By Sabrina Carnevale

One of the most important things that any business needs to know is how much inventory they have and what it’s worth. Farming is no exception to this. The value of the inventory is directly affected by the quantity as well as the quality.

When things such as dockage, grade and bushel weights are factored in, two bins of wheat that are of the same size can have a dramatically different value. In any business, this can be the difference between profit and loss – knowing the answers to these questions is critical to success.

“Having an accurate, real-time grain inventory picture as harvest unfolds gives you an edge. It helps you market your grain and take advantage of time-sensitive investment opportunities,” says Agrimatics CEO, Ian Meier. “There’s a story I once heard of a farmer who missed an opportunity to buy some land as they didn’t have a clear picture of their inventory mid-harvest. With a good inventory tracking and management tool, this number would be ready to go.”

As farms grow in size and complexity, inventory management also grows. On most farms, grain is stored in multiple locations and bins. With the number of storage locations on a farm, the days of remembering what is in each bin are quickly passing. With larger trucks and multiple people doing the hauling, a missing load is worth a lot of money. Most people who work in agriculture can also tell a story about the “forgotten bin” or the empty bin that was supposed to be full. Those things have always been important to farmers – but perhaps in today’s world they are critical.

Maybe there was a time when an estimate was close enough. As margins tighten and risk goes up, the need to maximize profits becomes critical. Maximizing profits is almost impossible without knowing exactly what you have to sell.

From Glen Kroeker, Farm At Hand’s Vice President of Innovation and Operations