Through research and practical experience at Banarach Farm, we have developed a unique and comprehensive Farm Manual System for managing your individual farming operations. Every aspect, from staff management right through to regular maintenance is covered off, section by section. And to keep things right up to date, we send you and your team, updates as they come to fall due. On-hand at your computer keyboard!
The complete manual has five sections: administration and planning; animal; human resources; machinery; and operations.
The business and management aspect of farming is growing and developing as the agricultural industry continues to grow and evolve. More and more public and political pressure, as well as compliance issues, are being placed upon farmers from both a local and international level. Farmers need to ensure that they have robust systems in place to ensure these are properly recorded and managed. Banarach Farm Manuals are the innovative solution to assist with this.
Banarach Farm Manuals developed when we, Andrea Ludemann and Richard Plunket, farm owners, were looking for some resources to help maintain standards and define procedures on our 124ha dairy farm and 416ha sheep, beef and dairy support unit in North Otago. Ideally we were looking for an operations manual similar to those seen in other industries, that would become a guide for us, the farm manager and all the staff to be able to refer to. But we couldn't find one. So I, Andrea, started the painstaking and time-consuming task of creating our own, and in 2007 the Banarach Farm Manual was released to the market, with two versions – Dairying and Sheep & Beef.
We saw the opportunity to turn our manual into a generic model, and offer it to other farming businesses as a step-by-step guide to documenting your farm product. Talking to industry groups we discovered that many people wanted to have an operations manual but they're often time poor and it becomes pushed back on the priority list.The manual comes as a web app, and the base document is changed by the manual user to customise it to their own operations.
The document outlines procedures with blanks to fill in, and highlighted areas so each user can customise it to how, when, and who does each task. There are links to industry websites relevant to the pages.You can use it as a training and induction manual, and as a back up tool when you're not there. There's a starting point for how to fix something or how to go about a particular task. For example with today's increasing cost structures, if you have a set method of how to shift the K line (irrigation) that saves two or three trips, you can make sure it is always done that way and saves time and fuel. It's a problem solving culture – when something breaks down you're not going to have to ring an electrician until you've checked certain things first.