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The Importance of Farm Inventory


Smart growers are ready with detailed records as part of a disaster preparedness plan.

After the chaos of a disaster, it is important to be as prepared as possible. In the aftermath, while rebuilding and restarting, farmers who have updated inventories on hand are very thankful.

Though it can take time and effort to keep such records, the end result is well worth it, not just for when disaster strikes but for other times as well. Keeping an updated inventory list on hand can drastically smooth your insurance claim process if your farm suffers a loss.

Tips to remember

Make sure that you have a thorough list of equipment, but keep it realistic, as you can't possibly list all of the items in your business. The list, however, should include all equipment essential to your operation. This could include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Tractors, trucks, ATVs
  • Combines
  • Backhoes, hay balers, wagons
  • Disks, cultivators
  • Seeders, planters
  • Fertilizer spreaders, sprayers
  • Milking machines, air compressors
  • Pumps, irrigation equipment
  • Posthole diggers, manure spreaders
  • Mowers, snow throwers, motors

You should record the following information in the list about your equipment:

  • Type of machinery and brand
  • Model, serial and ID numbers
  • Model year
  • Cost when purchased and receipt
  • Estimated replacement value

Some diligent farm managers will even use a metal engraver or stamping tool to place a permanent ID number on pieces of equipment, to help identify them in case of theft. This information would, of course, need to be listed on the inventory as well.

There are farm-management software packages that include tools to keep track of your equipment you can use. Many farmers simply keep a notebook and a file box of organized receipts and information. Use whatever system best works for you - just make sure you keep the information up-to-date and accurate. If you do choose to maintain physical files, store them offsite in a safe place, like a safe deposit box. You don't want the records you have worked so hard to maintain to be destroyed or damaged too.

Other benefits

Farm owners have seen additional benefits from maintaining complete and updated inventory lists. For instance, they can review their equipment lists in the off-season to see which pieces of machinery need repair or replacement. And when insurance renewal time comes around, owners can double-check their lists against the insurance company's to make sure all equipment that needs to be on the policy is covered, and what's not isn't still being paid for in premiums.

Keeping track of your inventory can be a chore, but when it's all said and done, it's a chore you will be very glad you did.

Special Member Savings

At Southern States®, we are proud to be one of the nation's largest farmer-owned cooperatives. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.

Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to southernstatesnwag.com to find a local agent.


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