Being able to minimize costs is an integral part of increasing your farm’s profit margins. To achieve this, you need to make a few changes on how you do things on your farm.
- Reduce Labor Costs
Especially for large farms, labor can really take a cut out of your farm’s budget. You cut back on labor costs by hiring more of part time laborers rather than having a lot of permanent employees whom you will have to pay a salary every month whether the farm generates income or not.
If your circumstances and scope of your farm allow, you can save a lot by doing some of the labor yourself. You can cut back costs by using a combination of your manpower and efficient machines. For instance, you can learn how to mill your own feeds rather than hiring a machine operator, or you can learn how to do minor repairs like fixing a broken door instead of having someone else do it for you, which will save you a lot in the long run.
- Take Care of Farm Equipment
Taking good care of any equipment used in the farm is a surefire way of saving some money. This entails knowing how to properly operate and maintain equipment which will in turn reduce the need for constant repairs and replacements, as well as make your farm more efficient. Regular cleaning and servicing of equipment could help save a lot of your money too. It is better to service a piece of equipment to keep it running smoothly than having to make major repairs later.
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
There are always ways that you can reduce, reuse and recycle various utilities and resources in your farm to save money. For example, water that remains from feeding cows can be reused to irrigate plants, of if you can no longer use a piece of equipment for its original purpose, it’s likely that you can put it to use in some other way in the farm.
- Prevent Huge Vet Bills
If you keep animals on your farm, regularly calling out a vet to see an animal that is ill or injured could eventually run up some huge bills. Prevention is always better than cure, hence it is essential to take steps that will promote your animals’ healthy such as vaccinating them against common diseases, feeding them the best diet and ensuring they have good living conditions.
- Reduce Crop Diseases
You need to take anti-disease actions if you want to reduce production cost and get the most out of your crops. Crop rotation can help prevent diseases among the crops you grow. Though it may take a bit of time investment, it’s worth it if you prevent diseases from ruining your crops.
- Cut Down on the Feed Bill
Besides capital expenditure, feeds is by far the biggest cost item of an animal farm. You can still feed your animals adequately without breaking the bank by growing your own feeds. If you have a few acres, grow your own hay as it is much cheaper than buying the hay from elsewhere. If possible and in a safe and controlled space, you could let your animals out to forage for themselves part of the day, and the chickens to hunt for bugs and grass. This will cut down on the amount of feed you have to purchase.
Another way to cut down on the cost of feed is by purchasing the ingredients and milling your own feeds. It might cost you a bit more to purchase the milling machinery at the beginning, but you will for sure make some saving in the long run compared to buying ready-made feeds.
- Substitute Cheaper Nutrient Sources
Buying fertilizers can be quite expensive, but if you have animals in your farm such as cows, chicken or rabbit you can produce composite manure which is nitrogen-rich and this cuts down on costs.
- Optimize Your Fertilizers
If you use fertilizers, make sure they are the most suitable for your soil and crops. Test your soil to see what it lacks because in most instances farmers end up spending a lot of money on fertilizers they don’t need, or end up buying wrong types of fertilizers for their soil. Look for ways to cut costs by eliminating unneeded fertilizers and choosing ones that are more appropriate for your growing environment.
- Save electricity costs
Running heavy farm machinery can increase electricity bills by a great margin, hence it advised that large farm owners consider investing in renewable energy from solar panels and biogas plants.
- Save on the cost of buying seeds
You will only have to spend a little more on seeds during your first year of farming if you make sure the seeds you grow are heirloom varieties. This means they are open pollinated and can reproduce. When you harvest your crop, save the seeds by storing them in a cool, dry place, and they will be ready for next planting season, therefore saving you the cost of buying new seeds for planting.