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When it comes to setting your farm budget, it’s important not to lose sight of your goals. I’m a great fan of starting by having a wee bit of a dream about what we want to achieve for ourselves. It’s always important not to lose sight of our dreams, especially in tough years.

Too often people put off their ambitions – instead hoping there will be some cash to spare at the end of the year. Murphy’s rule number 22 of farming is that the farm will consume any surplus cash. By planning your outcomes first it is possible to break that cycle.

Achieving goals takes commitment and teamwork. To make the plan, we often need to discuss our dreams with our partner a little before we are ready – and as the plan progresses we may find circumstances force the dream to be put on hold – many people find this challenging.

The next step is to think about changes to make to your farming policy. More stock or less? A different mix? Purchase more feed or less? Don’t be afraid to change your mind once it’s written down. The benefit of having a plan is that when we dream up a better plan we can compare the advantage of the new plan.


“One of the essential tools to successful planning is having clear business goals. Knowing where you want to be and working out how to get there goes hand in hand with setting the Farm Budget.”

Sam Orsborn, Farm Budgeting Specialist and a Director of Baker & Associates

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