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The Best Way to Keep Farm Records

Written By Arthur king peters on Saturday, 17 November 2012 | 07:54

As being a small farmer with a little farm business, you might wonder what records you have to be keeping, whether for your unique purposes, for any grants or other assistance possibly you have received, or for taxes.
The reason Keep Farm Records?

Keeping farm records is a key component of managing your small farm. Farm records serve a amount of purposes on the small farm - whether or not it's a hobby farm or even homestead. Here are some on the reasons to keep farm data:

Monitoring progress. If you are set on running your farm, you will want to ensure that you are making progress toward your goals and that you will be moving forward on your enterprise plan.

Even if you're an interest farmer or homesteader, keeping track can make sure you meet your goals, and can help you be more efficient in your job on the farm. Farming is more satisfying when you're making positive progress versus spinning your wheels. Good farm records help you see what works, what will not, and help you figure out why to help you to make changes moving forward.

Coping with the farm. Although this resembles monitoring progress, here I'm referring to monitoring things like how many animals you've got, what their health is, what health issues possibly you have had with them, what you're feeding them and how much/how often, what vegetable varieties you have and the way they perform. If you keep actions farm journal about the specifics of this farm operation - the wildlife and crops, not just the finances - you're getting a full picture of how your farm is functioning.
Sometimes you might be succeeding at generating positive income on your farm, but you're struggling by having an aspect of animal care that requires adjustment. Or, you may realize that your profits are suffering, and the root cause is that you will be simply charging too little. You won't be capable of trace that root cause if you record how much feed you're buying and the amount of chickens that translates into, for instance. You need both sides on the equation to run your farm effectively.

Obtaining loans and grants. Many grants and loans for small farmers require you have financial records to show what we have earned, what your costs are, and so forth. Certainly if you'd like to borrow money from a bank or other standard bank, they may require financial statements to prove how the farm is financially viable.

Income taxes. Income tax returns will ought to be filed for your small farm. You will want to keep detailed a record of expenses and income for this IRS, to ensure that you are paying the proper taxes for the farm. Consult an accountant for details specific on your situation, but tracking income and expenses is usually a must for any farm.

What Records If you ever Keep?

This is where it gets tricky and very individual. It's hard to make blanket recommendations about what you need to track on a small-scale environmentally friendly farm, hobby farm, or homestead. It really depends on what your targets are. So start with your company plan and work from generally there. What do you need to track to learn whether you're meeting your stated objectives? How will you realize if marketing is succeeding?

In financial terms, all farms should track earnings and expenses. Consult a levy professional for specifics here, but you'll want to categorize expenses to match your income tax return categories and you should make sure you've captured every penny spent and earned.

Once you know what to track, it's a matter of figuring out which recordkeeping suits you. Your options vary from a handwritten notebook to a pc spreadsheet or specialized bookkeeping method, or a combination. I choose to track expenses online and keep things automated this way, but for the nitty-gritty connected with farm work, I prefer having a paper notebook to the field beside me to record what I planted and when, what I discovered while examining it the bees, and so forth. Make a master list of the information you want to track, sort it into types, and decide how you'll track each group of information.

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