Consider how long it has taken to acquire all of the equipment necessary to keep your farm operational and the amount of money you have invested in equipment. If a disaster were to strike, could you easily provide an updated equipment list with model, serial and ID numbers to your claims adjuster? Having accurate, complete records will help make the claims process go faster and much smoother. There are other benefits to maintaining an updated inventory. When it comes time to renew your insurance policy, you can use your list to ensure equipment is properly insured. The list can also be beneficial in planning for and scheduling equipment repair and replacement.
While there are all kinds of farm management software packages available that include inventory tools, a farm inventory list can be as simple as a notebook and file box to keep equipment receipts organized. Use whatever system works best for you! Keep in mind, if you use a paper-based system, you will want to store this information somewhere safe like a safety deposit box, or in a fire-proof safe. You don’t want the records you’ve worked so hard to collect and to maintain to be damaged should disaster strike your home or farm.
Important Inventory Records to Maintain
When creating your inventory, there are a few key pieces of information you should have on hand for each piece of equipment including:
- Purchase dates and receipts
- Estimated replacement values
- Model, serial and ID numbers
- Model Years
In case of theft, consider using a metal engraver or stamping tool to place a permanent ID number on pieces of equipment. If you take this step, be sure to include this information in your inventory records.
Don’t Know Where to Start?
Be as thorough as possible, but if you can’t list every piece of equipment, start with the equipment that is essential to your operation. Equipment could include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Tractors, trucks, ATVs
- Combines, cotton pickers
- Backhoes, hay balers, wagons
- Disks, cultivators
- Seeders, planters
- Fertilizer spreaders, sprayers
- Milking machines, air compressors
- Pumps, irrigation equipment
- Posthole diggers, manure spreaders
- Mowers, motors
As you complete an annual equipment inventory, this is also a great time to talk with your South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance agent to ensure all of your equipment is adequately covered.