in future references.