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Matching sales to production: If you only look at one report every week, make it this one

publication date: Sep 1, 2016
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August has come and gone, and here at 3 Bug Farm our crops (and weeds) have reached a frenetic crescendo of photosynthesis. Somewhere in their DNA, the plants know that Maine summers are brief, and they have only a few months to grow, make seed, and die or go dormant before the long winter settles in.

This means we’re busy, along with most growers at this time of year. This year, we’ve managed to work most of the kinks out of our production systems (so far least) - and so, the crops are looking pretty healthy, and yields are coming in more or less where we expected them to be.

At this time of year, the greatest risk to our bottom line (and our largest nighttime preoccupation) has to do with how well we’ve matched our production to our impending sales. Will our customers buy what we thought they would buy when we made our planting plan, at the volume and price we predicted? Or will our hard work and money decompose before our eyes as sales come in lower than we’d hoped?

We’re not alone in thinking about this. Fortunately, there are some simple business planning and recordkeeping practices we (and many of the farms I consult with) engage in to help prevent the heavy crop and financial losses that stem from lower than expected sales.

The rest of this article is available in the Growing for Market Archive of more than 1,500 articles published from 2001 to the present.

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