Getting Started with FarmBee

November 9th, 2020
Written by Grace Barton
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FarmBee was created to make tracking your crops, labor costs, and profits much easier. When you create your account, you will enter your email and create a password. After that, there are 8 easy steps to get started.

You will need to have the name of your farm picked out if you are just beginning or if you’re already an established farmer, then you will type in your farm’s name. In this first step you will also choose your location, as well as what time period you would like projected – this year, next year, or specific dates. FarmBee needs to know where you grow your crops to give estimated costs based on your location.

Next, you’ll want to have figured out what crops you want to grow and how many square feet. FarmBee will give you an estimate of how many lbs you can get from each crop you choose per harvest. There are a multitude of crops and herbs you can choose from. On the list there are about 70 crops and herbs to choose from – anything from artichokes to bok choy to rutabagas, or basil to catnip to stevia.

Once you’ve finished checking which crops you will grow and planned row feet to grow, you will select the channels you’ll sell your produce in. The channel name can be changed to whatever you want it to be, then the channel category has a drop down with options to choose from.

After you choose your channels of sale, you can choose how much of each sale goes to a certain channel. If there is more than one channel that you sell to, then you can divide the crop sales accordingly to how much you think you’ll be selling to per channel per crop. Prices per channel can also be changed to what you think you will sell the crop for in that channel.

Labor is the next step. This includes the owner(s), employee(s) (paid), and volunteer(s). You will enter in the amount of production hours per week that you, your employees (if any), and your volunteers (if any) will be able to put into the farm per week. If you have employees, you will enter their salary. The frequency can be changed from hourly to yearly.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offerings are step 6. If you do not offer CSAs, then you can click the ‘I don’t have a CSA’ button. However, if you do have offer CSAs, you can put in the name of it, how often you share, the share duration, how many supporters, supporter price, the average cost of each box you give, and when payments are due for the year.

Planned expenses are the second to last step. You must think about what expenses you will be spending, how much you’ll be spending (per week, month, or year), and during what months you’ll be paying for those expenses. Examples of some expenses you will want to think about include: utilities, land, and equipment. FarmBee will calculate these expenses into your net profit at the end. Expenses can also be adjusted whenever you want to be more accurate.

Finally, the last step is miscellaneous income. If you don’t have miscellaneous income, then this step can be skipped. If you sell eggs from your farm or participate in a yearly harvest festivity, then you can put in an estimate of how much you make, the frequency (once, weekly, monthly, or yearly), and the dates you sell them.

Once all of this information is submitted, FarmBee will crunch the data you’ve entered in and take you to the financial model page, where you can see your data visualized on the Cash Flow graph. It shows you how much you make (revenue) and how much you lose (expenses) over the course of the year. Planned expenses, miscellaneous income, and owners & employees can be edited whenever to accurately represent what you are selling or the expenses you are paying for. It will change automatically after you press the save button. You can also see the outcome of situations by using the ‘What if I’ feature. Production expenses can be changed in the Planner when you edit details about each crop. Once these are updated, then the production expenses should be accurately represented.