Does your farm produce sufficient returns?

Friday July 6 2018


By Michael J. Ssali

The desire of every farmer should be to get the highest returns from the lowest cost investment. This is not to say that the farmer should not spend enough on inputs such as fertilizers or quality feeds.

Rather, we are talking about efficiency standards which clever farmers use to arrive at high quality and quantity of output from low cost inputs.

It is the standards they use in order to know the economic performance of their farms.

For example, if you are a poultry farmer you might want to think about how many eggs are laid every day by the number of birds kept and to relate the money obtained with the cost of feeds, veterinary drugs used, and labour.
If you keep animals you will want to know if each one of them gains weight proportionate to the cost of feeds.
Do the feeds proportionately lead to increased milk production?

In case you are a crop farmer it will be helpful to find out how much yield is obtained from every acre and compare it with the cost of inputs such as fertilisers, herbicides, and labour, among others.

Often farmers try out ideas to arrive at what works best for them. They may for example try out the use of organic manure such as cow dung and compare the yields with those obtained when factory fertilisers were used.

Cow dung could be available right on the farm where also crops are grown, so it would be cheaply obtained compared to a situation in which the farmer would purchase it from a different farm far away and incur transport costs.

Other considerations with regard to efficiency standards are to do with the tools or the machines we use. Do they break down frequently?

How much fuel or electricity do they use?
It could be the truck you purchase for use on the farm that will cause big losses by frequent breakdowns or high fuel consumption.
Do you really need a personal truck or would public transport be more efficient?
How does your farm perform compared to other farms in the neighbourhood?