4 Quick Tips for Beginner Farmers
Farms are an essential part of the lives of everyone on this planet. They provide people with a variety of foodstuffs needed to survive. Whether you eat meat, vegetables, fruit, or wheat products there’s a chance that your food has come from a farm. Farms have existed since the time of man’s creation and even now they still hold a valuable role in keeping humanity alive and kicking.
In the United States alone, in 2019 there were over 2 million farms. This net cash farm income is expected to increase by $4.9 billion to $115.2 billion in 2020. The average wage for a farmer is $43,103, as of October of 2020. The range can fall anywhere between $37,349 and $55,588. These salary ranges can vary depending on a few factors including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. For those new to the farming industry, here are few tips to follow when breaking in.
1. Have a clear idea of your abilities and goals.
When entering any new business, you need to have an idea of what you want to do, and what you can do well. This can help save you a lot of headaches in the days, the months, and the years to come. When undertaking a large project like creating a new farm, these are questions which you’ll need to have answered.
First, assess what you can bring to the table. Maybe you’ve picked up that degree in business management, farming, and agriculture. Or maybe you just have years of hands-on experience from working on farms all throughout your life. You still need to assess what you bring as a farmer to a potential business.
Do you have a green thumb? Do you know the ins and outs of planting, tilling the soil, working outdoors, and everything else which might be associated with working with crops? Start off by first figuring out, what do I want to farm? There are a variety of different fields of farming so it’s best to start figuring out which one works for you. For instance, probably start by figuring out which produce crop you’ll want to invest in. This can include corn, cotton, fruit, tree nuts, rice, soybean, oil crops, sugar, sweeteners, vegetables, pulses, and wheat.
Preparing for your chosen field will help you to also best farm and take care of your crops. How much water is needed to successfully grow your crops? How often will you need to ship out your product to distributors to get to stores? How much crow repellent for corn seed will you need to ensure healthy crops?
On the other hand, maybe produce farming isn’t what you’re interested in doing. The same steps apply here in having a clear idea of your abilities and goals. Are you more inclined to work with animals, and have more insight into what goes into producing poultry, and beef products? Either way, figure out first what knowledge you bring to a particular field.
You don’t want to sink all of your start-up costs into a field that you’ll hate. Find out what your economic and personal farming goals are, what you bring to the table, and you’ll be in a better position with the choice of your chosen farming profession.
2. Have the correct tools on hand and keep them upgraded.
When running a farm you’ll need the correct tools to get the job done. With the technological advancements which the farming industry has experienced over the years, many farming tools have helped to make the farming process that much easier. Farm tools can help to improve the effectiveness of the work the farmer does, which makes the farmer and their work all the more effective.
The standard tools and equipment which you’ll need on hand at a farm will include a tractor, an ATV/ UTV, a farm truck, a farm wagon, mowers, a backhoe, a plastic mulch layer, sprayers, an irrigation system, a scythe, a sickle, rakes, balers, a combine/ harvester, a manure spreader, hydroponics, seed drills, front-end loader, cultivator, and plows. Also think of having personal items on hand which can help your workers, as they work out in the field. Make sure to stock up on baseball caps to help block out the hot sun, bottles of Canadian springs water, gloves, and maybe even face coverings for the dirt, dust, and grass that might be kicked up as your employees work in the fields.
It’s also important to keep your tools upgraded for a number of reasons. Worn out machinery and equipment can affect your productivity. If your machinery or equipment is constantly breaking down this can lead to delays in production and can affect your bottom line. This can create a lot more unnecessary work and is time-consuming.
Having worn farming equipment can also be expensive in the long run. You’ll constantly have to pay out of pocket to have tool and machine repairs done. Things become even more expensive when your product or farm harvest quality is affected by tools or machinery not working properly. Such worn-out equipment can also add to mental stress. As you find yourself trying to constantly get your broken down tools and equipment to work, in addition to dealing with the delays brought on by such things happening, your mental health will take a hit.
3. Make your farm home comfortable.
More likely than not, you are going to live on your farm. You’ll want to be close to where you do your business, as most farmers live on-site with their farming business. Make sure to make your home as comfortable as possible in this case.
Maybe think about adding a basketball hoop to your driveway where you can go and shoot some hoops after a long day of work. Think about adding a small garden in your backyard, or even greenery in your house which you can put your green thumb to use in. Have a local garage floor coating company come out to put the final touches or turning your garage into a man cave or she shed for other hobby’s that you might have. Maybe even invest in a home theater where you and the family can unwind after a long day of farm work.
Renovate, rebuild, or do whatever else you might feel needs to be done to make your home feel like your home. Because when you come home from a long day of farm work, you want to leave the work behind.
4. Hire the best farmhands.
If you’re not shooting for making farming a one-person job, you’ll want to bring employees on board. These workers can help you to stay on schedule, and to get a lot of work done in a timely fashion. Begin to look for a farmhand. Farmhands are individuals who maintain farm equipment, operate farm equipment, irrigate your land for floods, and transport/ take care of animals.
They are in many cases your right-hand man or woman. When looking for a farmhand you’ll want someone with has experience working on a farm, strength, stamina, manual dexterity, technical skills, good listening skills, and knowledge of the best farming practices. When you bring on the best person for the job you increase your chances of making a bigger and better profit at the end of the day.