Budgeting Tips for New Farmers
All business owners encounter unexpected complications at the start of their journey. Farmers, in particular, face many unique challenges, like raising livestock or sudden changes in the weather, not often encountered by more traditional business owners. However, the struggle to effectively budget money remains universal. Below are some helpful tips for new farmers to help better budget their money.
Find a Good Accountant
One of the first and best ways to save money is connecting with an accountant who’s knowledgeable in all things related to farm taxes. This person can be tremendously helpful in finding the tax breaks and deductions exclusively available to farmers and their families. Taking advantage of these exemptions is key, but it all starts with finding the right tax accountant for you and your farm.
Consider Buying Used Equipment
Farming equipment is highly specialized and very costly, so buying used farm equipment is a place where you can save money instantly. In Louisiana, for example, farmers receive a sales tax exemption on some of the more expensive farm equipment. With careful research, finding quality used equipment is possible. One of the pricier pieces of new equipment is a tractor, and purchasing a good used tractor can save you thousands of dollars.
Understand Your Fuel Needs
The size of your farm and your equipment will ultimately reflect your fueling needs. Choosing between an on-site fuel tank or adding a refueling tank to an existing work truck becomes important. Be sure not to overlook the distance to and from your local fuel station and how often you’ll have to go off-site to refuel. Relying on word-of-mouth to find the cheapest fuel in your area will always be an option, but there are more than a few easy-to-use apps designed to help you as well.
Save on Energy With Solar Technology
Rising energy costs could be reduced with an investment in solar energy. Mississippi solar manufacturers have different financial benefits that make production cheaper for them than their competitors located out-of-state. An early backing of the growing technology could prove instrumental in helping expand its use among your fellow farmers. Beyond solar energy offering a host of advantages environmentally, there are financial incentives worth considering as well.
Effectively Feed Your Animals
Some farmers prefer to keep a standing order of feed for their animals. However, if you keep a smaller stock that tends to fluctuate in size, you could be spending far too much. Think about adjusting the amount of feed you buy to reflect the animals you currently have on hand. As the adage goes, buying less could mean saving more.
Still, there are some instances where buying in bulk and storing excess feed would work best for your needs. Savings can add up quickly during sales or when feed suppliers provide discounts for buying in bulk. While the number of animals you keep will factor into this decision, your storage capabilities should also be considered.
Go Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Save
You could say the very nature of being a farmer means embracing a do-it-yourself attitude. Hiring outside professionals or buying pre-build structures can be expensive. If you have the knowledge and time, building and maintaining structures like your fencing, animal enclosures, and feeding troughs could lead to big savings.
If you’re a new farmer in Mississippi or Louisiana, Southern AgCredit will work with you to help meet all your farm’s financing needs. To learn more about our farm loans, contact us using the form below.