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We’re all agreed that we need farms, right? Even those who choose not to eat meat are still reliant on the agricultural industry for their fruit and veg supplies. It’s one of the oldest business models we have in the world. And, it’s one which we need to take into the future with us to stay comfortable. Sadly, rising costs in this area are leaving us at risk of agriculture-free future not all too far down the line. And, that’s an issue you need to address if you want to keep your agricultural efforts afloat.
For the most part, issues here, as anywhere, tend to come from rising prices for materials and land. Sadly, the money farmers and other agricultural workers have coming in no longer matches these steep costs. This is turning into such a problem that figures have started coming to the fore of late which are impossible to deny. Consider, for example, the fact that farm food has increased in price by a shocking 50% in the last nine years alone. Add to that the fact that the number of dairy farms has halved as a result during the previous twelve years. It’s fair to say that this is an industry on the brink. It’s no wonder, then, that you’re feeling a little hot under the collar about money right now. Fail to get on top of this, and you’re sure to end up as another statistic.
The good news is that these issues needn’t secure your closure. By meeting them with fire, you could actually go on to have a long and successful career here. The thing to bear in mind is that you need to tackle these rising costs before you feel their sting. Luckily, we have a few pointers which could help you to do just that.
Enhance your earning
One of the largest struggles of an agricultural business right now is that of their earning not living up to their outgoings. That’s no way to do business, and it’s an issue which is leading to many a farm’s undoing. But, it’s an issue which you might be able to keep at bay by merely enhancing your earnings. Obviously, your best bet here is to strike deals with larger businesses. This will lead to ongoing contracts which can ensure you have a fair amount of money coming in regularly. But, relying on this kind of business alone might not be enough anymore. You may also want to consider alternative revenue streams, such as local business and farmers markets. These could see you earning a whole load more over time. You might even find that it’s worth turning one of your outhouses or barns over to a shop. That way, customers can come straight to you and buy produce upfront. This cuts out the costs of the middleman, as it were, and can see you earning a fair amount more than you do right now. This could also go down well in an age where more and more people are valuing local businesses over large corporations. If you manage to get a regular income this way, on top of those big deals, then you should find it easy enough to meet rising prices in other areas. But, that’s never going to happen if you don’t get smart about where your money is coming from.
Invest in seeds which keep on giving
Whether you grow crops for your animals or focus on produce alone, seeds probably take up a great deal of your budget. In the quantities you need to buy, these can soon add up throughout a season or two. If you aren’t careful, growth could literally eat up your profits. Make sure that doesn’t happen by thinking about long-term investment here. Consider that even the cheapest seeds going will set you back when you buy in bulk. Even worse, affordable options only provide one year’s worth of produce. By comparison, more expensive heirloom varieties can see your harvest carrying over from year to year. You could argue, then, that this really is one of those situations where you could save by spending more upfront. Making this effort also reduces the workload required to get your harvest up the next time. As such, you could go as far as to say that this will save you forking out on employees for this task, too. In short; it can save you a whole load. All because you put your hand in your pocket and thought about the future, instead of just now. Of course, you will need to take care of those seeds to make sure that they do reap the rewards you’re expecting. Still, that task won’t be anywhere near as intensive as a new planting would.
Cut back on your utilities
Farms use a whole load of utilities daily. From water for crops and animals to electricity for heat lamps and the like, the chances are that your bills are through the roof. And, if you take the above advice and include a store and more on your land, you’re looking at increasing those already steep costs. Up until now, you’ve always accepted high bills as part of the job. Any business faces them, right? Wrong. The majority of business sectors are taking steps to cut back on the bills they pay. And, there’s no reason that you can’t do the same, especially given the land that you have access to. Water is probably the steepest bill you pay right now for obvious reasons. You use a fair old amount of it, after all. But, what if we were to tell you that turning to a private source like a borehole could stop you needing to pay a penny? Admittedly, you need to make sure that you would be able to source enough water for your needs. You would also need to pay upfront for drilling and extraction using tools like those found at Aardvark Packers LLC. But, even these upfront costs shouldn’t take much more than the price of one month’s bills. Even if you end up needing to source half of your water elsewhere, you’re still going to save yourself a fair old amount. As for electricity bills, you have the land you need to get rid of those, as well. You have plenty of space to install solar panels and source your own supply. If you have enough free land, you could even invest in a fair few wind turbines. These have the benefit of producing so much energy that you could sell it back to grid suppliers and cover installation costs in no time. What was that we were saying about diversifying our income?
Use what you have
Back in the days of old, farms were pretty self-sufficient places. They didn’t rely on big suppliers or a steady income to get what they needed. Instead, they made sure that nothing went to waste, and the circle of agriculture continued. Now, though, you may be in the bad habit of getting rid of stuff which you could put to good use. Instead of relying on an outside farm to supply fertilizer, use waste from your animals. You could make your compost with unused pieces from your fruit and veg. Instead of chucking out damaged or bug infested vegetables, use them as animal feed. That way, your current supply can last you that bit longer. These are small steps, but they can each take your money that bit further every month. You may even find that you can make cakes or other fun additions with ‘wonky produce.’ You could then sell them for cheap in your shop. Again, this is a fantastic way to diversify your income. It also ensures that locals have all the more reason to come to that shop we’ve already spoken about. All without your needing to spend an extra penny.
Focus on a niche
It’s also worth noting that you could benefit from focusing on a niche within your business. It often seems to be the case that farms which offer a more general service are the ones experiencing closures. That’s no wonder when you consider that they’re going straight up against every other farm in their area. By comparison, focusing on a niche allows you to ensure an audience, no matter how many farmers are around. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Something as simple as going organic can give you the edge if you live in an area where the population values that. You may even want to opt into becoming a vegan farm if you operate in a trendy town. Vegan eating is big news now, and you’re sure to land well with a pretty large audience if you get this right. Either way; these are options which see your products coming off the shelves over everyone else’s. They’re also unique selling points which could see you sealing more large deals. That could more than tide you over through this tricky time.