The LSU AgCenter has a variety of resources designed to help agricultural producers with farm management chores, and among those are publications to help them with record-keeping on everything from money spent to fertilizer bought to pesticides used.

Those publications are the “Louisiana Farm Record Book,” the “Louisiana Farm Inventory Book” and the “Field Diary for Recording the Application of Restricted Use Pesticides.” LSU AgCenter experts encourage all producers to take advantage of these tools.

“Recordkeeping and analysis is an extremely important component of the total management system of a farming operation,” said Kurt Guidry, an LSU AgCenter economist. “For producers to truly get a feel for the profitability and performance of their operations they must be able to monitor key production and financial indicators.

Guidry said that while he believes accurate record-keeping is always important, it is especially important in these times of high production costs, depressed prices and low profitability.

“In the current environment, producers cannot afford to grow any crop or engage in any activity that does not cover their costs,” Guidry said.

“Without good record-keeping — good, detailed record-keeping — it would be virtually impossible to be able to determine profitability.”

The LSU AgCenter's record-keeping publications also help producers stay in compliance with certain laws. According to Mary Grodner, who is in charge of pesticide safety education for the LSU AgCenter, producers are required to keep a record of their use of restricted-use pesticides. This is where the “Field Diary” publication is beneficial.

“It would be incumbent upon the producer to keep the very best records possible if he or she wishes to be a good manager of the farm,” Grodner said. “Good records will keep a person out of trouble much more often than they will get a person in trouble.

“The field diary, therefore, gives the producer a convenient location to keep most, if not all, of the records for each field.”

All of these publications are available on the Web by going to www.lsuagcenter.com and clicking on the “Publications” icon in the top header of that page.

The “Farm Inventory Record Book” is available only on the Web. The other two publications can be downloaded from the Web, or printed copies can be ordered for a fee from that site. Printed copies also can be obtained by contacting the LSU AgCenter publications office at (225) 578-6598 or e-mailing pringe@agcenter.lsu.edu.