[Market-farming] planning spreadsheets

Tradingpost tradingpost at gilanet.com
Sat Feb 12 21:13:38 EST 2005

Now I find that very useful, budgeting and production planning. Any
sizeable business has to keep good books and stay on top of it. I believe
most growers have to allow for the unpredictables though and stay flexible.
Weather may bring poor germination, or force earlier or later harvest, and
production will always vary. Things don't always sell at the right price
either. There are losses. Machines don't usually warn of impending repairs.
 I won't judge a spreadsheet I haven't seen but I've known old farmers who
never finished 8th grade but could do good math in their heads. My guess
is, to make good use of a spreadsheet you need a good grasp of cost
accounting first.  It's what they always said about computers -- garbage
in, garbage out. It won't think for you. 

paul tradingpost at gilanet.com

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On 2/12/2005 at 5:34 PM Steven Rogers wrote:

>Steve Diver,
>I use a spreadsheet I downloaded for free from, I believe, the University
>of Mantoba. I don't know
>why none of the universities in the US offer free stuff like this. The
>spreadsheet is called "Farmplan".
>It runs in Excel.I don't remember how I got there. I recently started
>using Quickbooks and it looks like I will be 
>able to pull out costing reports from it. That is what I use for budgeting
>money type of planning.
>As far as production planning--what goes where and when.  I tend think in
>and drawing them out on paper, with overlays for different crop
>successions, makes things 
>clear for me. Most people look at my stack of dogeared diagrams and are
>instantly confused.
>I visualize what the field will look like when is planted and then I put
>it on paper where I
>work out the details of how many rows/item, how long a certain crop will
>be in the field, when
>I will replant and with what.. That probably didn't help anyone. Let's
>just say I am a little
>quirky and leave it at that.
>Thanks for the nice comments about me and Portland. I really love Portland
>and it was
>a hard decision  to buy a farm 60 miles away. My goal in 3-5 years is to
>buy a condo
>close to downtown so that I can enjoy the nightlife and not have to drive
>back to the farm.
>Several of my customers have my farm name on the menu. There are at least
>10 very busy,
>viable farmers markets operating the the metro area. It is gratifying to
>go to a farmers event
>of some type and have somone come up to me and say "I heard you speak at
>so 'n so event
>and you inspired me to start farming."  Thankfully no one has gone broke
>and come looking for
>me with a weapon! LOL.
>Steven Rogers
>singingpigfarm at earthlink.net
>EarthLink Revolves Around You.
>Market-farming mailing list
>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
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