Farming can be successful but for you to be successful, you have to think critically and out of the box. You must think like a modern tech farmer and not as that conservative traditional farmer. You must do away with the traditional methods and think as a business person, the traditional methods no longer work.
Most of the new farmers struggle because they follow passion instead of viewing farming as a business and a carrier. Whatever prevents you from getting into farming and succeeding can be done with. Let’s see what you can do to be successful if farming and how long it will take you.
Best methods to improve your farm profitability
Conduct Market Analysis First
If as a farmer you grow any type of crop without first knowing a specific market, you are bound to fail. Sadly, that’s what most people do. They rush into farming business without validating the market potential of their given crop.
Don’t look at what your neighbors are growing and decide, do your own analysis. Competition kicks in and the only way to stand out, is through lowering your prices. But that’s the best scenario, the worst case scenario would be the marketing dictating what price you get.
No one wants to lose control of how they price their commodities. But that’s what you’ll get when you fail to look for a market upfront. You’ll pay for the mistake by squeezing your margins dry. To be on the safe side, start by approaching all probable market outlets about your farming ideas and then choose an enterprise based on the feedback you receive. That way you’ll be sure that the market really needs what you intend to grow.
Make Sure You Choose The Right Crop
If you want to optimize on your probability, make sure you go for the right crop. Choosing the right crop to plant is the first step to optimizing farm profitability.
In any given market, consumers will demand more than one enterprise. As an entrepreneur under such circumstances, you’re face with a decision on what enterprise to select. My advice is simple, choose the one that has a higher market value.
The reason I say this is because the cost of production is almost the same across various enterprises. For example, whether you need to grow tree tomatoes or hass avocado you’ll require land, same land preparation, and same operation cost. But the difference is determined by how the market values a given crop.
Always Plan in Advance
Planning is important in all fields and those who ignore it do so at their own peril. It’s a fact that all professionals have plans – For instance, doctors follow a treatment plan, airline pilots follow a flight plan, and soldiers follow a military operation plan.
While we can’t guarantee your success – in fact no one can, having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success. The reason why most farming ideas no matter how great never live to see the light of day, is that they neglect this vital step.
Knowing this gives you unfair advantage over the rest of the folks. When you take your time to write a detailed farm plan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to figure what to do next.
And as with any agricultural produce, time is a luxury you cannot afford. Given the perishable nature of most horticultural produce, you’ll be messed up if you lack a plan of action.
Diversify Your farming Enterprises
Don’t try to specialize in farming. There are some other instances where specialization is paramount, but if you want farm profitability badly, you can’t afford to specialize.
You have likely heard the expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
For example, if you’re growing passion fruits for income, it could be a good idea to intercrop them with other vegetables such as, strawberries, onions, and spinach.
These intercropped short-term crops will enable you to earn some income before your main crop.
Stick to Your Plan
Starting a farm of your own is a fantastic way to give yourself some control and possibly earn an extra income at the same time.
Farming is risky, challenging, and not for the fainthearted. Farmers and agripreneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations. One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.
This is all part of the business of agriculture. Now, when you face such situation, the last thing you need to do is switch plans.
While some challenges might require a change of plans, it’s better to stick to your plan and learn from your mistakes. It’s all part of the process that eventually leads to farm profitability.
Invest in Yourself
You need to continually invest in yourself to become better at what you do. Grasp any learning opportunity to help you make better farm decisions.
While you do this, don’t worry about being perfect. If you worry too much about being perfect, you’re never going to get anything done. Get your farm set up as soon as you can, and you can worry about learning the ins and outs of the trade later. Learning events such as field days, open days, and libraries are all good sources of information.
Don’t Take too Many Short Cuts
Farming entrepreneurs have a role to play. A role to protect the integrity of the industry and restore faith in the quality food standards. Taking short cuts defeats the whole logic of protecting the industry’s integrity.
Compliance to quality standards and other farm operations is key. Therefore, to safeguard your farm profitability, you need to adhere to those standards.
Keep Clear Book Records
Always ensure you keep current, accurate records. Pay attention to details. Know where your money is generated and spent. Storing receipts in a shoebox and waiting to post figures at the end of the year is not a recommended recordkeeping system.
Good records will help you to measure your cash flow as well as to estimate the profitability of the enterprises.
Ensure Food Safety in Mind
Remember that you’re growing food for human consumption. And as such, food safety is key. The only way to ensure that you’re growing safe and high quality produce, is by following the best agricultural practices.
Internationally producers and consumers are embracing the practices and. It’s not just a requirement but an important component in enhancing food safety. Consumers will pay you more when you’re accredited and certified against such standards.
No one is perfect when it comes to farming. Therefore there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. Many people, including oxfarm, are happy to help people out.
Farming takes time, therefore be patient and persistent. Follow the above few tips and you will be surprised how first your farming enterprise will grow.