By Joshua Kato
ACCORDING to farmers who have succeeded, keeping records is one of the tricks they have used. For example, Adam Chandia, a bee-keeper in Butuntumula Luweero district had records of how many bee-hives he started with and the quantity of honey he got from each hive.
Dr. Jolly Kabirizi who uses 10 decimals of land for her cattle and goat enterprises keeps records of how much she feeds her animals, vis-Ã -vis the yields. It is vital that you as the farm owner knows and records everything that goes on at the farm.
What kind of records must you keep?
There are mainly three kinds of records that a farmer must keep â€” enterprise production records, the health and growth records and the financial records. For crops like maize, records show how many kilograms were planted in a given piece of land and the expected returns.
The enterprise production records include how much a particular enterprise produces. For example, records of a dairy cow show how many litres of milk it produces per day.
Keeping production records enables a farmer to know whether his enterprise is facing a slant or increase in production. If it is slanting, a farmer should intervene to stop the slant, if it is increasing he works to maintain the progress.
Keeping the health records eases the work of veterinary doctors and farm workers who treat the animals. A farmer must know when and what afflicts his animals most, the treatment given to the animals previously and the reaction of the animals.
Then the production records. If one is keeping animals on a commercial basis, there is a profit requirement within. Therefore, this is why keeping records of how much the animals produce, vis-Ã -vis how much they eat, is important, otherwise you may not realise that whatever the animals produce they eat it up again.
For crops, you must keep records of what you have planted, for example on an acre of land, and what you expect to harvest. If the harvests are lower than anticipated, then you have to take action.
Keeping financial records is important in many ways. For starters, it shows how much the farm is bringing in. If there is a reduction in finances, you will be able to know it as long as you have records.
Secondly, it helps you prepare well in case you are applying for a bank loan. Well-kept farm records will depict you as a very serious farmer when you present your application before the bank managers. Make sure that you give out receipts to your customers and keep receipts of whatever you have bought. This helps you know the income and expenditure.