Most of your time is probably spent on day-to-day operations, such as harvesting crops and feeding livestock. Focusing on tasks is important, but the key to successful farming is proper farm management. Review your business plan and adjust it annually. Perform monthly reviews of projections against cash flow and adjust expenditures as needed. Staying on top of your business will allow you to make smart, timely decisions before revenues or production dip.
The business of farming and ranching can be uncertain, just like the weather. However, managing risk upfront with strategies that range from diversification and vertical integration to crop insurance and off-farm employment can help protect your agricultural business. Keep in mind that the software you choose will depend on the specifics of your operation.
You know that it takes a village to run a successful farm or ranch. For those times when you have questions or need assistance, you’ll want a strong team of professionals you can call on. This can include lenders, veterinarians, agronomists, insurance agents, extension agents and equipment dealers. Overseeing a successful agricultural business means having the right experts available in case something falls out of place, which is bound to happen eventually.
Conduct frequent technology reviews to ensure you’re using the right farm management software. Adopting new technology — like yield mapping or soil mapping with GPS — while phasing out ineffective technology can help improve productivity and profitability.
Connecting with other farmers and ranchers brings both social and economic benefits. A strong network can lead to new business opportunities, much-needed help around the farm and even equipment sharing arrangements. Join national and regional farm or commodities associations to connect with others and stay on top of issues in the industry.
The most successful farmers and ranchers are always learning. Look for training sessions, webinars, social media groups, seminars and conferences to expand your knowledge and skills.
A farm succession plan not only preserves your agricultural legacy, it protects the heirs — usually family members — who will inherit the farm. Smart farmers and ranchers have succession plans in place long before retirement and take steps to ensure a successful transition from one generation to the next.
Adopting these seven habits can boost the chances of long-term business success for your farm or ranch. Connect with your Mountain West agent to ensure your farm & ranch insurance is fitting your needs.
Source: Farm Bureau Financial Services