Maintaining high standards

If you become careless and lazy in small things, your yield and profit can decline.

Planting basins measured and dug to a high standard by 78-year-old Amon Samu in Zimbabwe.
Photo: Courtesy of foundations for farming

Foundations for Farming teaches four basic management principles to improve profit. Do all your tasks: on time, to a high standard, without wastage, and with joy. In the last issue, we discussed why planting your crops at the right time is extremely important, and failing to do this can lead to yield losses.

This week we look at the second principle: producing work to a high standard. How do you, as a farmer, work to the highest possible standard? To begin with, you stay passionate and committed to your enterprise – working as hard as you can and refusing to give up if you suffer setbacks.

Just as importantly, though, you ensure that every action you undertake – no matter how small – is done as thoroughly as possible. The saying “God is in the details” expresses this well: if you fail to look after the small things, your entire project can fail! This is the way nature works, after all. Think of how a tiny seed develops into a huge plant or tree.

The entire ‘plan’ for the full-grown plant is contained in that small seed – and every detail is worked out perfectly. If a mistake is made in the seed, the plant will not grow properly. Your farming enterprise is no different. In order to achieve the excellent results you desire, you need to pay attention to every detail along the way. For example:

  • If you don’t measure and plan your field accurately, you can easily waste space and end up with fewer plants. And because you’re planting again and again, you’re losing out with every season’s crops!
  • If you’re careless about your weeding, the total effect of those weeds growing here and there can drastically reduce your overall yield.
  • If, as discussed before, you wait a bit too long before you plant, your yield can suffer a great deal.
  • If you neglect one or two sick cows, the disease can spread – and your entire herd can become infected.
  • If you are a bit careless about working out your profit margin, it can make a huge difference when you’re selling your crop – and you can end up losing a lot of money.

These are just a few ways in which you can lose out badly if you neglect the details. On the other hand, if you take care of them – in other words, maintain the highest standards at all times – your business should thrive. Small details may not seem important at the time. But they can make the difference between success and failure in the end.

To find out more about Foundations for Farming, visit www.foundationsforfarming.org.