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Home > Master Publication List > Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook > Farm Records

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education
(SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook

Tom and Maud Powell and Michael Moss, Sustainable Farmers, Jackson County, OR.
Technical advisor: Tim Franklin, Jacksonville, OR.
Curriculum advisor: Peter O'Connell, Jacksonville, OR.
Web advisor: National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT.

Published 2007
Updated 2010

Farm Records

farm silos in the distance
Photo by Jeff Schahczenski
ATTRA Program Specialist

Learning Objectives
The learner will...

  • Understand what type of records are required.
  • Discuss the various reasons that records are important.
  • Review and have access to sample record keeping forms.


Purpose of Maintaining Farm Records

  • The practice is required by National Organic Practices for organic certification
  • Records serve as documentation of the farm's standards and practices
  • Records aid future planning - (amounts planted, varieties preferred, marketability of particular crop)
  • Records enable comparison and tracking of farm's progress - (yields, soil fertility, crop rotations)


Required Records
Daily Log

  • The daily log details any farm activity. It provides a basis for the year's master plan - (Details from daily log can be used to create a field map showing what crops were grown where. This is necessary for tracking crop rotations.) The daily log includes:
    • What was done - planting, harvesting, weeding, marketing
    • Where work was done - field, greenhouse, market
    • Who did the work
    • How long did the task take to complete
    • May also include weather, general observations, any farm related topic

Input Log

  • Tracks production aids used
    • fertilizers and amendments - specific product used, application rate, where used (field, greenhouse)
    • compost - what is added to the compost pile, how often is pile turned, record of temperature readings of pile
  • Tracks pest control
    • Details the pest problem, what crop, how applied and rate, degree of success

Harvest Record

  • Tracks crop and variety harvested
    • Amount of harvest in pounds, bunches, or other unit
    • What field or bed harvested
    • Harvest technique used
  • Tracks post-harvest handling
    • Is crop washed, if so, where and how
    • How crop is packaged
    • How crop is delivered to market or consumer


  • Invoices help record all sales of farm product.
  • Must include farm name and organic certification number, date, to whom sold, item sold, amount of item, price per unit, and total price

Complaint Log

  • If there is a complaint about the farm, this log records the nature of that complaint and what action was taken by the farm.


How to Keep Records
With so many other important jobs to balance, farm record keeping is often overlooked. It must be added to the list of necessary farm chores. Ideally, records are kept daily during the main growing season (Mar-Oct), and weekly in the off-season (Nov-Feb). Different records should be kept in their own binders, in a safe and consistent place, with an easy to use form. It may work well to assign the job of recordkeeping to one person on the farm.


Sample Forms

Daily Log
Input Log
Harvest Log
Complaint Log



  • Why is farm record keeping important?
  • Other than the essential records described in this chapter, what farm records might be particularly useful?





  Time Required Who?
Propagation Work
  • Potting mix made
  • Seeding - crop, variety
  • Potting up - crop, size
  • Inputs applied - eg foliar spray
  • Location of seedlings - greenhouse, shadehouse, etc
Field Work:
  • Tractor work - tillage, mowing, tractor maintenance
  • Planning - field and bed layout
  • Direct seeding - crop, variety, field, bed, rate
  • Transplanting - crop, variety, spacing
  • Inputs - amendments, foliars, etc.
  • Harvesting - crop, amount
  • Irrigation - type, layout, scheduling
  • Other work - planting perennials, market/delivery, woodlot, fencing
Comments, Notes, Natural Observations:







Type of Input:
  • Potting mix
    • recipe used
  • Amendments added to field
    • name of product
  • Foliar spray
    • recipe used
  • Green manure crop
    • approx. amount, how incorporated
  • Compost
    • substances added
    • frequency of turning
    • temperature record
Application Rate:
Amount applied over a given area







Field or bed harvested




Expressed in pounds, bunches, count, etc.
Cleaning Method:
Washed or not










Phone #:
Organic certification #:




Crop and Variety:




Price p/unit:


Total Price:





Nature of Complaint:



Compliant Submitted By:


Action Taken in Response:




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This page was last updated on: August 25, 2014