Keys to Success on the Farm

Farming is a business that is always changing and most importantly, needs the most careful attention to detail to gain success. Young or old, every farmer could use a few tips to gain success on their own farm. We have outlined a few tips anyone could use during difficult times of the year.

19879914 – agricultural work plowing land on a powerful tractor

Plan Ahead 

It’s essential to have a plan, especially in our farming society. It’s important to make a business plan and stick to it; however, you have the ability to make appropriate changes to this document throughout the year.

Separating plans can help gain success as well. Having a marketing plan, a risk management plan and an operations plan help keep you on track with the number of tasks going on throughout the year.

Invest in Land

Farmers love the land and Grandpa knew best with his advice on investing earnings in more. Of course land prices plummeted in the 80s and that may happen again (see point 1) but over the past 30 years, investing in land has proved to be a very financially successful strategy for farmers across North America.

Cash flow

Selling agricultural products is often a cash business and you need to be careful with all that money. Create a plan that tracks every penny you earn and spend, and create ways to get that cash into the bank.

It’s Okay to Start Poor

Younger generations tend to want to start with the standard of living and farming that grandpa and grandma spent many decades working towards. While it doesn’t make sense to try farming today with an old 12 horsepower Model H, there’s value in learning to appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting a farm to where it is today. And nothing drives innovation on a farm like tough times.

Purchase the Appropriate Equipment

Farm equipment and livestock equipment, as well as livestock itself, are expensive but they are essential investments for the farm. Think through your major purchases, determine how you will finance them and how that investment will benefit the farm.

Focus on your Own Farm

Getting wrapped up in what your neighbors are doing can be a fatal distraction for any farm. Whether it’s making sure you have the latest pickup, the cleanest field, the most acres bought in the winter or the longest all-inclusive vacation, trying to appear to others that you are successful likely means that you are not actually working on being successful.

Remember your Family Members 

Surround yourself with people who will pick you up when you are down but also give you tough love if you are headed in the wrong direction. Find fellow farmers and business professionals outside of farming who can give you good, honest advice from a fresh perspective.


Pick one enterprise that you really like, that you’re good at, and has money-making potential. There are only 24 hours in a day, so spend your time on the ones that make your business successful. Don’t stretch yourself thin by getting too diversified when you are not ready. The same goes for markets: Focus your time in places that are the most profitable for you.

Be flexible

Don’t be afraid to change your plans when things are not working. Review your farm plans and make the changes necessary to continue to make your operation successful.


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