Farming has a draw that’s wide-ranging and nearly indescribable. Staying busy, supporting your community, being more self-sufficient, and feeling more satisfied, living on a farm can be a simpler, better life for many people. But despite the appeals of producing your own food from your idyllic country homestead, farming isn’t for everyone.
Farming takes effort.
In popular depictions of farm life, you’ll almost see the farmer, their family, and their staff up before dawn to take care of business. A farmer manages many roles. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is produce to be harvested, crops and critters to care for, and acres of land to keep in shape. But these aren’t the only responsibilities a farmer takes on—in reality, their job is never quite done.
Between planting, harvesting, fertilizing, feeding, and maintaining the farm and everything on it, a farmer puts in significant mental effort. From the first year on the property through the life of the farm, There’s plenty of planning to be done, from what crops will do best on the land to the expected expenses and potential income. And pricing isn’t the only prophesizing a farmer takes advantage of. It’s just as important to monitor the weather and projected forecast. Potential pests, too, are an important factor to anticipate—what pests can you expect on your property this season and precautions will you take to protect your farm and everything on it?
Farming takes funds.
A successful farm can provide a comfortable living but, before you can reap those rewards, you’ll need to invest in tools, land, and knowledge to make your farm successful. The inexperienced farmer-to-be will likely want to get a formal education, be it a degree in agriculture or a series of courses. This way, you can learn the basics of planning, planting, and everything else you could need to run your farm, from how to determine your corn yield for each acre of land to what to look for in a home insurance quote to cover your farmhouse.
Of course, this knowledge, too, comes with costs. Once you’ve taken advantage of a corn yield estimation formula to estimate the number of ears or bushels you can expect from your land, you’ll need to invest not only in seeds, machinery, and labor—you’ll have to factor in any corn seed treatments and other efforts you might take to increase your corn yield or produce better quality corn, be it a larger-than-average number of kernels per ear, a higher number of ears in total, or corn that simply tastes better.
The same is true for other aspects of farming—naturally, you’ll need to put up money for your land, animals, crops, and tools. But it’s important to remember the other costs that will accrue along the way. Factor in additional living expenses, like homeowners insurance and liability coverage, and you have a budget worth thinking over.
Farming takes a strong stomach.
Farming gives you 24/7 access to all the adorable animals you could ever ask for, from chickens and cows to goats and sheep. But, if you’ll be auctioning or butchering livestock as a part of your farming practices, you’ll get attached at your own peril. Even the most cruelty-free farming efforts have their share of not-so-pleasant animal interactions. From scooping never-before-seen mounds of feces to navigating worms and other creatures below the crops in your fields, farming won’t be a good fit for anyone who’s grossed out by these facets of nature.
People, too, can prove to be an unpleasant sensory detail on a farm. Working and living a farmer’s life comes with risks, from property damage to personal liability. How does your home insurance compare insuring your personal property, and the risks that come with it, to a new home, condo, or other, more urban dwelling? You need to be prepared for the possibility that you or your farmhands could be injured, and it’s not just your reaction to gore you need to worry about. Consider the coverage options in your homeowner insurance policy to make sure you, your farm, and the people that come on it have plenty of protection, with the right amount of coverage for any injury or other scenarios.
Farming will take a lot of hard work and early mornings. You’ll need to spend money before you can make money, from tools to help optimize your grain yield to insurance coverage. Farm work can be plenty gross—with more than your fair share of blood, sweat, and tears along the way. But, if living on a farm is what you want, and you’re prepared to tackle the not-so-pleasant moments alongside the good parts, it can be more than worth the effort.