A simple guide to record-keeping on your farm

A simple guide to record-keeping on your farm
A simple guide to record-keeping on your farm

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Many times farmers have found themselves pondering on whether their agribusiness enterprise is worth the time and money invested or if it is just a safer way to recycle their cash far away from the banks. Keeping farm records is a very important part of farming. The records have to be accurate and up to date, reflecting on all activities that happen on the farm.

Andrew Musisi, a farm manager at Kiboko farms says it is always important to have farm records as a farm manager.

Why keep records

Loan applications: Musisi says when you want to expand your farming business, you will want to have good records to present to the bank. These records will be needed to verify if your business has been performing as required.

Management purposes: If you have good farm records this will enable you to plan and manage your farm efficiently. It will show you where you have been wrong and what you require to do to make it right. It will also act as a guideline in managing your farm budget.

Farmers must also keep records of their farm activities such as; breeding, feeding, harvesting and planting records.

Better farm planning

Farming is a business and excellent farm records keeping helps the farmer to plan and do realistic forecasting. Record keeping provides valuable information on the techniques that work and why others did not. In budgeting, the farmer can better predict price changes of inputs and make from expenditure and sales records kept from previous seasons. The farmer can determine how much is necessary for farm expansion from good farm records.

Better prediction

A record on rainfall incidence and amount over a period of time is very relevant. A farmer, from the records, decides when to plant and when to carry out other activities on the farm. More so, farmers who depend solely on rainfall, use these records as a guide during the farming season. Besides, temperature changes have significant effects on plants, especially at tender stages. It is, therefore, important for farmers to have accurate information on temperature changes at certain times in the season. “We advise farmers to keep an easy rain gauge and thermometer for the measurements of rainfall amount and temperature respectively,” says Musisi.

Track income and expenditure

A farmer, most of the time is not able to give proper accounts on their cash inflows and outflows. This is mainly because they overlook and do not record “petty” expenses and incomes (such as feeding and costs of phone calls). Keeping accurate records will at any time of reconciliation, give the farmer the accurate amount of money spent or gained from the farm. Moreover, this helps in accurate planning and budgeting.

Better management of the farm

A farmer who keeps records on seed germination rates of the seeds bought is in a better position to choose better seeds for seasons. Besides, record keeping helps to decide the right type of crop to grow on a particular type of soil, at a particular time of the season for best yield and better pest and disease management. In the case of livestock, the farm keeps farm records of the bloodlines, pests, and diseases, feed types and consumption, etc. These records help to stop inbreeding, control pests and diseases, supply the best feed for optimum performance and a whole lot.


There are different types of farm records a farmer must keep to running a successful farm business. They are;

Daily farm records

These are the records of all important daily activities and events that occur on the farm. These records help the farmer maintain track of past farming activities and plan for future activities.

Records of farm implements

This is used to maintain an inventory of all the equipment on the farm and their quantity. It can also contain the date of purchase of the equipment and their description.

The cash book

This is one of the types of farm records a good farmer must take note, cash book, and payment receipt is a farm record book of all financial transactions, both income and expenditure, of the farm.

With it, a farm manager can access loans, detect fraudulent practices and identify the state of the business.

It is a farm record accounting book. In addition, the farm manager can create productive decisions based on the figures present in the record.

Record of agricultural inputs

This record is used to keep track of all agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, seeds, and etc. The record often contains the amount of that was bought, the amount that has been used, and what is left.

Records of livestock

Farmers keep different records of livestock for every type of livestock on the farm. Also, for livestock that have products, for example, eggs from chickens, the farmer keeps a record that accounts for the number of eggs laid every day. If a farmer has cows for milk production, he keeps records of the cows gave how much amount of litres of milk produced per day.

Annual valuation record

It is imperative that at the end of every production year, a farmer should evaluate his or her venture to know the current state of the business. The farm strength and weakness have to be found; this is possible when the farmer has the annual valuation record.

This farm record keeping book shows the value of stocks presents on the farm from the beginning of the year to the end. It will aid decision making to prepare the farm arrangement for the next production year.

Production records

Production records are used to document everything that is formed on the farm. These production records are prepared every week. And then summed up at the end of the month and at the end of the year. Thus, there is a weekly record, a monthly record, and an annual record of everything formed on the farm.

Records for farm use

Used for recording the date the land was arranged for farming, the number of plots or hectares used in planting, the plants planted on the farm and where they are planted.

Workers records

Workers record is used to keep the record of staffs, their salaries, and payment. It is also known as labour record.

Sales records

Sale records are used to keep a record of all sales completed from the farm produce. This is one of the necessary farm records to be kept on a farm; it is the farm record that explains the yield or the output of the farm. For both animal and crop production; the daily or seasonal production rate records in this record. It explains the success rate of the farm during the production year.

Profit and loss record

This is the principal record; it shows the economic stage of the business. This farm record book is generally prepared at the end of every production period, usually at the end of the year to verify whether the business is making a profit or otherwise.

The cash records

This is one of the types of farm records a good farmer must take note, cash book, and payment receipt is a farm record book of all financial transactions, both income and expenditure, of the farm.

With it, a farm manager can access loans, detect fraudulent practices and identify the state of the business.

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