Here Are 5 Things to Think About Before Getting Started
Interested in starting a career in agriculture? It may seem simple at first – plant some seeds, let the water do the job, or get an irrigation system and harvest. Got animals? Food is all they need.
As you learn more about this industry, you realize it is not as simple as it seems at first glance. Here are a few things you need to know before even starting.
There are no days off
Really, once you get into farming, you can forget about having days off. You are less likely to go on vacation with your partner – instead, each of you will go separately with kids or perhaps some friends.
Some animals may need help – you have to be there. A crop must be harvested – you have to be there. Your tractor breaks down – you need tractor financing or a quick repair.
There is always something going on, whether you cultivate soy or tomatoes or you have livestock. There is always something that needs doing in terms of care and maintenance.
There is no such thing as leaving it on a desk until next week. Many things must be done as soon as they need it, with no delay at all.
Also, the 4th of July will no longer be a holiday but a workday. You might as well need to do some work on Christmas, Labor Day, and so on.
Farming is a lifestyle
You need to love agriculture to end up farming. It is not just a profitable job, but it will soon become a lifestyle for you and whoever else is involved.
You may need to go to sleep at 8PM because there are chores that need doing at 4AM. If you dream about sleeping for 10 hours until 10AM, this is not going to happen.
Sometimes, you may have to go out in the middle of the night to sort something out. If you have livestock, pregnant animals may need help giving birth too.
Farming is a rewarding experience, but it is not a 9-5 job. Your schedule will vary from one day to another – simple as that.
Getting a job in farming is one thing. But if you plan to start your own farm, you need to make this experience your life.
There might be years with no income
In general, farming is seen as a very productive industry. In fact, in developed countries, farmers always have large houses, lots of land, and fancy cars.
But then, this is not a general rule. There might be years when there is no income whatsoever. Then, there are years when your profits skyrocket.
This is why you always need a backup plan or a good savings account – you never know what the next year might bring in.
Crops are less likely to make as much as livestock. But at the same time, there is more risk associated with livestock than with soy or corn. Livestock will require care and treatment too.
Since the industry looks so insecure, many farmers simply opt for farm insurance. You get to pay a small amount of money every year, but at least you are safe if you fail to produce enough.
During certain times of the year, some farmers also take side jobs. This way, they can diversify their income a little. Bottom line, you need to get ready to have inconsistency in your money.
There is no control over nature
No matter what type of farming you are into, everything depends on nature. At this point, things could be prolific, but your farm may also suffer a little.
If you focus on crops, there are two major dangers – flooding and drought. Such things can wipe out everything. Long droughts can kill your crops, but flooding can also destroy everything.
Got an irrigation system against drought? Fine, but keep in mind that super-low temperatures can cause these pipes to break, as the water expands.
Got livestock? If you have a milking system, it might end up in the same situation. Plus, you need to milk those cows regardless of the temperature.
While not super common, livestock in the field is also exposed to other dangers – for instance, wild animals. Plus, weather conditions are just as harmful – lightning kills thousands of animals every year.
You need to get ready to tackle all these things. You need backup plans too. Get insurance if you can. Keep your spending under control and try to diversify your income.
When it comes to nature, everything depends on it, so you must be ready. From this point of view, an area with extreme weather conditions may not necessarily be a good place for farming.
Multitasking is a must
When you start farming, you start a bunch of different careers, and they all float around your farm. Unless you have a massive budget and you start a large farm with lots of employees, you will need to be good at everything.
There are times when you might need to do physical labor. Then, there are times when you need to analyze finances or perhaps do some accounting.
You need to know how to run a business because this is what farming is after all – even if you only produce for yourself.
You might need to play the veterinarian too if one of your animals is not doing too well – obviously, do not get involved with things you are not 100% sure of, as you might cause even more harm.
Bottom line, you do need to be aware of the potential challenges arising from this experience. However, there is no such thing as a light career – every opportunity out there comes with some difficulties.
Overall, farming is an amazing experience, especially if you like to work with nature – just as profitable when it comes to finances.