Setting up a farm either for your own use or to start a business out of it is not an easy task. There are a lot of things to consider involving business planning, finding land, securing financing, marketing, production knowledge, securing equipment, developing infrastructure, and vision for the farm. In this article, we have shared a step-by-step guide to setting up a farm.
- If you didn’t grow up on a farm and haven’t worked on one, you may be wondering how on earth you’re going to make your dream a reality. This is a very real concern.
- The reality may prompt you to consider another line of work because farming is hard, and farming as a business is doubly so!
- Here are a few steps that will guide you through the journey
Keep the five below-stated key features in mind to get the most out of your farm
1. Get some real-world experience
For many modern-day farmers, especially those running large commercial farms in the Midwest, skills have been passed from generation to generation.
This isn’t the same for small startup farms. These farmers have had to acquire their skills in order to learn how to start farming, and they’ve either done so by apprenticing with other farmers, going to farm school, or doing some intense self-directed study
2. Selecting the crops for your Field:
Be very wise while choosing the crops that you want to grow. There are a few things to keep in mind while choosing the crops are:
- The products should have a consistent and dependable market.
- Consider the amount of effort required for a crop to provide a satisfactory yield. If you are a newbie, you should avoid growing labor-intensive crops like tomatoes or potatoes. Don’t plant a crop that you won’t be able to manage.
- Consider all of the logistical issues. Plan where you will obtain all of your inputs and the influence on overall cost; distance from the nearest market and the impact on operations or marketing, harvesting time, and arrival time at the market.
3. Land & Climate Considerations:
- How, where, and what you farm are determined by your land and the climate. As a result, you must be knowledgeable about basic agricultural procedures depending on the soil and climate of your farm’s location.
- The topographical aspects of your land can influence the type of operations you should pursue. You can have your land’s soil analyzed at the nearest soil testing laboratory. It will assist you in determining the soil type (silt, clay, or sand) and quality (nutrient condition). This, in turn, will aid in determining which crops would give the most yield on your land.
4. Financial Considerations:
- Before you begin constructing your farm, make sure you thoroughly plan everything. Your plan must include the cost of the land, equipment, and field improvements that must be completed before you begin your farm enterprise. It will assist you in understanding the type of investment required to begin your farm.
- Farming investments are recurring; you must make investments each year to keep the activities running.
5. Storage facilities on your farm:
Storage is an important marketing function that involves keeping and conserving commodities from the time they are manufactured until they are consumed. An excellent storage facility should offer optimal protection against ground moisture, rain, insects, vermin, molds, rodents, and birds, among other things. The grains can be kept in bulk or in bags.
If your product is perishable, you will need cold storage on your farm.
6. Communication is the key
It is the best way to get an insight into farming-related stuff. There is a lot of stuff that you can learn from their experience. Your local farmers will help you out with distribution patterns, get resources, and can help you get in touch with trusted vendors to give a start to your business.
7. Differentiate between starting a business or a hobby farm
If DIYing your farm learning experience is something you’re more interested in, hobby farming could be a better fit for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hobby farming gives you the opportunity to experiment on a micro scale first.
For example, before you plant an acre’s worth of vegetables, plant a much smaller patch, and take the time to address and learn from problems as they arise. After a while, you’ll have developed the skills you need in order to expand.
The University of Vermont Extension has a whole lot more to say about hobby farming versus running a farm as a business. If you’re interested in the topic, read their hobby farming business fact sheet.