Farm Planning Means Assessing the Implications of Allocating Resources in a Particular way before deciding whether to act. Therefore it is the Foundation of Management.

Purposes of whole farm planning    
Improve conservation and water quality protection     
Integrated Economics and Environment    

Consider quality of life 
Essential goals for a whole farm plan
Essential qualities of the whole
Farm planning process 
Steps in whole Farm Planning and Budgeting     
Essential Contents of A Whole Farm Plan
These are also advantage of budget
Budgeting involves three main steps


Farm Planning means assessing the implications of allocating resources in a particular way before deciding whether to act, therefore it is the foundation of management. Farm planning can be defined as the preparation of an operational programme for a farm which will ensure the conservation of land and other resources and the efficient use of production factors there by increasing the net income and satisfaction of the farmer. Without setting the objectives and line of action to be followed, there is nothing to organize, direct and control in the organization of farm business.
            Planning is deciding in advance how to manage production problems viz what to produce, how to produce, when to produce finical problem viz how to borrow, how much to borrow when to borrow, where to borrow, so it the day to day activities of running the farm.
Farm planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to go it involves the process of thinking before doing. Farm planning is a programme of total activity drawn up by the farmer in advance.
Planning is not often required in traditional farming because farmers practice the agriculture which is suitable to the soil type. However as new technologies are introduced, there is need to combine and recombine available resources to achieve higher profits. So farm planning are particularly required when there are limiting factors such as land, capital, and labour, the aim being to maximize returns to the limiting factors.
            However whole farm planning (according to loni kemp 1996) is a process to pull together decision making about environment, economic and production process, it brings the entire farm and all its resources into the thought process. The purpose is to help farmers achieve their goals while at the same time enhancing natural resources and the environment. It is based on this concept that a farmer can make better decision on relevant information about available resources, alternative solutions and potential impacts. Whole farm planning solve the problem of a single purpose farm plans by which a farmer has a plan for its highly erodible acres, another for the feedlot, another for manure management, another for pesticide, another for wetlands. And may be one for wildlife or woodlot. Too often these plans solve one resource issue at the expense of another, too often such plans are written by agency personnel and presented to the farmer with minimal interaction.
Whole farm planning is a solution that seems to be at the hub of a wheel, catching the interest of different groups.

            The major themes that attract people to the concept of whole farm planning are the opportunity to
1.         Coordinate regulations
2.         To promote conservation and water quality protection
3.         To integrate economics with environmental concerns
4.         To promote sustainable agriculture
5.         Consider quality of life

1.                  Coordinate regulations
Regulations could be imbedded into the whole farm planning process, farmers had to cope with an increasing of government regulations in recent years, each designed to deal with one problem at a time a successful implemented whole farm plan could be the tool to co-ordinate compliance with these regulations. Farmers could rest in confidence that their plans document full compliance with all rules that apply to them.
For this to happen agencies would have to work together, indeed, better communication between agencies is an additional benefit of a whole farm planning approach designed to coordinate regulations relating to agriculture regulation programs to control farms problem programs for Erosion, wetlands, pesticides, feedlots, wildlife nutrients.
2.         Improve conservation and water quality protection
            The public is increasingly aware of the impact on water quality from agriculture. Runoff of eroded soil, animal wastes, fertilizer or pesticides is often the cause of serious pollution for both surface water and groundwater, realizing that these pollution sources are too complex and numerous to regulate, policy makers are searching for a different means to encourage better farming practices, by giving control back to the farmers, whole farm planning can provide the forum for evaluating problems and implementing site-specific solutions. Instead of making separate effort in teaching farmers on how to reduce source of runoff, whole farm plan would coordinate programs relating to agriculture, the plan will encourage to search for best solutions for multiple problems.
3.         Integrated Economics and Environment
            Sometimes media portrays farmers as being concerned with production and profit, infact most farmers care deeply about land and most environmentalist wants a thriving agricultural economy.
Whole farm planning encourages a look at all options available, including information about relative costs, so that a farmer can choose the least cost options that meet their goals. Ideally the whole farm plan would also be a means to increase profits. A whole farm plan can help farmers keep records to guide ongoing management and make adjustments to practices.
4.         Consider quality of life
            An important element  missing from single purpose farm plans is inclusion of the farmer’s personal goals and intimate knowledge of their own farm. History, opportunity, instinct and common sense can only come from the farmer himself or herself. Instead of assuming that maximum production or more income is the only goal., a whole farm plan provides the chance for the farm family to articulate their real goals, whether passing on the farm to the next generation, creating beauty on the land, reducing debts such a process might even help more people choose farming as a way to make a living.

