Do you want to start a cotton farm from scratch? Or you need a sample cotton farm business plan template? If YES, then i advice you read on. Cotton is one commodity that has been in demand for a long time and will also remain in demand for a very long time to come. This is because of the fact that cotton is the only natural material used in the production of fibre materials and other textile materials; and the seed is also needed for the production of cotton oil.
The cotton plant is an annual plant and requires hot weather conditions to grow effectively. Starting a cotton plantation is a business investment that will yield you continuous profits in a long time to come because of the continuous demand of the cotton product.
The only issue is that the business is capital and labor intensive (majority of the capital will go into acquiring a piece of land for the farming). This article will go through the step to step process of how to start a cotton farm; and how to get the cotton produce to the consumers.
Things You Need To Start a Cotton Farm
In order to start and successfully run a cotton farm, you need to have the following:
Table of Content
Large Expanse of Land
Starting a cotton farm means you wish to run it in a commercial quantity, so you will need a large expanse of large to start the business. You can actually buy off the land or you can enter a lease agreement with a land owner that will stand a long time.
The cotton business is a bit capital intensive. Apart from the capital needed to acquire a piece of land for the farm, you need to get or lease other farming equipments like a tractor, get fertilizer and pesticides in bulk quantity since the cotton plant is subtle to pest attacks. Finally, you need a means of transportation to get the cotton or cotton seeds from your farm to the buyer’s location, and all these requires enough capital to get it done.
Starting a Cotton Farm – Sample Business Plan Template
The first step you need to take towards starting a cotton farming business is to carry out a research on the profitability of you cotton in your location. Profitability has to do with carrying out a research on the demand of cotton.
If there is a fast demand of the cotton products, then you have a profitable business. Also, you have to check for the competition in the business. If there are more cotton farmers than the demand requires in your location; then you have to either look for another location with less competition or find a way to break through the competition.
Your business plan will help give you a sense of direction on what your business will look like. You need to put every factor into consideration when writing your business plan, including finances and capital, whether the business will run as a company or just a Business Name, location of the farm, list of potential buyers and your business goals for the first five years of operation.
As I mentioned on the earlier part of this article, you need a large expanse of land to start cultivating cotton on a commercial quantity. The land should be in a location where there is plenty of sun and void of snow or swampy environment. If you are going to lease the land, the lease time should be for at least 10 years; you wouldn’t want to start looking for a new farm land when you just started your present farm.
4. Source for Good Seeds
The quality of the cotton seed you plant will determine the quality of cotton product you will get when you harvest. You can source for cotton seed from farmer around; they will be able to provide you with healthy seed for planting.
The cotton plant is kind of sensitive to timing, meaning that the time you plant the cotton seeds matters a lot. The plant will yield poorly if it is planted too early or too late. Find out from other farmers when is the best time to cultivate your cotton seed.
6. Take Care of Pests and Weed
As the cotton seed start sprouting out buds, you should look out for and take care of pest; especially the cotton weevils. These pests can affect the yield or productivity of the cotton plant. You can help control the effect of pests by spraying pesticides regularly on the cotton to help keep them off.
Weed is one other thing you need to take care of as the cotton plant matures. You can engage and pay laborers to come do the weeding every other month. Note that you should avoid the use of chemicals to kill weeds because it may end up affecting the cotton plants too.
The cotton plant is an annual plant; meaning that it takes one year for the plant to reach maturity from the time it was cultivated. You know that you cotton plant is ready for harvest when the bud blossoms and the white cotton flower is visible. The cotton flower and seed is the commercial part of the cotton plant that you need. You can still employ the services of laborers to help pick the cotton flower for you.
8. Transportation to Buyers or Cotton Gins
The cotton flower should be sold to cotton farmers soon affect it has been harvested to avoid an attack of cotton boil. That is the reason why you should research and make sure that there is a ready market for your product even before you start cultivation.
After you are done with the harvesting, you should spread the word to your potential buyers that your cotton flower ready for sale. One way to get more buyers is to offer them free transportation of the cotton flower from your farm to any location of their choice and also giving them the option to pay on delivery.