Amid all the uncertainty created by the Corona Virus, we are continuing to work as farmers – since we provide essential services, during the government-imposed lockdown. Therefore, farmers now more than ever, should focus on key elements that should bolster their operations and avoid mistakes. 

A common mistake that some farmers make is the inability to keep farm records. Granted, there are a million things that farmers need to prioritise daily to ensure the growth of their farms. However, record-keeping needs to be put on top of that list as well.

What is record-keeping?

Record-keeping is an activity or process you use to keep up-to-date information on all the activities, events, materials, etc. that happen on the farm every day.  

These form part of your farm records, which should be updated regularly, tracked, monitored and stored for a while, to make informed decisions about the future of your operations. 

Why is record-keeping important?

Keeping accurate farm records help farmers to:

  • Measure progress 
  • Can be used as a guideline to see if you are on track with meeting your objectives/targets
  • Generate data (data gathering) 
  • Tells a story about your farm operations 
  • Help make future investment decisions  

How do I keep farm records?

You don’t need expensive and over-the-top farm systems to keep records. However, there are many software management companies that you can find online to tailor-make a record-keeping software specific to your farm. 

But if you wish to start inexpensively keeping records, a more simplified solution is to purchase an A4 book where you can write down the date and the key activities completed on the day, and by whom. And you do the same for the next day, weeks, months and years. In the long term, you can then create a filing system with each book labelled with its month/year of when the records were taken. For the computer/PC savvy farmer, using an Excel spreadsheet can also serve the same purpose. 

Remember… Farm records may seem like a highly administrative task that can consume plenty of time, but once you get the hang of it, it will seem less daunting. When recording the information, always ensure that is relatable, easy to understand, accurate and relevant to you and your farm.

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