In the midst of all the uncertainty created by the Corona Virus, we are continuing to work as farmers – since we provide essential services, amid the government-imposed lockdown. Therefore, farmers now more than ever, should focus on key elements that should bolster their operations and help 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 on a daily basis 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 on a regular basis, tracked, monitored and stored for a period of time to be able 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 really don’t need expensive and over-the-top farm systems to keep records. However, there are a number of software management companies that you can find online to tailor-make a record-keeping software specific to your farm.
But if you really wish to start keeping records in a way that is inexpensive, a more simplified solution is to purchase an A4 book where you can easily write down the date and the key activity done for 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 by labelling each book on the month/year the records were taken. For the computer/PC savvy farmer, using an Excel spreadsheet can also serve the same purpose.
Farm records may seem like a highly administrative task that can consume a lot 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.