10 Things To Consider Before Starting Your Own Farm

Agriculture is an age-old and respected profession. Making a living from the land is an incredibly satisfying endeavor, and if managed properly, it can be a very profitable one as well. As the world’s growing population demands more and more food every day, there is no shortage of markets. Of course, all that demand is for naught if your farm is not managed successfully.

To give yourself the best chance to thrive while earning a living from the land, take these ten points to heart.

Animals eating grass in the meadow

1. Available funds and shares

You will need to make a significant financial investment in your farming business. It could be cash, it could be another property that you liquidate for cash, or it could be financed. Whichever path you choose, make sure you have a good plan for meeting your personal financial needs – such as an off-farm job, or as a contractor on other farms – as well as a realistic means of paying off debt and earn back. personal investment.

Creating a good business plan will cover many of these bases, and any institution that lends you money will certainly take your ability to repay into account.

2. Your knowledge base

Farming requires a huge range of skills, not only in animal and plant production, but also in the operation of machinery, the construction of fences and irrigation systems, and complex farm management tasks. Because the learning curve is so steep, you may need to dedicate yourself to significant amounts of formal and informal education before starting. You may not have to spend four years at university, but the more you can learn in the classroom, the less risk you face in practice.

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3. Land use regulations

Land is the most fundamental ingredient in agriculture. If you can’t buy or lease enough to make enough products, you won’t bring in enough revenue to survive. If you are struggling to acquire land, consider intensive production systems such as greenhouses or the production of highly specialized, high-value niche products. Vegetables tend to provide larger income streams, while grains and fiber are less lucrative per hectare.

Whatever land arrangement you choose, make sure all terms are in writing with clear terms and conditions on costs and conditions.

4. Equipment required

Although farming is largely about the work of your two hands, even the simplest production systems involve a lot of machinery and tools. Buying, borrowing, renting or renting equipment is an essential part of the production and sale of any agricultural product. Again, if you’re falling short in this area, adapt your plan to something that works with the resources you do have.

Be realistic in what you buy; a brand new item will last longer, but used gear can get you off to a good start with less overhead, giving you time to gather enough resources to upgrade later.

Harvesting agricultural crops

5. What you produce

Many beginning farmers make the mistake of thinking they can generate the same income as a very profitable neighbor. The reality is that it can take years or decades to develop a farm to the point where it makes any profit, let alone a large one.

Successful farmers make informed decisions about what to produce based on costs, values, market size, competition, and many other elements.

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6. Business organization

A farm is not just a farm. It can be organized into a variety of legal structures, such as a corporation, a partnership, or an operation strictly under the control of its owner. There are reasons for every arrangement, and no two farms face the same circumstances.

Consider things like financial backing, liability, input ownership and labor obligations before you take in the first bit of money from sales.

7. Licensing and Regulations

Consumers expect the food they buy to be safe and of high quality. The use of pesticides, humane treatment of animals and safe conditions for farm workers are among your customers’ high priorities. To this end, governments at all levels have established a variety of licensing and regulatory requirements. These apply to both domestic and international sales, and failure to comply with them could not only undermine your market, it could also result in civil or criminal penalties.

8. Labor and Contractors

Harvesting a crop requires many hands, often in a very short time frame. You can waste countless hours looking for workers, leading to crop spoilage due to over-ripeness or rainfall. Working with employment agencies like AgriLabor QLD ensures that you have enough staff for whatever task is required, keeping your business on track and on track for profitability. You will also need contacts in various contract positions for specialized equipment or services that are not cost-effective to do yourself.

9. Marketing strategies

Agricultural markets are a very competitive place. In fact, economists typically use farmers markets as an example of a “perfectly competitive market,” in which all products are the same and producers must accept the market price. Corn is corn, cotton is cotton, and wheat is wheat, so you need some way to differentiate your goods if you expect to be anything other than a price taker. Specialties such as organic production and hard-to-find items can increase your sales.

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Organic fruit growing in Indonesia

10. Availability of assistance

No two growing seasons are the same. Farmers often experience an excellent harvest one year and repeat their techniques the next year, only to see worse results.

While farming is a very independent career, it also requires being able to network with advisors and other producers to find out what went wrong, what went right, and what issues to anticipate in the coming season.

Conclusion

Like any business venture, farming requires proper planning. And it is a profession, no matter how many beautiful memories or stories you have about the idyllic existence of a farmer. Those rewards will come, but they also come with costs that need to be covered before you can realize the romantic side.

A well-planned, well-organized, and well-managed farm can produce an income from the bottom of the earth for you and your family, earning as honest a living as anyone wants.

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