Farm Management

Record Keeping – What Every Farmer Must Know


Recordkeeping is an essential step to having a successful and profitable agribusiness. Records are useful in measuring a farm’s production and financial performance.

A farmer’s key areas of production records include breeding, feeding, harvesting and field records.

On the other hand, financial recordkeeping entails listing a farm’s income and expenses, as well as preparing accounting statements such as a cash flow, balance sheet and income statement, which paint a financial picture of the present situation and serve as a planning guide for future decisions.

To read more about financial recordkeeping, refer to our previous article; Bookkeeping for Farmers and Agripreneurs

Remember, the less accurate your production records are, the less accurate your financial projections will be.

Surprisingly, most farmers regard recordkeeping as tedious and complicated. Trust me, it will be worth your time and effort when you start reaping the benefits.

Proper records will give you the information you need; to make sound business management decisions, prepare accurate income tax returns and obtain financial credit/loans.

As a farmer who has not been keeping proper records, you must be wondering where to start. For starters, you could simply purchase an exercise book from your local shop and start keeping records. If you are tech-savvy, use an excel spreadsheet which you can store in your google drive to access and update it anywhere any time.

I recently interviewed Gladys Soy, a successful poultry farmer in Kenya, about recordkeeping for her agribusiness, “Recordkeeping is the heart of my farming business. I started with a physical book which was quite useful but it got really old and some content rubbed off with the ink as time went by. After I learnt how to use excel, I have never looked back. The spreadsheet I used contains critical information such my layer’s flock record and their mortality rate, feeding consumption, eggs records such as collections and sales, and records of vaccination/medication given to the birds.” Gladys explained.

Below are samples of Gladys’ recordkeeping templates on Excel;

Eggs Record

Date Opening stock (No. of eggs before the day's collections) Daily eggs collections Cumulative eggs count (opening stock + eggs produced) Sales Breakages Closing stock
No. of crates No. of pieces Total no. of crates Total no. of pieces No. of crates No. of pieces Total no. of eggs sold (in trays) Total eggs broken No. of crates No. of pieces
2/5/2020 300 20 600 12 901 2 700 8 200 24
2/6/2020 200 24 580 10 781 4 700 4 81 -
2/7/2020 81 - 702 18 783 18 700 - 83 18


Month Week Birds age Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total Remarks (e.g. cause of death)
Jan-20 1 4 weeks 2 4 0 1 0 2 0 9 Eaten by rats
2 5 weeks 0 1 4 2 5 6 1 19 Eaten by rats
3 6 weeks 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 Sickness
4 7 weeks 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 Sickness
                Total 32  

Birds Record

Month Opening Stock No. of birds dead No. of birds sold No. of birds added Closing stock
Sep-19 3000 180 0 500 3320
Dec-19 3320 150 3000 5000 5170
Feb-20 5170 90 0 1000 6080


Date Details Quantity  Amount (Ksh) 
2/5/2020 Additional layers birds at 3 weeks old 200 30,000
2/5/2020 Pembe starter 150 kgs 9,600
2/5/2020 Amoxyvet 500g 3,000
2/5/2020 Colivet 250g 1,200
2/6/2020 Maize grains  300 kgs 12,000
2/6/2020 Salt 10 kgs 180
2/6/2020 Soya meal 541 kgs 500

Joy Gichangi


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