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Record Keeping

N.B. This is a text only version of the training module "Record Keeping" which is also available to download as a PowerPoint presentation or view as a Flash Movie. 

Record Keeping

Why keep records?

  • All food production quality assurance schemes require detailed records to be kept (EUREPGAP, Natures Choice etc).
  • Records can help you remember what happened in previous crops (what worked well/badly).
  • Enable you to calculate the costs and profits from crops.
  • Spray records
    • Calibration records
    • What was used when and on what
    • Chemical store records
  • Accidents and incidents (health and safety).
  • Training records.
  • Keeping farm records is an important step in good farm management.

Quality assurance schemes

Quality assurance schemes

  • Each scheme will usually have their own record forms to complete (paper or electronic).
  • Training is often available, supported by the assurance scheme agronomists.
  • Often these records need to be available at harvest to go with the harvested crop as proof that there was no deviation from the grower protocol.
  • Farms are likely to have periodic checks to ensure compliance to the grower protocol; spot checks to ensure compliance and validate records.

Farmer records

Farmer records

  • Use a note book – or similar, to record a range of different farming activities.
    • Planting and harvest dates and crop yields, crop varieties.
    • Crop rotation
    • Inputs such as fertilizer and crop protection products
    • Calculate input costs versus harvest value
    • Land management
    • Sprayer calibration records
    • Crop protection store records
    • Labour costs
    • Accidents and incidents
  • Many different electronic farm record packages available

Crop-based variable costs

Example form for recording crop-based variable costs (23 Kb GIF)
Example form for recording crop-based variable costs

Harvest records

  • Harvest records
  • Date the crop was harvested
  • Amount of produce harvested
  • Where the product was sold
  • Value of the product sold
  • Quality classification achieved for the product

Profit and Loss

Simple profit and loss table (11 Kb GIF)
Simple profit and loss table

Crop protection (pesticide) store records

Example stores record; product, quantity, batch, expiry, use, crop, field name, amount used, operator, date, amount remaining (9 Kb GIF)

Crop protection (pesticide) application record

  1. Date:
  2. Crop:
  3. Crop Growth Stage:
  4. Target pest:
  5. Operator:
  6. Name/number of Sprayer:
  7. Application Volume (l/ha):
  8. Product used (per ha):
  9. Observed result (report the product effectiveness)

Training records

Training record; name of course, training body, who attended, date (24 Kb GIF)

Calibration records - easy calibration

Example calibration record (24 Kb GIF)
Example calibration record

Accident or incident reporting

Example record for accident/incident reporting (22 Kb GIF)


  1. Why should records be kept?
  2. What value do records have to farmers?
  3. Give some examples of records to be kept?
  4. How do you think records could help you?