Get the basics right and the rest will follow

It never ceases to amaze me how we seem to forget the basics and focus on what is not crucial to the business.

Recently I have seen a number of properties where inadequate fertiliser has seen production drop drastically. You chat to the farmer and they play the "blame game" - the drought, the mother-in-law...

I saw a dairy farm last week where little or no fertiliser went on and production has fallen from 70,000 kg ms to 55,000 kg ms! On my own dairy farm in the 80s we dropped our fertiliser application and production dropped even faster.

Viewing a kiwifruit property recently where nominal fertiliser had been applied I noticed a direct correlation with nominal production. Then there is the avocado industry, where you can see the effect of low fertiliser application from the road in small leaves and yellow trees.

Fertiliser applied adequately and sustainably is fundamental to your business.

This week I dropped my mower off for repairs. I rushed around to get it there only to be told they were a week behind and he would ring me when it was ready! Not to mention he scribbled my notes on the work to be done on a scrap of paper. Where is the clip board and better communication?

We need to focus down on the key ingredients essential to the success of our business – spotlight them and them only. When they are done we are free to go fishing.

Write down the essentials and tick them off. As I say there is only a week between a good and a bad farmer. Get the jobs done and get them done on time.

Peter Alexander writes an excellent column and is a brilliant resource for all farmers to focus on.

I mean I have got a Degree in this stuff, but as my wife will tell you, I need to focus on the key ingredients too.

That goes right through to spending time chatting with your staff members. Are they okay? Are they happy? Is the job meeting their expectations? Will they stay another year with you? It might be an opportune time to ask our wives the same questions!!

You see, life is complex and it has all these distractions. It is so easy to get sidetracked from what is important.

If we get focussed on the basics, the rest will follow.


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