What Does It Take to Be a Successful Farmer?

If you are seriously thinking about quitting your day job and starting a farm, this article is for you. Successful farming requires careful planning. What can help you to create a successful farming business?

In your excitement to jump into farming, don’t overlook these essential business tips. You will also find guidance on selecting a farm and why you should know about the hot topic of precision farming.

The term “precision farming” is a hot topic because the convergence of farming and technology is helping to generate profits. Maximized yields and minimized waste are possible more than ever today because of the technology applied to agriculture.

One type of technology, MyDTN, gives farmers a significant advantage over others. MyDTN saves by providing access to real-time data that is vital to farmers. This data includes critical market insights and prices and precise temperature and precipitation forecasts.


Tractor plowing farm field

General business savvy

It is not uncommon for farmers to struggle to make their farms a profitable enterprise. However, in most cases, those who struggle have failed to take into account these two tips that apply to all businesses. (Here are ten more keys to a successful farm business.)

Number one, think about what will make you stand out and give you a competitive edge?

Too many farmers decide what kind of farming strategy to pursue based on what seems easiest. The problem there is that many others have likely had the same idea. The important thing is to decide what will give you an advantage over the competition before starting and then implementing your strategy accordingly.

The advantage has to come from either your:

  1. relationship with, or proximity to, the buyer;
  2. superior quality product, or its unique or advantageous qualities; or
  3. competitive pricing, which beats out the competition.

Suppose you have an idea of what kind of farming business to focus on, but it does not fit one of those criteria. In that case, you may want to wait until you can research a more effective strategy that will give you a definite competitive advantage.

Number two, start promoting your business even before you start farming.

Is it possible to start marketing before you even have anything to sell? Yes! Not only is it possible, but it will also give you a strong head start. It’s often been said that people buy from people they like. Marketing is all about building relationships and establishing rapport.

No doubt, you already have a story to tell. What has brought you to this point? What is it about farming that makes you feel so passionate? Why are you contemplating this major life change?

Start right away by sharing your story and building relationships. How can you share your story? You can do so on social media, or another simple way is by starting a blog.

Set a target of how often you want to add an article to your blog and stick to that schedule. Just start telling your story, and pretty soon, you will be building your customer base!


Selecting a farm

Once you have decided that farming is definitely for you, you need to decide whether to buy or rent a farm. You also need to think about the geographical area where you want to find a farm. That will likely depend on the type of farming you want to do.

If you are entirely new to farming, it is wise to consider renting rather than buying a farm. Renting a farm will give you ample opportunity to see if the life of farming is really for you. In addition, it will provide you with a chance to see if you can make it a profitable enterprise.

It would be prudent to select a familiar location. It is an added advantage if you already have a network of contacts in that area. Choose a farm that has produced well in the past or is located near other well-producing farms.

Although it seems counterintuitive, if you have a type of farming in mind, you may wish to decide on an area that already has at least one or two successful examples of the same kind of farming.

It’s true, you want to have a competitive advantage, but there is a danger in choosing a farming type completely new to the area. It could be that the climate and soil, etc. are unsuitable for that type of farming. In any case, proceed with caution!

In choosing your farm, be sure to canvass the locals about potential pitfalls and don’t rely solely on the advice of your real estate agent or broker.


Soil Data

Precision farming

Farming has traditionally been anything but an exact science. However, farming is becoming more precise with technology such as remote sensors, drones, GPS, machine learning, and data analytics available to farmers.

The era of self-driving tractors and robot harvesters has already begun. Utilizing sensors that collect data about soil nutrient levels and moisture is also becoming more prevalent.

Precision farming is something that you should take the time to learn more about if you are thinking of starting a career in agriculture. It is about increasing yields while decreasing resource usage and costs by applying technology to your operations. 


Farmer with tablet

One last successful farming tip

One last tip to creating a successful farming venture is knowing that the more knowledge you have, the better farmer you will be.

That knowledge may come by knowing that one of the most critical factors determining crop growth and successful farming is the weather. This crucial environmental aspect can be measured and planned for to mitigate its effects with the right information. 

It may also come in the form of general business savvy. Having the right data at your fingertips to make fast, effective buying and selling decisions with crucial information, such as commodity and cash market prices and unbiased market analysis.

MyDTN is a proven tool to provide accurate temperature and precipitation forecasts. It is also the leading independent, trusted source of actionable insights and agriculture market information. Always be one step ahead with MyDTN – check it out today!