“Farm management software” covers the range of apps, websites and computer programs built for the farming sector. It helps farmers plan, record and analyse activities on their property and unlock the land’s true potential.
The last few years have seen extraordinary growth in the farm software sector, and it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. The most valuable software simplifies day-to-day operations and provides data-driven insights for a more profitable and efficient business. It can also save farmers hours in the office – meaning they can focus on the goals that made them passionate about farming in the first place.
Who needs farm management software?
There can be a perception farm management software is only for large-scale farming operations. People think small or family farms won’t see enough profit from its implementation. At the other end of the scale, corporate farms have invested a lot of time and money in complex, cumbersome systems. They can turn a blind eye to benefits that come from updating farm management systems.
The truth is, farm management software has an important role to play in every modern farming operation. And reputable software providers will have various packages tailored to farms of every size.
Farm management software can help you if:
- You’re struggling to maintain accurate farm records
- You’d like to get a firm understanding of your farm’s financial position
- You want to make important management decisions, backed by data
- You want to record and monitor farm activities in real time
- You’d like to increase production and see more profits
- You want to prepare for audits with ease
Types of farm management software
Precision agriculture software
A market leader in precision agriculture software is John Deere. Its GPS-based guidance systems for machinery mean better fuel economy and improved application rates of seed and chemicals. Through its online portal and mobile apps, you can remotely locate your fleet and view machine information such as diagnostics trouble codes. You’re also able to monitor completed field activities, to determine the quality of each field for a given operation like seeding or harvest. It all adds up to more significant insights, for improved logistics and productivity.
Commodity management software
Supply chain logistics can be baffling and far from transparent. That’s being changed thanks to the cloud-based commodity management platform, AgriDigital. It makes your supply chain simple, easy and secure. Manage your contracts, deliveries, inventory, orders, invoices and payments all in one place and in real time.
Broadacre cropping software
For agronomists and cropping farmers to work well together, they need to be on the same page – or the same app. Agworld makes collaboration simple, with data capture tools, farm maps and document management just a few of the features helping with efficiency.
Livestock and mixed farming software
Farm record keeping is easier than ever, thanks to app-based software. With AgriWebb, you can keep track of everything from weight gains and animal treatments through to mob movements, using intuitive drag-and-drop technology. Farmers can easily create their biosecurity plans, operational calendars and directly submit eNVD forms, via the AgriWebb Web App.
Budgeting and forecasting software
There’s more to accounting software than Xero (though you do want your farm management software to be compatible with it). Figured is budgeting and forecasting software that gives you financial, stock and crop information in a single place. It means the farming team – farmers, accountants and bankers – can work together from the same data, in real time, wherever they are.
Must-haves for all farm management software
Mobile and web versions for your desktop
Farm management software should help you spend less time in the office. To that end, the best farm management software companies deliver solutions that are accessible on mobile devices as well as desktop computers.
Offline and online capabilities
Even if you have “four-bar” network coverage, services crash. Software needs to operate when you’re offline, so you aren’t splitting records between your notebook and mobile.
Ease of use
If you need to be a tech expert to understand the software you’re using, it’s not good software. With clear instructions and initial guidance, you should be able to navigate the software without any dramas. If not, you’re going to put it down and never pick it up again.
Software providers should ensure your data is safe within the system and isn’t used in any way you don’t approve of. Be wary if they can’t give guarantees about protecting the privacy of your data.
Real-time data sharing
It’s essential that farm management software supports multiple users. Sharing information across the farm, with people you choose, eliminates confusion and increases productivity.
Farm management software success stories
Stuart White manages Bucki Pastoral, a 5000-acre property outside of Henty, New South Wales. He runs 13,000 sheep, oversees 1000 acres of crops and keeps tabs on three other properties across NSW. He says AgriWebb has been invaluable for reporting and compliance, but that’s just the beginning of the benefits. “It’s made it much quicker for the staff to gather information in the paddocks. They can pull their phone out of their pocket, make stock moves, and it’s all done,” Stuart says. AgriWebb also means better-informed decisions for the future.
Dalby cotton grower, Steve McVeigh, adopted farm management software to keep track of what was happening on his two farms, 50-kilometres apart. He decided to go with Agworld, after seeing his agronomist at Dalby Rural Supplies use the system. Now, it’s simple for them to collaborate: “It really was a no-brainer,” he says of the switch to digital.
Michael Cobiac is a third-generation farmer who works 600 hectares in Kingston, South Australia. He’s not one for mobile apps and computers, but he does keep all his farm records on AgriWebb. He has found: “Farm software gives us a much better ability to monitor our performance and make sure that we are as productive or as profitable as possible.”