When making the transition of turning your farm into a business, it can be a little hard to tell whether or not you are on the right path. Especially as a new farmer. We compiled a checklist so you know how well you are doing and what exactly you need to do so as to do better. Simply answer yes or no. and by the end of this quiz you will know what you need to improve on.
My soil is tested. YES NO
If you ticked yes, award yourself 5 points. If no, we don’t even know what to do with you. We have talked about the importance of soil testing. Find a way to do it asap. No negotiations
My beds are raised. YES NO
If you answered yes, another 5 points for you. if you answered no, I am linking an article on the importance of raised points, also no point for you.
My workers have basic knowledge of what is required of them i.e. proper care of crops, proper planting, spotting disease and pests etc. YES NO
If you answered yes, good job. I feel like you deserve more points but t s really not up to me, so just add another 5 points. Ensuring that your workers have basic knowledge of the activities around the farm and general management could save you so much. Ideas for training include teaching them yourself while they work, pairing them with the manager or any other worker who has more experience in the field. Also it going for workers with a little bit of experience is not the worst idea.
- I am fully dependent on rain for planting and other uses. YES NO, I AM I HAVE AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN PLACE.
Access to adequate water is crucial. Having an irrigation system in place will ensure processes like fertilizing and spraying go on as planned whether or not there is rain. 5 points for you if you have an irrigation system, 1 point if you don’t.
I am using certified seeds. YES NO
Certified seeds are guaranteed to make your life easier as a farmer. From better germination percentages, to resistance to some diseases, and even just better yields in general. Always buy seedlings from people you trust. 5 points if you answered yes, 1 point if you answered no.
I have incorporated other methods of pest control e.g. traps YES NO I AM FULLY DEPENDENT ON CHEMICALS
Chemicals are great but not only increase your cost of production, they also pollute the environment and the pests can become resistant. Traps and other physical measures allow you to be proactive and do something before the pests become a problem. And they are quite inexpensive. 5 points for you if you have traps, 1 point for you if you don’t but are considering it.
I have a spray program to stay on top of management. YES NO I SPRAY AS NEEDED
Now this one we know is not an easy task, but feel free to simplify it as much as you can as long as long as you know at what stages you need to spray, fertilize etc. also if you are not already using the plantix app, download it. It will be a life saver. 5 points if you have a programme. 1 point if you don’t. Also there is not much judgement here. But download the app and get on it.
I have basic knowledge on what my plant needs (fertilizer, foliar) YES, I DO NO, I AM INQUIRING AS I GO.
Try and do as much research as you can before you plant anything. Especially on a large scale. Luckily for you, the plantix app can help you with fertilizer calculation, what to be on the lookout for, as well as cultivation tips. Seriously, download the app. It is free imagine. If you take time to do your due diligence 5 points, if not 1 point.
I am inter-cropping / practising crop rotation YES NO, BUT I AM PLANNNG TO
5 points if you do. If you don’t, start. It will not only help you in managing pests and diseases. But you are also spreading the risk. The watermelons may not do so well, but the cow peas might.
I have alternative source of power e.g. generator, solar panels YES NO
An alternative source of power will definitely improve the ease and efficiency of operations in the farms. Definitely plan and buy one. 5 points if you have one. 1 point if you don’t.
I have records of crop production records e.g. time of planting, fertilizer application, expected time of harvest YES NO
Kudos if you keep records. They will come in handy during if you intend to take a loan as well improve efficiency of operations in the farm. 5 points for you. if you don’t
My farm is cleaned regularly. YES EVERY MONDAY NO BUT I AM GOING TO
There is so much we could talk about farm hygiene. Both as a measure to control pest and diseases, and just cleanliness being next to godliness. Clean the farm after harvesting, clean the farm after weeding, clean the farm after pruning. You could use the healthy forage as green manure or for composting. But just make sure you get it away from the rest of the growing crops.
13.My crops are mulched YES NO
5 points if you make the effort to conserve water. 1 if you don’t. but seriously consider doing this.
scores 0-28 – You really need to tighten the belt. Start by implementing the activities that do not necessarily need you to spend money. For example cleaning your farm and downloading plantix, lol
scores 29- 40- You are doing okay. Can definitely refer to your farm as a business. There is still room for improvement though.
scores 41-65- You are doing really great. Make sure to maintain these standards n the long term as you laugh all the way to the bank.