Farming is one of the most down-to-earth professions—literally. However, people often take the humble, hardworking attitude associated with farming and imagine that farmers are never out to make a profit.
A love of the land and the work is certainly important, but making a living is just as crucial to a farmer as it is to any other businessman. That’s why these tips for increasing your farm’s profits are so important.
Create a Plan
Business plans are essential to any business just starting out, and the same is true for new farms and even farms that have been around for years. A business plan helps to illustrate your vision for where you want to take your farm, organize the assets you have, and compare them both to the agricultural landscape. A few questions you’ll want to consider when you’re creating your farm’s business plan include:
- Are certain fruits or vegetables popular right now?
- What equipment will be necessary to cultivate these crops? How will this change your equipment maintenance costs?
- Are you diversifying your crop selection?
- What have you done in the past that has worked?
- What are you currently doing that isn’t working?
Remember: business plans should be goal-oriented, and those goals should be specific, measurable, and realistic.
Increasing your farm’s profits is just as much about reducing costs as it is about increasing gain. Otherwise, the money you earn will go right back into growing and raising. Here are a few effective strategies to that end:
- Reevaluating chemical pesticides and manures
- Letting go of some rented acres
- Buying seeds from the same company
- Taking advantage of end-of-season pricing on seeds
- Instead of tossing bug-eaten vegetables, using them as animal feed
Farm equipment is a significant expense to farmers as well. If your older equipment still works, you can save money by not upgrading to new equipment. However, maintenance and repairs can become expensive. Teach yourself and your employees how to notice issues like blocked case drains right away so that you can fix them before the problem becomes costly.
Expand Your Horizons
Expanding your horizons goes beyond simply diversifying your crop. Farms are brimming with potential, and exploring these opportunities can help you find different avenues to increase your profits. For example:
- Selling some of your wares at the farmers market
- Offering wagon or sleigh rides during the fall
- Trying out raising animals if you’ve only raised plants, and vice versa
- Selling to local businesses
Your community is as much a resource as your land and equipment, so keep your eyes open for new opportunities.