Common mistakes first-time farmers make
Farming can be enticing. The ability to grow something, or rear something to maturity is the closest one can get to nature within human limits. The money that is there to be made is not bad as well. However, before you get into farming, there are some things you need to be on the look-out for. These are common mistakes that first-time farmers make.
- Starting out too big
There is this misconception that with farming, especially when doing it for commercial reasons, that the best way to go is to go big or go home. What new farmers do not realize, like any business, you have to take things slow. Most first-time farmers want to start with a grand project. This is usually the biggest mistake since to begin with, their experience with farming is somewhat limited. Things end up starting off well, but as soon as a problem starts, they throw money at it. They keep throwing money and resources at it hoping that it goes away. In the end, their project either stalls because they run out of resources or it becomes too big to manage successfully. Either way, they end up not getting the best out of their farming. The best approach is to start small and scale up as things progress.
- Following the crowd
Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what they left out of this is that it only flatters the original. One of the biggest killers of new farmers is trying to be like everyone else. What they do not know is, although the product and methods may be relatively the same, we are all affected by different factors. They also forget the rules of supply and demand. This can be seen in the various “farming trends” that have bankrupted many a farmer. They include the quail farming business, the goose eggs scandal, and the greenhouse trends. Find your own thing, even if it means going against what’s trending.
Ignorance in farming is a dangerous thing. Most people who have never interacted with farming have this belief that you just prepare the land, put seed or seedlings in the ground and nature does the rest. They get surprised when things don’t work out that way. They find out that certain a crop need spraying and certain animals need vaccinations and different types of feed. To avoid this sort of disillusionment, it is important to do your research.
It also important that you are more hands-on with your farming. Some people when starting off tend to do all their farming through the phone. Delegating the management to someone else, while they rarely check in to see how the farm is faring. Although trust is a major component in farming, being hands-on is more productive.
- Starting out with the wrong information
As you have probably established by now, research is important. The wrong information can however lead to dire consequences to your agriculture. Taking advice from the wrong sources, especially with regards to spraying and vaccinations can lead to the death of your farming just before it starts.
- Overlooking things
Like any first time doing anything, it is important that you do not overlook anything. The mistake first-time farmers make is to brush off details that they think may be unimportant or detrimental to their farming. This is akin to shooting themselves in the foot. Certain things like soil testing, fencing, stocking, and bookkeeping among others may seem small, but could actually make or break your farming.