Owning and running a farm can be a fulfilling way to earn a living or a nice addition to your lifestyle, but it is also a weighty undertaking. Whether you want to start a full-scale farm or a hobby farm, you need to plan ahead and iron out all the details to be successful. Here’s what to consider when starting a farm.
Decide on What You Will Raise
The first aspect of the farm that you should think about is what exactly you will raise. Will your farm primarily focus on growing crops, or are you more interested in caring for animals? What plants will thrive in your climate? Corn and soybeans are popular among industrial farms, but you might want to branch off into different crops like sweet potatoes or cucumbers. If you want animals, you have options between several species, including cattle and chickens. Once you know what you want to aim for, you can take subsequent actions based on your decision.
Think of Land Management
Having a large enough tract of land for your farm is only the beginning. You must also think about how you will manage your crops and animals on that land. Planting the same crops in the same sections of your land will eventually drain the soil of nutrients and cause disease and pests to proliferate. You’ll need to rotate different crops over different seasons to avoid this. As for animals, you will need strong fences to hold them in different portions of the land at different times. This way, they won’t overgraze, and you can give the grass and other edible plants time to regrow while also lowering the animals’ risk of catching parasites. All of this is part of the proper land management you should have in mind as you start your farm.
Get the Necessary Tools
Of course, gathering the necessary tools for the crops and animals you will care for is another part of what to consider when starting a farm. You should invest in the equipment you will find the most useful for the type of farm you have. A large crop-based operation will need a tractor for tilling; on the other hand, you could get by with a compact tractor on a smaller farm.
For animal transportation, you might want to get a trailer to hook up to a pickup truck. Hand tools for building and repairing outdoor structures will be a must no matter what you are raising. You might want to look into getting a fencepost driver to help drive posts into the ground firmly, spades fit for gardening, and multi-use pliers, hammers, and screwdrivers. With this equipment, you won’t find yourself unable to complete a task because you lack the proper tools at some point in the future.