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Importance and Uses of Farm Records
These are written statements or collection of facts and
figures on a subject for a definite purpose. These records
arise from the day-to-day transactions made by the farmer
and should be accurate. They are used in identifying the
strong as well as the weak areas of the farm business, in
recognizing problems, and in determining solutions to those
problems. They are used as the bases for the farmer’s key
decisions concerning farm operations.
Classification of Farm Records
Physical – it contains information on farm productivity, like the
records on crop production, livestock production, farm
machinery and equipment. They provide data which will
later on become part of the financial records under the
account heading Inventory. 1. Crop production record – this
is maintained mainly to monitor crop production activities. It
gives the name of the crop being cultivated, the date of
planting, the allotted area, the time to harvest and the actual
volume of production at harvest time and its worth in
Livestock and poultry production records
production record for livestock largely differs from that of
crops. In swine for example, both weanlings and fattening
hogs are the main products, breeding animals will have
individual records. This will allow the farmer to keep track
of the performance of each breeder, and of the farm as a
whole in terms of production.
Record keeping – why keep records?
Why keep records?
– All food production quality assurance schemes require
detailed records to be kept
– Records can help you remember what happened in
previous crops (what worked well/badly).
– Enable you to calculate the costs and profits from crops.
– Spray records
• Calibration records
• What was used when and on what
• Chemical store records
– Accidents and incidents (health and safety).
– Training records.
– Keeping farm records is an important step in good farm
Record keeping – quality assurance schemes
Quality assurance schemes
Each scheme will usually have their own record forms to
complete (paper or electronic).
Training is often available, supported by the assurance
Often these records need to be available at harvest to go with
the harvested crop as proof that there was no deviation from
the grower protocol.
Farms are likely to have periodic checks to ensure compliance
to the grower protocol; spot checks to ensure compliance and
3 o 4
Record keeping – farmer records
Use a note book – or similar, to record a range of different
Planting and harvest dates and crop yields, crop varieties.
Inputs such as fertilizer and crop protection products
Calculate input costs versus harvest value
Sprayer calibration records
Crop protection store records
Accidents and incidents
Many different electronic farm record packages available.
Record keeping – crop-based variable costs
Activity Quantity Date Cost
Field name and size
Manure (what was used and how much)
Crop and variety planted
Fertiliser inputs (line per activity)
Crop Protection inputs (line per activity)
Other inputs (post harvest treatment)
Casual labour costs (planting, inter-row
Total Variable costs
Recording Crop Based Variable Costs
Record keeping – harvest records
Date the crop was harvested
Amount of produce harvested
Where the product was sold
Value of the product sold
Quality classification achieved for the product
Record keeping – profit and loss
Profit and loss records
Total fixed costs (land rental, bank loans
and own labour costs)
Total variable costs
Total crop sales
Sales minus Costs
Record keeping – crop protection store records
Crop Protection Store Records
Crop Field name Amount used Operator Date Amount
Record keeping – crop protection application record
Crop Protection Application Record
Crop Growth Stage:
Name/number of Sprayer:
Application Volume (l/ha):
Product used (per ha):
Observed result (report the product effectiveness)
Record keeping – training records
Name of the course Training Body Who attended Date
Note: Keeping training records enables you to keep track on the
profficiency of farm staff and their ability to do specialist tasks.
Retain certificates awarded at training
Calibration records – easy calibration
The following items should be recorded during a calibration -
Date Name or number of
Nozzle type and
Name of sprayer
Time taken to
Nozzle height (cm) Swath width (m)
Sprayer output per 100m2
(mls) Calculated volume (Litres) per
output * 100
Record keeping - accident or incident reporting
Reported by Reviewed by
1) What happened (give relevant details including why the accident or incident
2) Injured people (describe who was injured and what were the injuries)
3) Actions taken (actions taken to control the accident including any medical
care given to the injured persons)
4) Suggestions to ensure the accident or incident does not happen again
1) Why should records be kept?
2) What value do records have to farmers?
3) Give some examples of records to be kept?
4) How do you think records could help you?