Crowe Horwath: Seven Habits of Successful Farmers

Crowe Horwath agribusiness specialist Sean Bennett has weighed in on business performance on farms, and the key drivers for success.

He has written a blog for The Icehouse, where he outlines the vital tools farmers can use to better boost their efficiency and profitability.

The article below is taken from The Icehouse.

What sets successful farmers apart from their peers?

At a recent industry day there was much discussion around the results being produced by our top farm businesses compared to those of the rest of the sector.

For the purposes of this article, if we ignore differences in climate and land use type, successful farmers have ingrained behaviours and daily habits that others have not yet developed.

  1. There is a clear vision for the future and an understanding of why they are farming. These farmers can communicate what makes them tick, have focus and know their business strategies and success factors. They constantly look for opportunities to capitalise on their own strengths and grow those of their employees.
  2. They are early adopters of technology and use it to actively monitor, measure, manage and benchmark all aspects of their farm business – finances, pasture, livestock and market trends.
  3. There is a focus on profit before production and they understand how to maximise the key profit periods.
  4. Top farmers are more likely to be risk takers, but calculated risk managers. They surround the business with good positive people and seek feedback when looking at the ‘but what if’ scenarios. They see change as an opportunity.
  5. They look at compliance as an opportunity to get value-added benefits that result from better record keeping and traceability rather than the cost.
  6. Successful farmers have the ability to focus on what is important rather than what is urgent. They know how to sort the $100 a day decisions from the $10,000 a day decisions.
  7. These farmers like to challenge themselves. Staleness drains energy and successful farmers know they can’t allow that to happen. Importantly, they know the value of getting away from the daily grind to refresh and re-focus themselves.

“The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today.”

~ S N Goenka

Sean Bennett is a Crowe Horwath agribusiness specialist based in New Zealand. He can be contacted via email: