By Sabrina Carnevale

What did I put here last year…..

Wait, that wasn’t me. I just rented this quarter. What did they seed here last year…. Oats? Canola? That information has to be here somewhere – not to mention pesticide residues! What did I – or they – spray here last year? Let’s just look it up. But where is the information…

What if you could keep track of everything that’s happening on your fields AND pre-plan the season’s field activities? Even better: it’ll save you time when you’re at your busiest. So many decisions can be made better, and easier, with good records. Enter Farm At Hand.

Field management is so crucial for farms. Knowing the field history, cropping rotations, pesticide use, drainage issues, saline areas – all are critical to keep track off.  Most growers have some form of record keeping – some use complex online systems, their own spreadsheets, and still many others rely on pen and paper. Whatever the method, it’s a necessary and invaluable cache of information to record and store.

Year over year, many key cropping decisions are made based on the field history. There are untold number of stories of how poor records led to a disaster in production.

We can only focus on what we can control. If the landlord, or the grower before, didn’t keep good records, not much can be done. But you can control where it goes from the time you take on the field.

As the industry moves towards more traceability as well as more consumer demand for how food was produced, growers will need to be even more attentive to their records.  Spend the time finding something that works for you, and stay with it. Build your history. Profit from your attention to detail. Production issues will always be a challenge – but you can control some of those issues with great records, resulting in better field health, better crops, and better profitability.

With notes from Farm At Hand Agronomy specialist Chris Corbett.