You were brave to take the first step in following your passion. Let’s see if I can assist you in making this dream a reality.
When start farming there are many factors to take into consideration.
Firstly: buy on rent of land? In what area will you be farming?
Location of the farm? Do you have a professional job? Do you consider leaving your job for full time farming? What is the water situation on the farm you intend to buy or rent?
In my opinion WATER is the deciding factor when you decide to buy or rent a farm. A few questions that needs to be asked:
How many boreholes are there? Are they in working order? If not what will the reason be?
How strong are the water on the farm? What is the quality of the water?
You can get boreholes tested to find out how strong the water is and what the quality of the water is.
As animal theft is a harsh reality these days, what is the location of the farm? How close are you situated from main roads? Are there any roads that passes your farm? What is the situation with footpaths through your farm? How about a servitude? Is the servitude registered on the Title deed? Do you have right of way if you passes through another farm? You have to honour arrangements to get access to your farm if necessary.
Another reality to deal with when decide to go farming is labour. It is very expensive and your guidance on the farm is a necessity to ensure a productive operation.
Electricity on the farm is another question? Or are you prepared to go solar? Boreholes need either a “Windpomp” or generator to keep dams and tanks filled up. What is the situation with dams on the farm? Are they sustainable?
Have you checked out the facilities on the farm? Stores, kraal, animal handling equipment and facilities. Are the animal handling facilities in good working order?
Apart from clean and save drinking water your cattle handling equipment is of utmost importance.
Camps on the farm – are there any and if, are they in good order. Will you have to fix fences? What is the arrangement with your neighbours?
Is drinking water for animals available in all camps?
What are you going to use for feeding troughs? There are many options available in the market. Do your research well and know that it is important to have enough feeding tubs so all animals have access when being fed.
Veld-fires: This is one of the worst situations to deal with because all the food you have saved for winter can be destroyed. See to it that your firefighting equipment is in good working order. Get your equipment serviced every summer to be prepared for the worst. Remember, your animals safety is your responsibility and you need to be prepared for all situations
Animal Nutrition (The FIRST tip )
The BASIC of animal nutrition in my professional opinion is – ENOUGH FOOD! Winter and summer. Here you have to take changing weather conditions in consideration when you start stocking your farm. Droughts are a well known nightmare in any Farmers live! And you have to stock your farm conservatively, in fact i think you always have to think conservatively whenever you are a farmer.
You and mother nature are ONE now, and i can promise you, she makes the call. You have to follow, whatever the weather patterns are for any season.
Be smart and plan CONSERVATIVELY but never panic in difficult situations. BE PREPARED for whatever is coming or forecasted!
To be continued….
For any questions send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org