            A whole farm plans should aim at least five goals for the farm. These essentials goals are:
1.         Improved farm profitability
            What makes whole farm planning different from past approaches is that improving farm profits is front and center. Where environmental concerns are the driving force, the process should help farmers find solutions that actually save money, increase profits simplify the work.
2.         Reduce Water Pollution
            The main driving force behind interest in whole farm planning is the need to reduce non point source pollution from agriculture. Farm families themselves are often the first victims of contaminated water supplies if a water well becomes fouled with nitrates or pesticides and volatilization into the air, to regulate each source of pollution, programs are lunched by the government which whole farm plan could be the best means to achieve cleaner water supplies.
3.         Reduce Soil  Erosion: 
Most farmers have had their erodible lands identified and the Revised universal soil loss equation provides equitable evaluation of different management practices on different sites. Since 1985, many farmers developed and implemented consideration compliance plans for their highly erodible acres, as a precondition of receiving U.S. commodity program benefits.
4.         Improve Management of Nutrients
            Nitrogen is a necessary soil nutrient for crop, but its easy solubility in water when over applied lead to pollution of drinking water. Phosphorus is another necessary nutrient that causes problems when an excess runs into surface water and leads to algae growth. Bacteria and viruses form manure contaminate drinking water supplies.
5.         Improve management of pests and pesticide:
            Pesticide that move from the intended field, whether by runoff, leaching or volatilization are an economic loss to the farmer and a threat to the environment. Farmers and their families face additional health risk due to daily exposure and accidents.
So, whole farm planning can help farmers consider several approaches to improving pest management to reduce or eliminate pesticide risks.
*          The first step is to make sure that good housekeeping practices prevent accidents and over application.
*          Next step is to reduce the ultimate use of pesticides by incorporating principles of integrated pest management.

            How something is done is usually just as important as the final product. These are key qualities of a good planning process.
1.         The Farmer is in the Charge: It is critical that a whole farm plan should not be prepared by an expert and handed over to the farmer as a done deal. Such a plan is not likely to be implemented. The farmer must be involved in learning about problems.
2.         The Farm Family Sets Goals for the Farm
            It is essential that the farmer identify the specific goals they intend to reach, ranging from environmental goals, Economic goals, family goals and social goals. Separate short-term and long-term goals stated goals should be meaningful to the farmer, and somehow be measured with either quantitative or qualitative measures so that as the plan is implemented the reason for taking each step remains clear.
3.         The Entire Farm is Included: The essence of whole farm planning is to integrate all resource issues with the farm system. All plans will necessarily be include, some kind of assessment of resources which should include a look at the entire farming operation.
4.         Problem areas are clearly identified:  the first step to any healing process is to admit what the problem is. A core purpose of a whole farm plan is to help farmers name the concerns that need to be addressed. Whole farm planning seeks to identify a pattern of problems in the hope that new solutions will emerge.
5.         Alternative options are Considered: The heart and soul of whole farm planning is the exploration of alternative solutions to the named problems of the particular farm. Technical assistance will surely be beneficial in offering information to farmers on multiple solutions including innovative ideas they might not have thought of.
6.         The farmer Develops an Action Plan with Adequate Timelines:  Good intentions without an action plan are destined for oblivion. It is essential that the selected options be written into an action plan by the farmer himself to which the farmer makes some kind of commitment and carefully reflecting time to sit the task. Without this step, it is not really a plan but only a list of ideas.
7.         The Planning process should be Educating, Encouraging and Easy to understand: Agencies should continually evaluate the planning process and format for relevance and appeal to farmers, keeping it simple is the key.
8.         Technical Assistance is available: Personal assistance  from trained experts is needed to help farmers explore problems and possible options they might otherwise not be aware of. Access to advisors should be easy, assistance might be provided one-on-one at the farm. Training of farmers should be available to transfer the needed information from experts to the farmer.
9.         The Farm Plan Itself is Confidential
            Information contained in written farm plans must remain confidential farmers who fear neighbors or inspectors looking over their plan are unlikely, to be honest towards the problems or to be very ambitions in their commitment to future actions.

