There are many small farmers that earn good with little investment and do not want to grow their operations. On the flip side, there are farmers that feel the responsibility to manage large farms to help the economic flow and meet the ever-growing food demand. Bigger farms may mean making bigger investments, analysing large amounts of data and even greater possibilities of crop failure and monetary losses. However, considering that large farms also have higher potential for food production and earnings, large farm owners can implement advanced data technologies and smart agriculture practices to maximise profit and reduce risk along the road.
Take a look at these three smart ideas that can make large farm management much more convenient and profitable.
LEVERAGE DATA ACROSS ALL OPERATIONS
Inspecting large farms personally to gather insights into crop, livestock and other farm environment conditions every day can be quite challenging and practically not possible. Even if you do, you will need additional labour to manage large farms, which means additional expenses; you may not also ensure precision in the information you gather manually from your farm. And that is why it has become inevitable for large farm owners to integrate data-driven farming techniques and tools into their operations for more precise and predictable agriculture outcomes.
Data-driven agriculture assists large farm owners in practising precision farming which focuses on optimal use of farm resources. While you employ data-driven decision making in your farm, it is important to remember that it’s not just about gathering insights from your own farm (which you will need to do, regardless of how small or large your farm is), but it is about using data from only reliable and relevant sources. For example, if you have corn crops in your farm, you will need to gather information from neighbourhood corn farmers. So, you need to find a service provider that can connect you with the right people and cut the hassle out of data research, collection and analysis process by providing you with comprehensive agriculture database, along with advisory assistance from industry experts.
CUT DOWN COSTS WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON PRODUCTIVITY
The maintenance cost of large farms can become a significant obstacle in profitable farm management, keeping in mind several on-field tools and machinery required to manage various agriculture operations. One way to ensure cost-savings and profitable management is to leverage discounts on wholesale purchase of farm inputs. Using reliable farm data, farmers can determine precise input requirements and buy seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, machinery, and other materials and tools in large volumes at once to negotiate prices with the suppliers. To cut down on your farm machinery especially, it is advised to determine your cost for machinery per acre. Your running costs for machinery per crop acre in your large farm should be less than what you were investing in machinery per crop acre when your farm was small. If your cost per acre increases as your farm gets bigger, you need to analyse your running costs and maybe invest in new machines.
ELIMINATE MIDDLEMEN TO MAXIMISE RETURNS
With bigger farms come bigger food production risks; large farm management often leaves the farmer with minimal profit margins or monetary benefits. In most cases, the middleman take up most of the profits in the distribution and selling processes while farmers receive a lot less returns than they deserve for their investment and efforts. This makes it a good idea for many large farm owners to cut out the intermediaries to secure higher prices for their produce. Direct marketing is an effective way for farmers to earn much more than they do with the involvement of the middleman by selling their produce at farmers’ markets. In addition, large farm owners can connect and make a contract directly with large processors to sell their crops for desired prices and ensure better profits. This will also allow farmers to know the exact quantity and quality of crops they need to produce in a given period of time and strategically schedule all of their farm management operations for greater efficiency and returns.
Running a small farm can be easier and may produce enough for your family and for selling in a local market for good profits, but if you are passionate about farming and feeding the world with your agricultural operations, you will want to grow your farm eventually. Note that managing a large farm can be challenging and exhausting but with the aforementioned tips, you can get the most out of your investment. Another important thing to not forget is to utilise farm data software and database services of a reputed agriculture firm.