Do you like the idea of being self-sufficient? Does living off the land seem appealing to your family? Then owning and running a farm could be the answer to all your problems. While some UK farmers have been struggling to make ends meet since the early 1990s, those with an innovative and flexible approach are still making a killing. You just have to go about things in the right way. A significant amount of people were put off the idea of farming when the possibility of mad cow disease resulted in thousands of animals being slaughtered and wasted. However, things are now getting back on track.
There are many benefits to owning a farm, not least that you won’t have to answer to anyone else. Being your own boss allows certain freedoms that you’ll never encounter from traditional employment solutions. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll have to get up at the crack of dawn and work very hard to make a profit. Even so, working like that is much easier when you know the fruits of your labour are heading straight for your bank account. With that in mind, buying a farm could be the best thing you do this year.
Finding a suitable farm
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to find a suitable farm to purchase. As you can probably imagine, they don’t come cheap. For that reason, you should spend at least a couple of months looking at everything available on the market before you make any offers. The last thing you want to do is overpay for a small piece of infertile land. You shouldn’t be afraid of moving long distances when purchasing a farm as the chances of something decent being on the market in your local area are slim. Do some research into average prices too because that could help you when it comes to negotiations.
Buying your farm
Once you’ve found a suitable farm, you’ll need to head down to speak with your bank manager. You probably aren’t going to have enough money in your account to pay for the land outright as farms can cost in excess of £1 million. Considering that, you’ll almost certainly need to get a mortgage. Luckily, banks don’t see farms as standard properties, and so there are specialist mortgages out there for people looking to buy. They understand that your purchase is a business move that could yield significant profits. That is why you should receive far better rates than the general public would expect.
Organising your farm
When the contracts have been signed, you’ll have to start work ASAP. You should speak with previous owners to find out about their income streams. It would be much easier if you could simply take the reins from them, rather than developing a new way of doing business. However, what they were doing might not use the land to its full potential. With that in mind, an element of common sense is required. You need to decide whether you’ll make your money from plants, livestock or both. Each has its own benefits, and each has the potential to reap amazing rewards if you perform enough planning.
There are many different livestock markets around the UK you might like to attend. Buying cows, pigs and sheep can get expensive, and so it would be wise to take someone along who knows what they’re doing. Purchasing the wrong animals could mean you don’t make as much money when the time comes to slaughter or sell them. Luckily, farmers are not a competitive bunch, and they’re usually more than willing to help each other out. If you can’t find an expert to take along to the auctions, just try to befriend another bidder who seems to know what they’re doing.
Obtaining the best equipment
You’re not going to get very far if you have to perform all your duties the old-fashioned way. For that reason, it is vital you obtain all the best equipment for your farm. You’ll no doubt need a tractor, a combined harvester and more. Also, it’s vital that you get all this machinery insured as it will cost you a lot of money if it is stolen or damaged. Providers like FarmTrader and their competitors should be your first port of call when getting quotes.
Planning your work routine
It is vitally important that you plan your work routine when starting out as a farmer. There are so many things you’ll have to do that you’re almost guaranteed to overlook certain jobs. Making a plan should be too difficult though, and it will help you to stay on target.
Creating your income streams
If you decided to purchase livestock, you’d have to make a decision on how you will make money from them. Cows produce a significant amount of milk each day, and so winning a contract with an organic brand could be the best way of ensuring your have cash in the bank each month. Also, you can make a lot of profit by selling the meat. On top of that, many farmers choose to produce vegetables and fruit that can be sold directly to the public. If opening a farm shop sounds appealing, you’ll need to build a website to advertise it to people in your area. Most people like buying fresh goods like that, and so you should achieve a high-level of sales.
Now you’ve read through this post; you should have a good idea about what it is going to take to run a successful farm. Only you can decide whether or not this is a wise move for your family, and we implore you to think long and hard before ploughing ahead (excuse the pun.)
Presuming you do decide that farm life is right for you, we wish you the utmost success over the next few years. Sometimes it can take a while to get things right, and so you’re going to need lots of spare cash in the bank. You might not make a profit for the first few years, which is why you need extra funding to keep the lights on.