            A systematic procedure is generally followed in making sound plans for the success of the farm business. To make farm plan successful, the following steps should be adopted with relevant to a given farm and its resources.
1.         Statement of objectives
2.         Diagnosis of existing organization
3.         Assessment of resource endowment on the farm
4.         Identify enterprise to be included
5.         Preparation of enterprise budget
6.         Identification of risk
7.         Preparation of plan
1.         Statement Objective: The objective of the farmer may be profit maximization or cost minimization so in selecting enterprises and their combinations, the farmer aims at maximization of profits. On the other hand, while choosing resources and their combination he aims at cost minimization.

2.         Diagnosis of the Existing Organization: The planner has to examine the existing organization of farm business carefully and identify the weakness or defects or loopholes in the current plan.

3.         Assessment of resources endowment on the Farm:
(a)       Land: there is a need to spell out the land holding area ie wet or dry land, corps grown, type of soils available, topography, textures, fertility status, drainage, soil and water development, soil water conservation methods etc if the land is sloppy conservation process is essential, also specify cost, if the soil is having drainage problem measures taken by the farmer are indicated.
(b)       labor: the extent of family  labor available with the farmer’s. household laborers if any engaged by the farmer should be indicated.
(c)       Capital: working capital require for raising crops should be indicated, owned fund and amount of borrowed fund interest paid etc should be clearly specified. Fixed capital. Information on farm building farm equipment and farm machinery etc.
(d)       organization: The farmer’s knowledge in farming his expertise, his experience in farming and confidence in adapting new potential technology should be assessed.
(e)       Irrigation source: Availability of difference sources of irrigation, period availability of irrigation, quality of irrigation water available, crops demand for irrigation water, should also be indicated.   

4.         Identification of Enterprise to be included identify list of other Enterprise not grown by the farmer.
Information on input and output prices should be collected so as to work out the cost and returns.
5.         Preparation of Farm Enterprise Budget-: Estimate income, cost and profitability of each enterprise to be included in the plan.
6.         Identify Risk: We should list out all type of risk- production risk, weather risk, technological risk, institutional risk, marketing risk, etc faced by farmers, particularly the incident of pests, rodents, and diseases. Floods havoc these should be kept in view in formulating relevant alternative farm plans.
7.         Preparation of Plan: identify the most scarcest resources and selecting that enterprise which yields maximum returns per unit of scarcest resource.

            The topics listed below, either alone or in combinations, are the minimum that should be considered for a whole farm plan to serve its intended purpose;
1.         Farm family Goals
            The farmer and the whole family should develop their overall goals. Personal goals for business, lifestyle, quality of life, and landscape beauty are all relevant.
2.         Economic vailaiblity of the farm     
            The plan should evaluate not just productivity per acre, but total profitability. Input cost reduction and higher prices for farm products sold are just as important to profit as the amount produced. Some farmers may want to include factors beyond the bottom line, such as reducing dependence on government programs, balance between livestock and grain production, total level of debt, stability of income, and responsiveness to market changes. The plan should include provisions for record keeping and making adjustments as needed.
3.         Water quality
The plan should include how to protect all forms of surface water and groundwater.
4.         Soil conservation
The plan should aim for erosion control that achieves tolerable rates of soil loss.
5.         Nutrient Management
The plan must account for reducing pollution and maximizing benefits of soil fertility. In addition to natural and “home grown” nutrients (from previous crops), the plan should consider fertilizers, manure management if applicable, and feedlot management if applicable.
 6.        Water Management
The plans should consider water quantity issues related to wetlands, drainage, flood plains, irrigation, and water conservation.
7.         Pest management
The plan should evaluate how to minimize pest problems, including prevention of pollution form pesticides.
8.         Soil Quality
The plan should consider building soil quality over the long run, including organic matter and soil fertility.
9.         Crop rotations
The plan should evaluate how to maximize benefits from rotating crops
10.       Tillage
The plan should consider tillage alternatives to improve soil conservation and quality.

