In our free seminars on Sundays in our farm, a fellow asked us what are the traits of successful farmers that we had encountered in our long years of covering agriculture.
Actually, there are many traits. But among those we admire are those who keep records about their projects. There are many good reasons for doing so.
Several years back, we interviewed Jess Domingo in his 100-hectare farm in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. He used to be a top corporate executive but had to give up his high paying corporate jobs to engage in his passion for farming at age 55.
I was really amazed when he told me he could make a net profit of more than P5,000 from a fattener that he raised to about 90 kilos in four months. We were amazed because we know that many hog raisers would be happy if they made a profit of P2,000 from a fattener that they raised within the same period.`
Of course we believed what he said because he had records to show. His record showed that each fattener ate P3,500 worth of fermented feeds that he himself formulated, each kilo costing about P10. He also saved a lot from the weanlings he fattened by producing them himself. It cost him only about P700 to produce a weanling for fattening. If he had to buy from outside, the going price at that time was P2,500 each.
In computing his cost of producing a fattener that’s ready for sale, he included the cost of labor, the depreciation from the housing, and other miscellaneous expenses. He was able to sell his fattened pig at P123 per kilo liveweight to a buyer from Isabela so he grossed about P11,000 per head. That gave him more than P5,000 profit per fattener.
There are many things that have to be recorded as part of good management. For instance, if you have a record when the sow is inseminated, you will know the date when it will give birth so you can prepare the things needed during farrowing.
FUN IN RECORD KEEPING – Some hog raisers make their record keeping more fun. For instance, they name their female breeders after celebrities. Thus, they may have sows named Marilyn, Madonna, Sharon, and the like. They record the performance of each breeder so they know which piglets to keep for further breeding.
Record keeping is not only important in livestock production. It is as useful in crop production. One will be able to know which crop is most profitable during the past year, and what could be the reason or reasons. One could have a record of the best buyers, the most reasonable input suppliers, the best performing varieties and the like.
Oh yes, there are so many things to record in farming. If you have not been making records in your farming operations, better do it now. Right now.