“He who does not cultivate his field will die of hunger.” – Polish Proverbs. Prove them wrong that farming is not an easy job. This may seem not alarming to some, but farmers experience problems with their crops or field on a daily basis. But one thing that keeps them from not giving up is the love for their passion of farming.
Farmers are vital to the existence of our varied communities because they give us food to eat and materials to run the world. They make proper use of natural resources, and they do it using both basic and advanced technologies. They can cope with a wide range of growing seasons, climate fluctuations, soil conditions, and even devastating natural disasters such as wildfires, droughts, and floods.
But just like anyone on any business related venture, farmers sometimes make mistakes mainly because they’re new with this career. This article will tackle the top 5 common mistakes new farmers encounter.
Lack of Appreciation
Farming’s financial and risk management aspects are undervalued. When you’re just getting started and have little cash to spare, you can’t afford to be overly aggressive in many decisions. For example, you shouldn’t try something new on a large number of acres because endless possibilities can happen—both negative and positive. You could lose your entire farm if you didn’t keep up with the cash that goes out. Thus, you must ensure that you understand where you stand in terms of profits, expenses, timelines, and other important considerations. You also need to know how to handle every possible situation concerning finances when they arise.
So before you expand, make the most of what you have. New farmers and enterprises go way in over their heads and jump the gun with expansion before they even have the financial means to do so. Make the most of the space you have first. Instead of flat terrain, you might want to consider sloped hills—maybe even incorporate the brilliant and efficient idea behind rice terraces. Or you could mob graze so that fewer areas of land are used for short periods. There are numerous alternatives to standard methods of thinking. Take a look at them in order to get more knowledgeable and innovative.
Many individuals believe that writing a business plan is a waste of time, yet it is critical to establish your path. You wouldn’t embark on a journey without learning about the location you’ll be visiting, where you want to go, where you’ll stay, and so on. It’s a lot like starting a new business. Your business plan should include a marketing strategy. Make a list of what sets you apart from the competitors. These are your advantages.
Also, concentrate on marketing and selling your crop. These will pave way to the cost sides of farming: an operational side (crop growth) and a marketing side or selling the crop. Although it may seem like that all you need to do is work hard on the operational side, but this is hardly ever the case. The operational aspect is self-evident. Your crop and industry in your area have a lot of influence on purchasing. The true key to making money is knowing how to market your produce and how to make consumers increase their demands for your products.
Listen to Experts
You’re going to fail, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. Weather, drought, pests, and disease will cause you to lose crops. These are extremely difficult and depressing lessons. Sometimes you just want to throw in the white towel or have a do-over so you can put up a better fence or place more effective preventive measures. It’s always going to be a series of lessons from which you can improve the next time. But fear not because experts that have been through what you are going through are always ready to share valuable insights.
In fact, if you are from a family of farmers, you already have mentors that you can readily seek advice from. These people have been on this particular business for decades and are far more knowledgeable than you. You only need to pay attention to what they’re saying. They may appear to be overly cautious at times, but keep in mind that these are not without reasons and sometimes even unfortunate experiences. But we can’t all be from generations of farmers. Finding a mentor or working as a farmhand is then a fantastic alternative. Get some real-world farm experiences to see if this industry is for you. And if it is your farm in consideration, what would you do differently than the farmer you work for? What will distinguish you from the competition?
Main and Only Source of Income
Customers want to know about you before they buy your products. They want to know who you are, what you stand for, and how you manage your land. Your answers to these sets you apart from your next-door neighbor, who may not be telling a captivating story about themselves. This is what makes you and your farm special, and you should tell others about it so they can help you on your adventure.
They believe that farming is a way of life, and that is all they require to thrive. On the other hand, a lifestyle does not feed your children, pay your vehicle loan, and so on. You may need to see an off-farm job for the time being to supplement your income as you establish your farm. Indeed, farming is a way of life. But it is also a business, and you must strike a balance between the two.
Can’t Resist The Trendiness
Not being able to resist the allure of new, gleaming paint. Many young farmers want that fancy new tractor, disc, planter, or whatever it is with all the bells and whistles. Until you’ve established a financial foundation and a land base to support it, you’ll probably have to swallow your pride and use older and less appealing equipment. At the end of the day, you have to go with the available options that gets the job done.
Whenever possible, borrow or rent. Is it possible to borrow or rent a tractor from a relative instead of purchasing one that costs a lot upfront and depreciates over time? If it is, then why not. There are also locations where you may rent equipment. Only when the price of renting is costlier in the long run should you turn to purchasing your own equipment. You should consider these factors for equipment that you don’t use very often.
Moving on to no-till or low till farming, there are options for getting started without going into debt. You are not required to purchase everything at once. Make an informed decision. Slowly introduce several types of operations to your farm. This is when the strategy comes into play.
In business, there are many ways to fail, but there are more ways to thrive. As you begin your farm business, we hope that you will learn from some of these blunders. You’ll do well if you believe in yourself, have a plan, and take incremental steps as you go. If they say that you wouldn’t get anything from farming, prove them wrong and let your actions do the talking.
Wishing you the best of luck and happy farming!