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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Farm Accounts

Farm Accounts.

Farming must be made more of a business than it has hitherto been. How many farmers are there who keep regular records of their farm page 6 work and the results, and who take stock, say on the 1st May in each year—I mention May, because the year's operations are then practically closed. How many farmers can tell accurately which crop pays best—which class of sheep is most profitable—what each cow yields in milk and butter? What would be thought of a tradesman who carried on business in such a manner? I fancy he would soon find his balance on the wrong side of the ledger. Some time ago the Royal Agricultural Society of England offered a very substantial prize for the best system of Farm Accounts. The result was a very capital method—one divested of much of the mystery of book-keeping from a scientific point of view, and quite within the capacity of the majority of farmers. The system requires a little modification to make it applicable to colonial requirements.

I recently had occasion to accompany the judges on their visit to the farms competing for the prize offered for the best dairy farms, with regard to management and the necessary surroundings, on one of them we found that an accurate account was kept of the stock, the number of cows in milk, the quantity of butter made each month throughout the year, and the price realised, the dates of service and calving, the stock of pigs, and the cash sales. The receipts from each department were clearly set forth in such a manner as to show at a glance the general results.