Running a farm is hard work. The variables are constantly changing from soil moisture levels to nutrient and fertiliser needs, plus changing weather patterns can affect crops as well as increase the pests that threaten them. However, agriculture can still be profitable and it’s rewarding work. If you’re planning on starting a farming business, here are a few things to consider.
Be prepared for all weather conditions
Farming is highly dependent on the weather, and extremes of temperatures can pose a problem if you’re not prepared. Some of the ways you can adapt your farming methods include growing hardier crops that are more weather and bug resistant. Good irrigation systems deliver the right amount of water to crops during drier times, the weather alone is always going to be unreliable to this provides a good backup option. Some simple things you can consider when it comes to the weather are things like hay storage buildings which protect your hay, they’re cheaper than building a barn and are easy to access. Plus weather forecasts can be useful for knowing when to plant, harvest and more.
Consider the environment
We all know the importance of doing our bit for the planet, as business owners it’s something we should give serious consideration to- regardless of what our company does. As farmers there are a number of ways we can be more eco-friendly and reduce damage to the environment. The first is to consider co2 emissions- in most cases these days you’ll have a numerous vehicles, pieces of machinery and pieces of equipment that are powered by red diesel as they help you to work more quickly and efficiently. But in some cases, you could be able to switch back to horses for some jobs.
If you have a very small farm then a horse will be cheaper to buy than a tractor and will certainly be more eco friendly. Another way you can help the environment as well as public health is to go organic- the use of herbicides and pesticides has been linked to all kinds of conditions and it can easily get into our food and water systems when used on farms. Use techniques such as crop rotation and conservation tillage to achieve this, it might be more work but these days customers are happy to pay the premium for organic food so you won’t lose money. Finally, using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and micro hydro power will allow you to take your farm at least partially off grid and use less damaging fossil fuels. There are plenty of options to consider if you want to create a farm that’s environmentally friendly.
Utilise new technology
There are technology systems out there these days that can make your life as a farmer much easier, and help you towards success. Fans for example circulate warmer air at freezing temperatures preventing your crops from freezing. Sensors can enable real-time traceability and diagnosis of crop, livestock and farm machine states and automation helps agriculture with large-scale robotic and microrobots to check and maintain crops at the plant level. With any kind of business, it’s important to keep up with new advancements and technologies if you want to be a success.