Life as a farmer is nothing like that fun game Farmville that people using Facebook used to love.
Farmers are in a lot of trouble lately. From uncertain futures from bizantine trade deals to the rise in cost of fuel and overhead expenses. It has never been easy to be a farmer, but the challenges they face lately have proven even more difficult than usual.
If you are running a small farm and wonder if you can survive this period in time, remember that there are ways to save money and to use technology to help grow your revenue.
In this article, I will go over several ways to stay in business on your small farm.
1. Your Equipment
Buying new equipment is a major expense for many small farms. When you regularly maintain your equipment, then you can get a lot more years out of the machinery and avoid unnecessary purchases of new, expensive equipment.
Make sure that you are keeping them up to day and regularly repair and replace worn parts.
Though, there are times when you should actually buy new equipment as it can make your workflow much easier and saves time and money. In some cases, the new equipment will pay for itself quickly in the savings and even revenue growth due to the purchase.
Also, make sure to be looking into ways to save on running the machinery. For instance, use red diesel so you aren’t paying any fuel taxes and can see some major savings there if you are highly dependent on your machinery.
2. Try Regenerative Farming
This system is also called no till farming as you are using a more natural approach to getting your fields ready. It also employs cover cropping and even managed grazing of livestock.
This system is not only great for sustainability, but it also saves a lot of money. For instance, there is a huge fuel savings by not needing to till the field with your machinery. Then, when you are letting animals graze on the field, you are saving money on their feed as well as fertilizer. Fertilizer is also saved as the carbon is fixed better in the soil since it doesn’t erode as easily.
Lastly, water use is greatly reduced as the roots in the cover crops help to keep moisture in the soil.
3. Become a Marketer
You’ll need to use every tool you have in the book to promote what you are doing. For instance, if you do employ regenerative farming methods, then this becomes a great selling point for your farm.
Use that to set yourself apart from other farms and highlight that your produce and meats are raised sustainably and people will be more excited to buy your products.
Start a blog and use social media to build a brand that people will recognize. Youtube is also great for video marketing to create a buzz around what you are doing on your farm. Before you know it, people will be coming to you to buy your produce as they are looking for healthy, high quality foods.