How do I keep farm records?

 As a small farmer with a small farming business , you may be wondering what records you should keep, whether for your own purposes, for grants or other assistance you have received, or for taxes.

Keeping farm records is a key part of running your small farm. Farm records serve many purposes in the small farm, even if it is a hobby farm or homestead . Here are some of the reasons for keeping farm records.

Progress Tracking

If you're serious about running your farm, you'll want to make sure you're making progress toward your goals and making progress on your business plan.

Even if you are a hobby farmer or farmer, tracking can ensure you achieve your goals and can help you be more efficient in your work on the farm. Farming is more satisfying when you're making positive progress rather than spinning your wheels. Good farm records help you see what works, what doesn't, and understand why so you can make changes in the future.

manage the farm

Although similar to tracking progress, here it refers to tracking things like how many pets you have, their health, any health issues you may have had with them, what you feed them, and how many/how often, what varieties of vegetables you have and how they work. If you keep a detailed farm journal about the specifics of your farming operation - animals and crops, not just finances - you get a complete picture of how your farm operates.

Sometimes you are successful in generating positive income on your farm, but you are struggling with an aspect of animal care that needs adjustment. Or, you may find that your profits are suffering, and the root cause is that you are simply charging too little. You won't be able to trace this cause unless you record the amount of feed you buy and the number of chickens that results, for example. You need both sides of the equation to run your farm efficiently.

Obtaining loans and grants

Many grants and loans for small farmers require you to have financial records showing what you have earned, your expenses, etc. Certainly, if you want to borrow money from a bank or other financial institution, there may be financial statements to prove that the farm is financially viable.


Tax returns will need to be filed for your small farm. You'll want to keep detailed records of expenses and income for the IRS, to make sure you're paying the proper taxes for your farm. Consult an accountant for details specific to your situation, but tracking income and expenses is a must for any farm.

Thanks for Reading!


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