            The expression of farm plan in monetary terms is called farm budgeting it is simple an attempt to quantify the effect of proposed plan. Farm budgeting  are classified into:
Enterprise budget, Partial budget, and Complete or Whole farm budget.
Farm budget is a method of examining the profitability of alternative farm plans. In budgeting process, we estimate costs, returns and net profit of a farmer or a particular enterprise and hence it helps advance estimation of expenses and income of a farm business. Budget  are usually prepared for a year, considering the revenue and expenditure. When budgeting is done for a single enterprise or two it is known as partial budgeting, if it is done for all the enterprises in terms of cost, revenues, and net profit for the whole farm then it is termed as complete budgeting or total budgeting or whole farm budgeting. But the best combination of enterprises is judged based on the productivity of the resources and the ability of farm operator to maximize the returns. Therefore whole budget is overall impact of a proposed plan on the whole farm system.
            Farm budgeting is very essential to farmers in the essence that
*          It assist farmer in exercising economic control over his farm business.
*          It helps the lending institutions indecision like justifying the sanction of loan or rejection of the same.
*          Credit needs of the farmer in different time periods of the year are vividly shown by the budgets
*          Budget also helps infixing the repayment schedules and sanction of loans at appropriate time.
*          This budgets form a basis to determine the quantum of credit to be given to a particular farm.
These are also advantage of budget
1.         Estimation of economic viability of agricultural development protects
2.         Judges the repayment capacity of the farmer
3.         Preparation of cash flow statements
4.         Assessment of credit requirements of the farmers in different seasons of a year
5.         Maximization of net returns from the farm as a whole.
            Partial and completes budget distinctly differ from each other in the following ways. In partial budgeting we try to introduce minor changes like use of high yielding varied of seeds. Different does of fertilizer use e.t.c their corresponding costs and returns in terms of added costs and added returns and bring forth the impact of these minor changes on returns of the enterprise. Only few alternatives in some part of the farm are chosen with a good range of profit.
            While complete budgeting we contemplate complete transformation in enterprises bringing about desired changes in method of production, techniques adopted.
By doing so sometimes new potential enterprises are selected replacing the traditional ones.
All possible alternatives are tried in the entire farm and the best profitable alternatives are chosen.
*          Budgeting involves three main steps
1.         Preparing a description and specification of the proposed plan, in terms of the area of each crop and class of livestock and the methods of production.
2.         Testing the feasibility of the proposed plan in terms of the resource requirements relative to what are available and to other institutional social and cultural constrains.
3.         Evaluation of the plan-: In budgeting, specification of farm plans depends on the planner’s judgment although it must be influenced by technical knowledge of what crop varieties, types livestock and methods of production that are suited to the environment. Specification is then designed to remove or overcome the constraints where promising new technology is available.
            The second stage involves estimation of whether sufficient land is available to allow the planned crops to be incorporated in a rotation which will maintain soil fertility. Animal or machine power and cash constraints may also be considered  the may be tested to determine whether sufficient food will be produced to meet family needs.
            The final evaluation involves assessing cost and benefits to the farm family. These are usually estimated in money terms which may place undue emphasis on financial profits.
Preparing budget, estimates are needed of the resource input requirement, the yields, cost and benefit of each enterprise included in the plan. These are then compared with the resources base of the farm and used in evaluating the outcome.
1.         Planning is an important activity in managing a farming system. Although generally subjective and informal, Budget are used to design future strategies, for budgetary control, for prescribing and predicting the farmer’s decision-making.
2.         Budgeting involves three main steps: specifying a plan, testing its feasibility, in terms of resource requirements and availability and evaluating the expected outcome.
3.         The necessary input output data may be obtained form farm survey or case-study records, for new-technologies form experimental results or from published standards.
4.         Whole farm plain is overall impact of a proposed plan on the whole system partial plan affect only a particular enterprise or sub-system.
5.         It is essential that farmers must be involved in learning about the problems of the farm in order to attend the expected goal.

Adegeye A.J. and Dittoh, J.S (1985) Essential of Agricultural Economics Ibadan impact publisher Ltd.
Heady E.O and H. R Jensen (1964) farm Management Economics pretentic-Hall of India, new Delhi
James C. Van Horne (1984) fundamentals of financial Management
Loni Kemp, (July 1996) the Minnesota project
Raymond R. Beneke, John Wiley and sons (1966) managing the farm Business.
Reddy Ram, Sastry Devi (2004) Agricultural Economics.
Subba Reddy, P. Raghu Ram (1996) agricultural finance and management.
Upton martin (1996) The economics of tropical farming system.
Uptom Martin(1972) Farm management in Africa. Oxford ELBS.
Farm planning means assessing the implications of allocating resources in a particular way before deciding whether to act. Therefore it is the foundation of management.





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