Small and large-scale farmers need to track expenses and incomes from their estates. Without proper record keeping and management, they are bound to make hefty losses. For many years, people have assumed that a single record book is enough. Did you know there are different types of farm records, each with a specific use?
Commercial agriculture estates in Nigeria can make you a millionaire, but only if you manage your human and non-human resources well. Using the different types of farm records appropriately will help you track all your farming activities, leading to success.
What is a farm record?
A farm record is a document that accounts for different activities, events, and materials related to an agricultural estate's operations. In most cases, farm records are books.
Examples of farm records are daily activity logs, agricultural input documents, and production logs. These will be explored in detail below. In present-day society, this information can be kept and managed on a computer.
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Another commonly used term is farm accounts, which refers to documents that track financial aspects. These accounts are strictly for money-related issues. Sometimes, special financial books are used to track finances.
In present-day Nigeria, many farmers do not keep these documents. This can lead to losses in the long run because income and expenditure are not tracked.
Types of farm records and their uses
Daily activity logs
An example of what to include here is the day and time a pesticide was sprayed or the animals were vaccinated or dewormed. This information will help the manager plan for the next time a vet will visit or when the next pesticide application will be.
Farm implements and equipment inventory book
This is used to keep an inventory of all the equipment on the estate and their quantity. It can also contain the date of purchase of the equipment and their description.
Like every other tool and machinery, farmstead equipment undergo wear and tear. Some need servicing and repair, while others need replacement. Keeping inventory ensures that all tools and equipment needed for various functions are available on demand.
Agricultural input log
This document keeps track of all agricultural inputs, including fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, and other agrochemicals.
The log contains the amount of each item bought, the amount used in a day, and the remaining amount. It should also contain the expiry dates of various agrochemicals, especially for those with a short shelf life.
Livestock and livestock products inventory document
Serious farmers should keep separate documents for livestock and crops. In addition, each type of livestock should have separate documents.
These documents are used to track the number of animals and their produce. For example, the number of eggs collected in a day or litres of milk. Sometimes, animals die due to diseases, and this information should be recorded.
Animal feeds log
Different animals require different feeds in different amounts. This log is used to keep an inventory of different feeds, the quantity purchased, and the amount consumed daily. This helps in determining when next to stock and the amount to purchase.
In case a particular feed is not well-tolerated by the animals, details should also be noted to avoid repurchasing what is no longer needed.
Farm use log
This log is used for recording the date the land was prepared for crop or animal keeping, the number of plots or hectares planted, the plant species planted, and where they are planted.
It helps to account for different parts of the land and facilitates crop rotation. Crop rotation means planting different crops sequentially on the same parcel of land to optimise soil nutrients, improve soil health, and combat pests and weeds.
Farm expenditure record
This is a document used to document all monies spent. It should include every single Naira or kobo spent. It should contain what every coin or note was spent on, no matter how little.
This is a document specifically kept for employees, including the manager. It contains the number of employees, their salaries, days off, and skipped days.
This document is important in determining if you have enough employees, their productivity, and the staff turnover rate.
All agricultural estates with one or more automobiles should keep a separate document for vehicles. It should contain the amount of petrol consumed and the cost of repair and maintenance.
Not all fam activities are profitable, e.g. you can experience crop failure or market fluctuations. Keeping an inventory of what has not sold is crucial for future planning.
Production records are used to document everything produced on the estate. A log is entered every week and then summed up at the end of the month. An end-of-year sum should also be made.
This helps the farmer to keep track of how well the estate is doing. It is easier to create a production record if you have all other records in place.
This log document is used to record all sales made from the produce, e.g. milk or eggs sold daily and the amount fetched. In most cases, agricultural estates come up with payment terms with regular buyers.
The amount fetched within the agreed period should be recorded. Any other sale made should be recorded, no matter the amount.
What is the importance of farm records?
The documents listed above are crucial for proper farm management. Depending on their mode of operation, some managers may keep fewer or more documents. It is important to keep these documents for the reasons listed below.
- They help a farmer keep stock of everything and manage each aspect of their property accordingly.
- They give a farmer adequate information for proper planning and budgeting.
- They help farmers track the progress of various activities and determine what each activity yields.
- They can be helpful when a farmer needs to access financial assistance from banks or other financial institutions.
- They help to track income and expenditure.
What is the meaning of a farm record?
This is a document used to record various activities conducted on the farm, including expenses and income.
How many types of records are normally kept on the farm?
The number of documents kept varies from one farm to another. The main types of documents needed are explored above.
What are the two types of production records?
The two types are livestock and plant records. These two should be kept separate because they are different.
What are the 7 different types of farms?
The seven kinds are subsistence, commercial, crop, fish, dairy, poultry, and meat farms. Most people have more than one type in the same parcel of land.
Knowing the different types of farm records is important for anyone who wants to manage their land better for improved production. These documents help manage human and non-human resources and plan for the future.
Achieving financial freedom can only happen if you invest your money wisely. It is crucial to conduct a thorough research about your venture of interest before sinking your hard-earned cash into it to avoid financial losses.