How to Run a Farm Business

Running a farm takes time, money, commitment and a love to wanting to work hard. A farm business is one that has to expect to have certain aspects to it in such a way that you are, in some form, making a little income from it. Just like with any other business, there are expenses that must be accounted for in order to make the farm tick, as well as the income that a producer gets out of it. This article, though quite general, applies to any farm, be it livestock, crop, or mixed.


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    Maintain your records. This ranges from anything between financial records, breeding records, crop seeding records, animal health records, and anything else that pertains to your operations. Anything that is done on the farm should be considered to be recorded for future reference.
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    Maintain machinery. In order for the farm to keep on ticking, you must make sure you take good care of your machinery. Everything from the tractor[s] you own to the implements you need to make hay, till fields or harvest crops must be gassed up, oil changed, greased and inspected regularly (with broken and/or worn parts replaced) before, during and after the time you are using them. If you take care of your machinery, they'll take care of you and do the job for you.
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    Maintain buildings and fences. If you own livestock, it is important to maintain the structural integrity of your fences by checking them before and after they've been in a corral or pasture and repairing any breaks as soon as you find them. Buildings need similar care, with manure or dirt cleaned out regularly (oil leaks from machinery on a concrete floor can be soaked up with dirt swept over the oil patch), light bulbs replaced, and otherwise maintain as clean an environment as you can in and out.
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    Perform regular chores on the farm according to what you have or raise on your farm. This means feeding pigs or chickens, milking cows, checking those females that may be close to birthing (mares, ewes, cows, goat does, sows and others), collecting eggs, or preparing equipment or machinery for the day's work.
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    Keep safe on the farm at all times. Though a lot of people who farm do it alone, it's best to make sure that you know your limits and to not try to push yourself too much--in other words, try not to let yourself get too complacent or fatigued where you cannot perform a job safely.
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    Expect to be finding something different to do every day all year round. Working on a farm is not a nine-to-five job where you work weekdays and get the weekends off, even though there are such things as "part-time farmers", where they do majority of the operations on days they are not working at another full-time job off the farm. You still are needing to get up early in the morning, even if it's on a Saturday or Sunday to get an early start on the day and get certain chores done before what you really want to get done gets done!
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    Enjoy it. Though farming is a business, it is also a way of life and something that should be enjoyed more than anything so that it seems less like a job and more like a hobby.


  • Treat the farm like a business, but a way of life as well to get more out of it as far as emotional and psychological satisfaction is concerned.
  • Make use of certain software to make farm record-keeping easier if you don't want to be the one to be doing things "old-school" with paper and pencil.
  • Consider hiring people to work for you if you find the jobs you are doing on your farm are simply too much for you alone to handle.
  • Simplify things if you are finding things are too much work. For instance, instead of having a tractor that you have to fix all the time, sell it and get a new one. Or, if you finding you are getting a lot of lambing problems with your ewes, consider culling out those ewes that are giving you problems and keeping back the ewes that are doing just fine lambing themselves, and select for replacement ewes that have better mothering than the ones you have on the cull list. Also look at the genetics of the ram[s] you're breeding your ewes to to see if they are part of the problem. You may find that you may get better returns in income or your workload is lessened quite a bit than you started with.
  • Don't sacrifice welfare of your animals or potential improvements on machinery for better income. Often if you do that, you'll just going to go more backwards than forwards.


  • Farming's not for everyone. Not everyone likes to get their hands dirty, feel the sun on their backs or feel a drop of rain trickle down their spine as they cut hay or have to fix a fence, respectively. Not everyone likes to work hard every day, wake up early and go to bed early.
  • Farming is one of the most dangerous careers a person can get involved with next to mining and working in the oilfields. Safety is very important to remember and never take for granted if you want to live a long life and still be able to farm...much less keep all four of your limbs intact!!
  • Farming is not a method to get-rich quick. If that's what you're wanting to get in it for, get out and find a better job or open a store in the city where you're more likely to get more money in at a much quicker pace.

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Categories: Farming