Importance of records in crop production 

By Hanks Saisai |

Records are a vital component of any farming enterprise and naturally this includes crop production enterprises.

Records are usually kept for four main reasons mainly: to know, decide, manage and to thrive in the farming ventures of choice.

As a crop farmer it’s of critical importance to keep records on crop inputs and productivity. These records mainly comprise the following: the type of crops you grow, the planting date, size of the cultivated area, the yield obtained from the cultivated plot, yield per Hectare (Ha) and remarks on the yield obtained such as aspects that may have contributed to a low yield.

Plant nutrition records are valuable when managing a crop enterprise as they will provide pertinent information on the fertilizer type (organic or inorganic) used, date of fertilizer application, quantity of fertilizer applied, dose per Ha, the unit price of fertilizer, costs of fertilizing the cultivated area and the average cost per Ha. These records are essential as they have an impact on the yield potential of the cultivated crop.

Similarly, pest and weed control are essential in crop production; hence farmers are encouraged to keep records on the treatment type applied to control pests or weeds as well as the date of applying the pesticide for controlling pests or herbicide for controlling weeds.

Moreover, records on the quantity of pesticide and herbicide used as well as the dose of the pesticide or herbicide used per Ha should be kept.

Additionally, the farmer must keep records on the unit price of each treatment as well as the costs incurred to apply the pest and weed control on the cultivated area. This will enable the farmer to determine the average cost per Ha on weed and pest control.

Once the crops reach maturity, the farmer is advised to keep records on the quantity of the harvest, and the selling unit price of the harvest per kg (for example N$ 5.20 per kg of maize).

Furthermore, records on the amount of harvest used for own consumption must be kept as well as the revenue generated from harvest sales and revenue per Ha. Moreover, records on the storage type used by a farmer must be noted and storage losses must also be recorded in a crop farmer’s records.

Finally, record keeping in crop production helps you as a farmer to keep track of your production performance. Farmers are also advised to make use of good quality seeds and ensure proper cultivation of the soil to maximize yields and income.

Lastly, it’s also advisable for farmers to keep records on the agents used such as input suppliers, buyers, and support services such as extension advisory services offered in order to succeed in your crop production enterprise.

— Mr. Hanks Saisai is Technical Advisor on Crops and Poultry at Agribank.