Avoiding the Farmer’s Blues for the First Time – The Truth, for Its Own Good.

While the internet is full of articles on the profitability of farming, few give an accurate picture of the challenges farmers face in food production. When done well, farming is profitable.

However, the factors that determine whether a farming business is profitable or not may not be within the farmer’s control. It is these outside forces that can pose the greatest challenge to an agricultural business.

Unpredictable weather

Weather is an important factor in agriculture. Even more, in Africa, where rain-fed agriculture is most practiced. Weather can have a direct impact on crops and livestock yields, product quality, and the ability to market produce to customers.

Additionally, if bad weather occurs at harvest time, many farms face financial ruin as they struggle to save crops from rotting or pest damage.

However, predicting the weather has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Many farmers have found that they can no longer rely on traditional weather forecasts or climate records when planning their farming activities.

Climate change is expected to cause more extreme weather events, such as drought or heavy rainfall. This means that while some growing seasons may be good for farmers, other seasons may produce poor results.

High cost

Inputs are the materials needed to produce agricultural products. These include seeds, fertilizers, animal feed, veterinary services and agrochemicals. Climate change is already impacting many farmers by increasing input costs. Basic food items such as grains and seeds are becoming more expensive every year.

Purchasing high quality inputs can be very costly for agricultural enterprises in some countries. High quality inputs are often needed to ensure yields are maximized when planting or rearing.

However, these inputs are not always available to farmers or out of reach due to high prices. When high quality inputs are not available, yields obtained from planting or rearing may be lower than expected. This can have a significant impact on the overall profitability of agricultural businesses.

Pests and diseases

Pests and diseases are an inevitable part of the lives of ranchers and farmers. Pests and diseases reduce the production as well as the marketing of agricultural products.

Farmers rely on their knowledge to control these threats, through prevention or treatment with chemicals, to keep their livestock and plants healthy.
However, the evolution of pest and disease resistance to pesticides and drugs has encouraged many farmers to seek alternative methods to control threats to their livestock and crops.

The cost of purchasing new chemicals to control pests and disease resistance is rising, as are the costs of developing genetically modified seeds that have been bred to resist pests and diseases.

Get reliable staff

Agriculture is a labor intensive activity. Farmers must have enough staff to plant, maintain and harvest crops when needed. They also need permanent staff to oversee day-to-day operations at the livestock farms.

However, an increasing number of farmers have been unable to find skilled labour. This means they had to do without the extra hands needed to plant and harvest certain crops or lead livestock out of harm’s way. In this case, a poor harvest can lead to loss of income and increased financial stress.

Staff roles in agricultural enterprises are often interchangeable, so farmers may need to adapt their farming strategy when staff leave or when there are unexpected changes in the availability of skilled workers in the community. Due to these uncertainties in hiring labor, many farmers rely on their own family members to help them with farming activities.

Poor quality seeds, breeds

Seeds and animals are two types of inputs that are the basis of any agricultural enterprise. Seeds should be carefully selected based on soil conditions, climate and time of planting.

Seeds that produce low yields could ultimately lead to a poor harvest. It is therefore important for every farmer to select seeds with high yield potential in order to maximize production. This can cost significant sums, but it allows farmers to get the most out of their land while ensuring sustainable farming practices.

Livestock breeds must also be carefully selected in order to produce high quality meat, eggs and milk for consumption by people and animals on farms. Prolonged breeding with unsuitable partners can lead to poor health in herds, preventing farmers from maximizing the potential of their livestock.

– Additional information from cropfocus.com

2022-01-18 Staff reporter