Farmers with different methods from different parts of the world with different circumstances share at least one thing in common: They love their jobs.
There are may possible jobs in farming. For the sake of simplicity, in this page, we will be discussing only the job and the career advancement of a crop farmer.
Crop farming requires very little formal education. Rather, it depends largely on creativity, hard work, and love for the land. If you meet these criteria, you just might make a great farmer.
Although very little formal education is required, farmers must posses a wealth of knowledge of crops and the science behind them. Furthermore, experience in farming, like in most other fields, is crucial.
While many believe to the contrary, farming is a very diverse job where one can expect to work in pest control, and even business contracts. It’s not just working the land. Also, many farmers work on family land, but there are also several working for large corporate growing operations.
While forma education is not required to become a farmer, it sure does help as it may increase employment opportunities in the future. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business, or any other agriculture-related field may be very beneficial in the long run. Another requirement that is generally needed is a license to work with pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals used out on the farm. Keep in mind this is only needed if you intend to work with these chemicals. For many, that is the best part of the job.
Contrary to popular belief, farmers are not paid very little for their work. The median salary in 2013 was slightly over $70,000. This is the median for all farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture managers.
Generally, crop farmers cultivate a variety crops, including cotton, corn, and soybeans. They are able to work in different land and weather conditions and must have knowledge and first-hand experience with entomology, agribusiness, and general agronomy. Crop farmers will have to keep records of inputs, outputs, yields, expenses, and even crop rotations. The most successful farmers budget year-round and complete marketing in order to set their prices fairly and in order to achieve the profit they want.
The most common question people ask about crop farmers is what they do in the winter. Many believe that they do nothing farming related. Watch Opera. Sit at home. Travel. Get another job.
However, none of this is true.
During the winter, crop farmers have many jobs to complete. Normally, this time of year is very busy for them as they have to complete tasks before the next farming season.
One, farmers must haul away the pervious years crop from their grain bins so they can be sold. This may take a while, especially if the farmer is in charge of a large field. This is the part where the farmer gets compensated for his/her laborious work out o the field during the last eight-nine months.
Two, farmers must complete all the maintenance and service needed on the equipment they use. Most farmers utilize a very large number of equipment, From tractors to manure spreaders to handcarts to electric tools, the list is endless. These tools need to be maintained and upgraded every year to provide the farmer with a better and easier farming experience during the season. The better and more updated the equipment used is, the more efficient the farmer is out on the field.
Three, farmers must work arduously on paperwork to close out the previous year and begin the new year successfully and on the right track. This paper work includes renewing permits of the suppliers, getting certificates, filling out very detailed records of the farm output and input, and more. This part of the process is often the most difficult and most irritating as it may appear repetitive and overly detailed.
Four, farmers must continue learning. There are always new techniques and breakthroughs in farming, and the best farmers must stay updated on these techniques. New information is constantly available, from GMOs to herbicide usage, there is always more to learn about. The winter is a great time for farmers to get ahead on this information. There are constantly meetings for farmers to attend to keep up with new agronomic, business, and even marketing trends.
In addition, famers must nook and purchase their inputs. Once the farmer has an idea of what crops he/she is going to grow, he/she must purchase the inputs needed such as fertilizer, chemicals, and seed.
Also, occasionally famers grow a crop at a loss because the land needs it for good rotation.
Lastly and arguably most importantly, farmers must complete marketing. The more accurate their budget is, the better they know the price they need to sell at in order to achieve a profit.