The importance of a farming Calendar
By Hanks Saisai /
Success in the farming sphere relies on prudent planning and the timely execution of critical activities related to a chosen farming enterprise.
To this end, an essential tool to facilitate this is a farming calendar that enables farmers to plan their farming activities over a 12-month period.
A farming calendar by definition is a 12-month schedule that indicates a range of activities that a farmer must undertake to realize their goals. This crucial calendar is needed by livestock, crop, poultry, and piggery farmers alike.
The agricultural (farming) calendar used by crop farmers is known as a cropping calendar.
By definition, a cropping calendar is a 12-month plan that indicates the month in which each production activity has to be undertaken to ensure success.
The cropping calendar informs the farmer in advance when to start with land preparation and when it is essential to purchase inputs (seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, seed trays, growing mix, etc.).
Moreover, the calendar specifies the timing of sowing seeds and all other necessary activities such as weeding, fertilizing, pest control, etc. until the crop reaches maturity and is ready to be harvested, stored and marketed.
The livestock farmers, farming calendar guides farmers on the correct timing to prepare their bulls, rams, bucks and cows (ewes and does) before they can be mated as well as when to vaccinate livestock against diseases.
Moreover, the calendar informs the farmer when to expect calving, lambing and kidding seasons, when to wean, undertake supplementary feeding during the dry season and when to market livestock to generate an income.
On the other hand, the poultry farmers calendar can be divided into production cycles that stipulate the activities that must be carried out such as feeding, vaccination, cleaning of houses and all other necessary activities that ensure eggs are produced, or chickens reach slaughter weight within the production cycle.
Overall, a farming calendar in each farming enterprise is fundamental as it helps farmers to be proactive and identify risks beforehand. It is also an effective budgeting tool that ensures a farmer efficiently manages the farm enterprise finances.
Furthermore, at the end of each production year, the calendar can be compared with financial records to evaluate the performance of the agribusiness and provide information on areas of improvement to maximize the profitability of the business.
In conclusion, a business without clearly outlined activities over a 12-month period has minimal prospects of becoming a success.
Therefore, operating a successful farming enterprise requires preparation and planning. To this end, a farming calendar for your farming enterprise is a must-have, to ensure success.
– Mr Hanks Saisai is the technical advisor on crops and poultry at the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank).